What Happens If You Spray Paint Without Ventilation?

Man spraying blue paint onto exterior of home

It's hard to resist the allure of paint in a spray can. No more messy brushes, no dripping trays, and you can paint practically anything; spray paint seems like a miracle in a can. 

Using conventional spray paint indoors, however, can be dangerous if it isn't done correctly. Spray paint fumes, if not ventilated properly, can irritate the skin, nose, throat, and lungs. Prolonged exposure to these fumes can also cause vomiting, headaches, nausea, and fatigue. Here are some necessary tips and tricks for using spray paint indoors.

Ventilation is key

You should only use spray paint in a well-ventilated area. Open any windows and turn on a fan if you have one. The fumes from spray paint, even if you're using a low odor paint option, are not good to inhale for any period of time. Creating a cross breeze is essential to moving potentially harmful fumes away from you and your family members, even if you're using environmentally friendly spray paint. If you cannot open a window, you should move your project outdoors or utilize a ventilated mask while painting. 

Protect other items in your home

Even though you don't need to worry about large globs of paint getting onto your floor, it's essential to cover the area with a protective layer. Spray paint, well, sprays. This means that overspray could contaminate other pieces of furniture or materials in your home. Protecting these items from excess paint is easy to do by covering the area in a newspaper or protective cloths. You should also move any electronics away from the spray painting area and never spray paint light bulbs, wires, or power outlets. 

Allow time for the paint to fully cure

Some people love spray paint because it dries so quickly: at least, that's what we think. In fact, it can take a full 24 hours for the paint to cure. Any minor scratches or fingerprints can happen before then and create an annoying mark to fix later.

Choose an environmentally friendly option

VOC levels that exceed 500 ppb can be harmful to people who have a sensitivity to certain chemicals. Choosing an eco friendly primer and environmentally friendly spray paint will help ease chemical symptoms, but should still be used with caution. 

If you need to spray paint indoors, picking out paint matters. Spray paint is just one popular option among homeowners today because of their wide range of use. At ECOS, many of our paints can be sprayed using an airless sprayer. Consider investing in a spray applicator to create a professional finish for your next paint job. Shop our most popular wall paints today!

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