Healthy Indoor Painting: Stay Safe Before, During and After

We said this last week, and we’ll say it again—your family’s safety at home is an even bigger deal in the winter when you spend more time inside. In most families’ cases, it’s a LOT more time inside.

And since it isn’t getting any warmer yet around Caseyville, Collinsville and surrounding towns, in this week’s article we’re going to get into Part II of how to keep your family healthy and safe when it comes to interior paints.

We talked last week about the health concerns surrounding paint. Specifically, these are:

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (or VOCs)
  • Additives
  • Crystalline silica
  • And heavy metals (mercury and lead)
Now, the question is, what do you do before, during and after an interior painting project to protect your family from all the above?


Before you paint


Start by choosing water-based paints over oil-based whenever you can. Also be careful to select the least toxic, lowest-VOC product you find. Read the ingredients on any paint product, and ask us at Valor for help deciphering anything you’re unsure about. Remember: even latex paints that are “low-VOC” can still contain other toxic ingredients.

Don’t use exterior paint indoors, either. Spray-painting, while tempting for its easy and even application, is another thing never to do indoors. And, though this isn’t true in the winter, for any painting project in the summer turn off your A/C and cover it with plastic until new coats of paint are fully dry. Air conditioners do not filter indoor air, and you don’t want to pass the paint fumes to the rest of your home.

And finally, test for lead or mercury on any surfaces painted earlier than 2000, even a few layers down.


While you paint


Start by ensuring your painters use all the protective gear specified on the paint label (like gloves and goggles).

Keep paint cans tightly closed when not in use, too. Any time the team takes a break or goes home for the day, paint cans should be closed.

And finally, mind the warnings on the labels. If you’re using an oil-based paint that says “Warming: Flammable” on the can, be prepared to take extra precautions.


After you paint


Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate! Give your newly-painted space two to three days to dry. Kids and anyone at home who’s pregnant should avoid the area, too.

And finally, ensure your painters leave you a little of what paint is left (for touch-ups) and that they commit to disposing of the rest. There are safety requirements for how and where around Belleville paint can be disposed of that a professional painter will help you navigate. For any paint you do keep for later, be sure it is sealed fully and kept out of reach of the kids and fur babies.

Questions? Schedule a consultation with us right here on the website.