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Discussion:
Dealing With Paint Fumes
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I am haveing my tiny apartment painted this summer, there are no windows, the patio door I can open, no cross ventilation. Will running the A/C help, or what if anything can I do to help get the fumes out. I can’t leave, so that is not an option.

I know you guys are going to tell me what to do. LOL Bring it on!
Posted on 02/20/11, 08:04 am
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Reply #1 - 02/20/11  9:55am
" I had my room & some ceilings painted not long ago. He used low VOC paint on the walls, but had to use primer on the ceilings & it drove me downstairs for days & thats with everything open & the AC on!! I dunno Granny, paint is really bad. I think it was the primer that REALLY got to me though. That Kilz stuff. Just about killed me! See you get your eyes fixed & now you see walls that need painting :>)) "
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Reply #2 - 02/20/11  11:15am
" LOL you're Deb, I guess there is nothing to do but deal with it, cause I need to paint. "
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Reply #3 - 02/20/11  12:33pm
" the least you can do besides the low voc paints....is to make sure you have a couple of fans going! blow the fumes out!

and make sure the air conditioner is set to not recycle the old air...you want the outside air coming in....i'd think.

good luck!

ps and dont let them paint you into the corner! "
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Reply #4 - 02/20/11  3:38pm
" Grannie, are you on oxygen? If you use an oxygen concentrator, could you put it on your deck so that it would be using the outside air? Or if you have the old fashioned delivery-type tanks for on the go, this would be even better. At the very least I'd get a couple of surgical-type masks. And I would spend as much time outside as possible while the paint dries. Personally, paint fumes have made me very sick in the past. Good luck to you! vicki "
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Reply #5 - 02/20/11  3:55pm
" In the past month I painted the kitchen, living room, hallway, a bedroom and a bathroom with no windows opened because it was about 10 degrees. I had no problem with my breathing and my FEV1% last tested was 18%. That's one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. It's all in the paint.. "
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Reply #6 - 02/20/11  4:38pm
" While some are lucky like Tom, your not alone Granny.. the fumes can really be tough on most people with lung issues.
A couple of tricks..
Deb mentioned low VOC paints. Some paint companies also have an additive they can use to further reduce the odor.. still have the fumes but less..
see if they can paint early in the morning and get done early after noon so you have time to ventilate as much as possible before having to close up for the night. Paint fumes are at their strongest when applying and drying .. at least that's what I was told.

Set your fans, one at the patio door to draw the odor outside ( don't have it blow inside at first) and place another fan across the room blowing towards the patio's fan.

Wishing you luck... lots of circulating air is always the best!

Excellent reminder from Vicki to put your concentrator outside!! "
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Reply #7 - 02/20/11  5:17pm
" I wouldn't allow them to use oil based paint for primer or finish. Too many volatile fumes and slower drying. Use a good water based primer and final finish water based latex or acrylic paint. The low VOC paint is also a good idea but extra cost may be a factor, and I still wouldn't use it if it was oil based.

There are several different kinds of Kilz primer. A product called Kilz 2 is an excellent water based latex primer that dries to the touch in 30 minutes and can be painted over in a little over an hour. Although it is milder in fumes than any other primer I've found, you should still get out of there for a few hours and then air the place out when you return. I use it to prime and seal canvas before using acrylic gesso. It dries quickly and is pretty odorless.

Sleeping in a house with very strong oil paint fumes for an extended length of time can cause chemical pneumonia if you already have lung issues. "
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Reply #8 - 02/20/11  5:53pm
" Thanks Y'all, I knew you could me, I printed all the info, the painter is coming by Wednesday to give and estimate. So I will ask him the qestions.

I am on the concentrator and I can put it on the patio. Last time it was painted I had noproblem so I used Benjamin Moore Flat and Semi,my fave, they do have VOC paints, so I will check it out. Nothing needs priming or kilzed, white is my color. Thanks everyone. "
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Reply #9 - 02/20/11  7:05pm
" Hi grannie if you get a raw onion a whole one and cut it in half it absorbs all the fumes into it trust me it really works just put it in the room were the painting is being done

skye xxx "
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Reply #10 - 02/20/11  8:35pm
" Thank you Skye, my neighbor told me that, so that is on my list. I love onions so that will be no problem. Thanks! "

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