You may want to paint a room in your house, paint your kitchen cabinets or even a piece of furniture but you dread the odor from the paint that makes you feel sick and may even hurt your kids if they breathe it. Even though you open the windows or ventilate your house well, it’s difficult to successfully reduce the new paint odor when you paint indoors. If you have a project that you just really need to complete inside your home, here are a few tips to make it easier and safer for everyone.
Be sure you ventilate well.
If you can, open the windows at least a bit and let the air flow begin to circulate throughout your home before you even start painting. If you don’t have screens on your windows, that can be a problem of course. If you need to paint with your windows closed, then make sure you keep your air conditioner or heat pump on circulation before, during and for some time after your project is over. This will more quickly remove the odors. Also, turn on all the other smaller vents in your home such as your stove vent and any bathroom vents you may have. While this may seem much ado about nothing, you may be surprised to find that any amount of air that is pulled out is very helpful.
Select the right paint.
The green mania has encouraged more and more traditional paint companies to produce low VOC paints that are low priced and easy to use. You should at least purchase low VOC paint to use indoors. However, you will still notice some paint odor. If you want to lessen the odor further, simply add a small box of Arm & Hammer baking soda to every gallon of paint and stir. Surprisingly, you will find that it does nothing negative to the consistency and there is no residue when you paint. But you will find that the odors are even less than without the soda in the paint. This has been a trick for years among those who need to diminish the strong odors of latex paints indoors.
You can also purchase ‘safe’ paint from a few online sources that specialize in paints and building materials that are free of harmful chemicals. One such company is AMF which offers Safe Coat paint that is so safe you can even be chemically sensitive and be in the room while the painting is being done.
Wear a mask if you paint.
Be sure to wear at least a charcoal mask if you paint indoors. Even though they are not as comfortable as painting without a mask, this provides the painter with extra protection from breathing fumes at a close range. You will be glad you did. Also, make plans to have everyone out of the house for a few hours just to be safe. Painting indoors is never as comfortable for everyone as having a room painted while everyone is gone for a couple of weeks, but sometimes it just has to be done. When you do need to paint something indoors, be sure to use these sensible tips to reduce new paint odor.