How to Paint in Enclosed Spaces

Photo of a closet with several pieces of clothing hanging, Five Star Painting logo on the bottom right
How do you safely paint in enclosed spaces? It’s a question commonly asked by everyone from DIY home improvers to professional home renovators. The answer is, yes, it is doable. But it’s important to consider these 4 key points:

If you’ve been considering a project to upgrade your home, painting a room or wall has likely come to mind. And if you’ve begun the planning process for interior painting, you’ve likely been wondering how to paint in enclosed spaces safely. We’ve fleshed out the 4 key points we recommend you consider when planning your project.

1.) Choose a Low-VOC or VOC-Free Paint

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that are used in some paints. They evaporate quickly at room temperature, and their compounds contain carbon, which reacts with air to create ozone. Because of this, VOC emissions are a potential health and environmental risk factor. VOCs help paint adhere to surfaces like walls, but there are other options for paint that help limit this risk factor.

2.) Use a Fan to Draw Fumes Away from the Work Area

how to paint in enclosed spaces, painting closetsUsing a portable fan to move paint fumes away from the area you are painting can help reduce health risks. A fan that has options for adjusting both height and air direction is best. It’s also a good idea to have an open door or window. The fan can be used to direct paint fumes toward this outlet to help preserve air quality.

3.) Use a Ventilator

Another great way to reduce your VOC exposure is by using a ventilator to help filter out VOCs emitted by a paint project. Using a dust mask alone is not an effective way to keep from inhaling harmful paint fumes in an enclosed space. Five Star Painting recommends a ventilator specifically designed to target VOC removal to improve air quality. Talk with an experienced employee at your local hardware store for specific product recommendations, and price comparisons on models and brands. There are also many online product listings and articles available with further information on the topic.

4.) Open Up Your Enclosed Space

how to paint in enclosed spaces, painting closets

Is there a way to open up your enclosed space? Painting in closets may not offer options that open up a space. However, if it’s an exterior room, maybe you’ve thought of adding a window as a part of the renovation anyway. Doing this before painting is an easy way to help reduce the risks associated with painting in an enclosed space. In addition, maybe you could consider an exhaust fan for your space.

Considering the level of VOCs contained in the paint you choose is not the only safety risk associated with a painting project. Ensuring you have the proper protective gear for your eyes, face, and skin is important as well. When evaluating the updates you have planned, you may decide it makes the most sense to hire a team of professional painters to bring your vision to life. Five Star Painting offers free estimates and allows you to book appointments online or by phone that easily fit into your busy schedule. Learn more about our free estimates.