Paint Safely for a Fresh Look & Fresh Air


A fresh coat of paint can give any room in your home an update, lighten up the room or give it just the right mood. Refinishing furniture can give it a new look for a fraction of the cost of replacing it. But paint and paint thinners can also be harmful to people and pets living in the home.

Paints and paint thinners contain volatile organic compounds, or VOC’s which turn to gases at room temperature and end up in the air you breathe. VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose and throat and cause dizziness and nausea even after a short exposure.  

Woman sitting on a grey sofa reading a magazineLuckily, there are steps you can take to reduce the harmful effects of painting and refinishing. If possible, paint or stain smaller pieces outside. If that’s not possible, make sure all windows and doors are open to allow for air circulation. Fans can help circulate air as well. If you can, schedule painting for a time when people are out of the home, such as a weekday when most occupants are at work or school.  

For larger projects, such as painting interior walls, pets should be boarded at a day care or vet’s office while painting is underway. If you’re doing the work yourself, take frequent breaks to go outside for some fresh air. If you or a family member is especially sensitive to the paint odor, you may need to spend a few days at a hotel while the paint dries and the gases dissipate.

All unused paints and paint thinners should be safely disposed of when the project is done; buy only what you need to complete each project. 
There are also paints and paint thinners available that are low in VOC’s or even free of them. Using these reduces or eliminates the risk of harmful fumes and keeps the air inside healthy. 

Contact Zehnder America today to see how a Zehnder ventilation system can help reduce VOCs and other harmful contaminants in your home.