Can You Sleep in a Freshly Painted Room

A touch of paint can update your room and make it look refreshing. In fact, a freshly painted room can tempt you to spend all your time there lying on your air mattress.

But, can you sleep in a freshly painted room? Well, that’s called for a detailed answer.

Basically there are a few negative health impacts owing to the VOCs or the Volatile Organic Compounds found in paints. So it’s not completely safe per say to sleep in a newly painted room.

In this article, I will discuss every aspects of this topic so that you can get a better overview.

Can You Sleep in a Freshly Painted Room
Can You Sleep in a Freshly Painted Room?

Can you sleep in a Freshly Painted Room? (The Answer You’re Looking For)

Considering the health hazards of paint fumes, you may be wondering, can you sleep in a freshly painted room? 

Honestly, it is not safe to sleep in a newly painted room as the paint fumes can affect your health. The VOCs lead to headaches, dizziness, troubled breathing, and other allergic reactions. 

The emitted chemicals can also affect the functioning of the central nervous system. It can cause serious issues like miscarriages and birth defects in the case of pregnant women. 

Why Shouldn’t You Sleep in a Freshly Painted Room?

Paint fumes can have adverse effects on your health. Even if the paint dries after some hours, toxic chemicals and fumes can be released for even two weeks. There should be enough ventilation for the fumes to go away. 

The paint fumes contain harsh chemicals and also have a pungent smell. When inhaled, it can lead to nausea and headaches. It also creates a sense of dizziness and makes people uncomfortable. Many people can not even tolerate this smell. 

People generally develop allergic reactions when exposed to these fumes. Skin rashes are quite a common reaction. Also, sneezing and heaviness in the chest may be developed. Children can develop respiratory conditions when exposed to the fumes of paints.

Besides, sleeping in a freshly painted room can feel suffocating. Especially people with asthma can be severely affected as the fumes may block the respiratory passage and even result in panic attacks. They can also lead to congestion.

Why Shouldn’t You Sleep in a Freshly Painted Room?
Why Shouldn’t You Sleep in a Freshly Painted Room?

Different health issues can develop from exposure to VOCs. So, it is generally advised not to sleep in a painted room unless and until the fumes have been eliminated from the room. 

Let’s look at Some of the major reasons at a glance: 

Allergic reactions

The immediate reaction to paint can be seen in the form of allergies. Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include watery eyes, irritation in the skin, runny nose. People may also feel difficulty in breathing. 

Harm the Nervous System

The volatile compounds emitted from paints are toxic and can disrupt the functioning of the nervous system. They can accumulate in the brain and lead to memory loss and coordination impairment.

Damage multiple organs

When you inhale the VOCs, they can pass into the bloodstream. As a result, they can cause damage to multiple organs in the body like the liver, kidneys and lungs.

Potential to cause cancer

Prolonged exposure to paint fumes may lead to cancer. There have been cases that suggest that it is risky for pregnant women if they remain exposed to fresh paints, and it affects the health of the unborn child, and in serious cases, it can also lead to cancer. 

Skin Irritation

Even physical contact with paints can be quite dangerous, and it develops problems like skin itching and rashes. Skin discoloration is also a common issue.   

How long to ventilate after painting?

It is important to ventilate after painting to keep yourself safe from the toxic fumes of the paints. Different types of paints are available like Zero-VOC paint, Low-VOC paint, regular latex paint, and oil-based paints. 

How long to ventilate after painting?
How long to ventilate after painting?

The type of paint used decides how long you should ventilate the room after painting.

Type of paintTime for ventilation
Zero-VOC paint1 day
Low-VOC paint2 days
Regular latex paint2 weeks
Oil-based paint 2 weeks

Can Paint Fumes Affect My Unborn Baby?

Solvent-based paints contain traces of lead and mercury. Lead is highly damaging to the nervous system and affects the functioning of different organs. It can lead to abnormalities in case of unborn babies, and it can impact the birth weight of the baby, It can also lead to miscarriage. 

Besides, the paint fumes can affect the baby’s growth and development. So, paint fumes can affect unborn babies, and it is recommended that pregnant women avoid exposure to these toxic compounds.

Volatile Organic Compounds Effect on Health?

Paint odor is hazardous and can affect different groups of people. Different factors determine the effect of these chemicals on the person’s health. For example, the person’s age, medical conditions, duration of exposure also matter. 

Effect on Adults

Adults have a strong immune system. Still, the risk of respiratory issues, skin problems and allergic reactions persist. They can develop lung problems and face problems in breathing.

Effect on Pregnant women

As pregnant women are more vulnerable to chemical exposure, strong fumes from the paint can lead to nausea and headaches. It also affects the development of the unborn child, which can lead to abnormalities in the baby. 

Effect on children

Children must be kept away from freshly painted rooms as they can easily develop allergic reactions and skin diseases. They can also face problems like watery eyes and sneezing. 

Effect on babies

As babies have low immunity, they can be easily affected due to the toxic volatile compounds present in the paints. Prolonged exposure can lead to childhood cancer and respiratory problems too. 

Can You Do Anything to Get Rid of VOC?

Even if the paint dries away soon, the fumes remain for a good time. The strong smell hovers over the air and makes it difficult to breathe. Some steps can help you get rid of these VOCs faster.

Can You Do Anything to Get Rid of VOC?
Can You Do Anything to Get Rid of VOC?
  • Ensuring proper ventilation.
  • Using paints with low-VOCs or zero-VOCs.
  • Checking the labels carefully and following the safety precautions.
  • Wearing a protective mask can also protect from fumes.
  • Using a fan to vent out the air.

What is Non-VOC Paint, and Why Should You Use it?

Non-VOC paints are healthier paint options. These paints contain 5 gm per liter or less of VOCs. So, they are very safe. Good quality non-VOC paints are mostly odorless, and the fumes can also be eliminated from the room within hours with proper ventilation. So, using non-VOC paints is better as theory possesses a minimal threat to your health. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you sleep in a freshly painted room when pregnant?

During pregnancy, women develop sensitivity towards chemicals and strong smells. Also, the fumes from the paints are so toxic that they may affect the unborn child’s health. In serious cases, this may lead to deformities and other abnormalities. Therefore, during pregnancy, it is not advisable to sleep in a freshly painted room.

Can you sleep in a freshly painted room, Dulux?

Sleeping in a freshly painted room can be dangerous as it may negatively affect your health. You can develop allergies, skin infections, and face difficulty while breathing. One should wait for the toxic paint fumes to evaporate before sleeping in a newly painted room.

How long after painting a room is it safe for the baby?

On the safer side, it is better to wait for about two weeks. Babies don’t have fully developed organ systems and may develop allergic reactions easily. Unless the fumes are completely gone, it is not safe for babies to sleep in a newly painted room.


Freshly painted rooms emit volatile organic compounds that are toxic and hazardous to human health. So, it is recommended to wait for some time to ensure proper ventilation and the fumes are eliminated.

Zero-VOC paints have been introduced that are safer options and release very less odor and fumes. Using such paints can reduce the health risks associated with paint fumes. 

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