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Is it dangerous to spray paint indoors: The answer and safety tips

We can’t deny that spray paint indoors brings a lot of convenience as well as very aesthetic results. However, because of that, do not use paint sprayer arbitrarily. Especially in case you use it at home. There is a question that everyone used to wonder: “Is it dangerous to spray paint indoors?”. Let’s find out with Handtoolshouse in this article.

Is it dangerous to spray paint indoors?

You should know that, while spray paint indoors is a great time saver as well as more consistent and beautiful results, it can be quite dangerous if not properly prepared.

Sprayed paint fumes, if not properly ventilated, can irritate the skin, nose, throat, and lungs. Long-term exposure to these fumes can also cause vomiting, headache, nausea, and fatigue. That’s why you need methods to protect yourself properly.


Spraying paint indoors can be dangerous if not prepared carefully


Many standard professional spray paints contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Short- and long-term adverse health effects can be caused by VOCs. VOCs are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids and include a wide range of chemicals. VOCs are emitted from a variety of products including paints, abrasives, and paint removers.

Whether your exposure to VOC fumes is minimal or prolonged, there are certain risks and side effects when you breathe in the smoke. Short-term side effects may include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; headache, loss of coordination, and nausea. Long-term side effects can be dangerous such as damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. 

Some organic substances are even suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. Major signs or symptoms associated with VOC exposure include conjunctival irritation, nasal and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reactions, difficulty breathing, decreased cholinesterase levels serum, nausea, vomiting, epistaxis, fatigue, dizziness. 

How to prepare for spraying paint indoors safely?


You should open all the doors and windows for ventilation

Choose an indoor-friendly paint

VOC levels in excess of 500 ppb can be harmful to people who are sensitive to certain chemicals. Choosing eco-friendly primers and eco-friendly spray paints will help alleviate chemical symptoms, but should still be used with caution.

Cover any item of furniture

While you don’t need to worry about large patches of paint staining your floor, it is essential that you apply a protective layer over the area. Spray paint, well, spray. This means that applying too much can contaminate other furniture or materials in your home. 

Protecting the material from stains can easily be done by covering the area in a protective newspaper or cloth. You should also move any electronic equipment out of the spray area and never spray paint bulbs, wires, or electrical outlets.

Open windows and doors for ventilation

You should only use spray paint in well-ventilated areas. Open any windows and turn on fans if available. The fumes from spray paint, even if you are using a low odor paint, are not good if you breathe them in for any length of time. 

A gentle breeze is essential to move harmful fumes away from you and your family members, even if you are using non-toxic spray paint. If you cannot open a window, you should move your project outdoors or use a ventilation mask while painting.

After painting, leave the windows as open as possible for two to three days to allow the paint fumes to escape from the room. During this time, you should plan to avoid entering a freshly painted room.

Purchased and installed exhaust fan to spray exhaust gas

Do not use a fan in water as a way to remove spray paint exhausts. Toxic substances and chemicals in spray paint can cause reactions and in some cases lead to small fires and explosions inside.

Before you start spraying inside, check the product you plan to use. Some RAL aerosols and spray paints are available for internal use, but not all of them. Remember to check the manual first.

Frequently asked questions


You should wear protection mask when spraying paint indoors

How long can the paint fumes dissipate?

Any paint with the “Green Seal” symbol has low enough VOCs that you could sleep in the room the same day the paint was painted as harmless. 

However, the paint is odorless and will smell for at least 24 hours after painting. Usually, the odor will subside in 2-3 days if you keep the room well-ventilated.

Do I need to wear a mask when spraying paint?

When spraying paint, you should wear a paint protection mask. Respirators prevent many microscopic and scent-free particles from entering your airways during paint and repair projects. Masks protect from chemicals, toxic vapors, and mold spores.

How long should I ventilate the room after painting?

A “general rule” to avoid unwanted exposure to paint vapors (and to return the air to an acceptable quality). Given this fact, ventilation should be continued for 2 or 3 days. Follow the paint can instructions to safely clean brushes and other equipment.

Is spray paint toxic when dry? 

Most indoor spray paint is perfectly safe to dry. It should be safe to touch, and it’s okay to have it in the house, as long as it’s not swallowed. However, you should still be cautious when applying spray paint and wait for the paint to dry.

Final Thoughts

So through this article, you have understood the answer to the question: Is it dangerous to spray paint indoors? Always remember that if you do not prepare carefully as well as protect your body carefully, using a paint sprayer indoors will bring unfortunate consequences for your health.

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