How to Avoid Paint Fumes When House Painting

If you’re planning to repaint your house, then the smell of paint fumes may be on your mind. Painting can be a great way to brighten up your home, but the fumes from a freshly painted room can be off-putting. 

How can you avoid the paint smell when painting your home? Ventilation is obviously the first step, plus paint these days is much more advanced than paint from 50 years ago. There are no high levels of lead in paint anymore. Qpaint can paint with low VOC paints which is essentially painted with fewer chemicals. 


How to Avoid Paint Fumes When House Painting

How To Get Rid of Paint Smell

Have you had your home professionally painted or are you about to and want to make the paint smell go away? Here are some of our tips.

  • Use aromatherapy oils on cotton balls placed around the rooms. Make sure to use a strong-smelling oil like peppermint for example. Can also put a few drops in small bowls of water.
  • Put ground coffee beans in bowls and put them in the areas that have had interior paint applied.
  • Cut up brown onions and put them in the rooms. The onions absorb the odours. 
  • Light up strong scented candles and let them burn for a few hours. (Keep in mind fire safety).
  • Place buckets of water in the spaces. The water will absorb some of the solvent vapours. 

What Causes Paint Fumes?

Paint fumes are caused by the evaporation of solvents in the paint. These solvents dissolve the paint pigments and help the paint adhere to surfaces. When you open a paint can, these solvents begin to evaporate into the air.


What is in Paint Fumes?

Paint fumes are made up of a variety of chemicals. These chemicals can include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), solvents, and metals. VOCs are carbon-based compounds that evaporate at room temperature. They’re found in many household products, including paint, cleaning supplies, and air fresheners.

Solvents are liquids that dissolve other substances. They’re used in paint to thin it out and make it easier to apply. Metals, such as lead and mercury, can also be found in paint fumes.


How to Avoid Paint Fumes When House Painting

How can I avoid exposure to paint fumes?

There are several ways to avoid or lessen your exposure to paint fumes:

Work in a well-ventilated area

Open windows and doors to create cross-ventilation while you work. Take breaks as needed.

Use a respirator or mask

If you are working indoors, wearing a properly-fitted respirator or mask will help to protect you from inhaling paint fumes. Choose an air-purifying respirator with cartridges specifically designed to filter out vapours and gases. Just ask for a painter’s mask if unsure.

Be sure to read the instructions with the respirator before using it. Improperly fitted masks can increase your exposure to fumes because they allow leakage around the edges of the mask.

Take breaks often

If you are working indoors, take frequent breaks to go outside for fresh air. If possible, plan your work so that you can take a break after every couple of hours of painting.

Even if you take precautions, paint fumes can still make you feel nauseous or lightheaded. If you feel sick, stop working and get some fresh air immediately.

Use a fan

A fan will help to circulate air and keep fumes from building up in one area. If you are working indoors, position the fan to blow across the room, not directly at you. Also, be sure to open windows to provide cross-ventilation.

How to Avoid Paint Fumes When House Painting

Use a paintbrush or roller

Using a brush or roller instead of spraying the paint will help to reduce fumes. When using a brush, dip it only about halfway into the paint can so that you don’t splash and create aerosols.

Pour just enough paint onto your tray to cover the bottom. Use a clean sheet of cardboard to wipe any excess off your brush before applying it to the wall.

Wet painting

Wet painting is a method of painting with water-based paint while the surface is still wet. This method significantly reduces fumes because the paint doesn’t have a chance to dry and release fumes into the air.

A thin layer of paint should be applied with a brush or roller to moisten the surface. Then, working quickly, use a clean, damp sponge or cloth to spread the paint before it dries evenly.

If you are using oil-based paints, stains, or lacquers, take extra care to avoid exposure to fumes. These products can contain harmful vapours that can be damaging to your health.

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