How long after painting a room is it safe?

Painting a room is a great way to add a splash of colour and update the style of your interior. However, after you’ve put down the paintbrush, you may be wondering how long you should wait before moving furniture back in or inhabiting the space. The answer varies depending on factors such as the type of paint used and the ventilation of the room.

What’s the safe wait time after painting a room?

Well…Depends on:

Type of Paint Used

One important factor in determining when a painted room is safe to inhabit is the type of paint that was used. Most paints are acrylic-based and can dry relatively quickly, allowing you to move back into the space within a day or two. However, if an oil-based paint is used, it can take much longer to dry and off-gas. This is because oil paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be harmful to your health if inhaled. Typically, it can take around one to three weeks for oil-based paint fumes to dissipate completely and be safe to inhabit the painted space.


Proper ventilation is crucial while painting and drying a room. Fresh air circulation helps to disperse potentially harmful fumes and decrease the drying time. However, even after the drying process, you need to make sure that the room is well-ventilated before you start using it. Consider opening windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate and remove any paint odours.


Unless you are using low VOC (volatile organic compounds) or odourless paint, you will likely encounter a paint smell after painting a room. The odour is mostly due to the off-gassing of VOCs, which can be harmful if inhaled in significant amounts. Therefore, it’s best to wait until the paint smell dissipates entirely before you start using the room. You can help speed up the process by ensuring proper ventilation.

Humidity and Temperature

Humidity and temperature can also affect the safety of a painted room. High humidity can cause paint to take longer to dry, which can lead to an increased concentration of chemical fumes. To combat this, consider using a dehumidifier and air conditioning. Extreme temperatures, whether it’s too hot or too cold, can also impact drying times and the safety of a painted room. To ensure optimal conditions for drying, try to maintain a temperature between 15 and 25°C.

Overall Safety

The safety of using a painted room depends on a few critical factors, including drying time, ventilation, odour, and curing time. To ensure safe use, following the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying and curing times is best. Consider proper ventilation, and wait until the paint smell has entirely dissipated before using the room. Remember that paint fumes can be harmful, so ensure the room is well-ventilated during the entire process. Finally, avoid touching or hanging anything on the painted walls until the paint is fully cured.

Now that we’ve explored the various factors that can impact the safety of a painted room, it’s clear that the answer to “How long after painting a room is it safe” is not always straightforward. If you’ve used acrylic-based paint and have proper ventilation, you can typically move back in within a day or two. However, for oil-based paints and for those with smaller spaces or inadequate ventilation, it can take much longer for the air to return to a safe level. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for application and allow enough time for the paint to dry and the fumes to dissipate before inhabiting the room. By considering these factors, you can ensure a safer and more comfortable space to live in.

Quality painting is a vital aspect of maintaining and improving any property’s aesthetic appeal and value. It adds a sense of freshness and transforms the feel of the space, making it more inviting and comfortable. Hiring a team of professional painters with experience, knowledge, and use of quality materials ensures a smooth and polished paint job every time. At Nexus, we ensure quality work with no mess left behind, leaving our clients satisfied every time. Contact us today to get a free quote for your painting project.