If you are at all like me, you might be a bit of a perfectionist and a DIY extraordinaire, especially when it comes to creating that perfect nest for your baby. And taking on painting the walls of your nursery to provide the perfect backdrop is probably no exception. But before you dive in, you want to be sure you are taking the right steps and using the right products to make this a safe project for both you and baby.
First, you need to consider the types of paints out there. Babycenter.com gives us this rundown:
Some paint contains ingredients that you should avoid during pregnancy. In general, paint contains a pigment or dye that’s suspended in a liquid to which thinners, solvents, and drying agents may have been added. The pigments in paint can include metals such as lead, zinc, and aluminum.
Latex (or acrylic) paint
This is the most common type of paint. It doesn’t contain solvents, can be cleaned up with soap and water, and is generally considered safe to use and be around while you’re pregnant as long as the area is well ventilated. If the fumes make you feel ill, though, get fresh air and have someone else finish the job.
Oil-based paint contains solvents and requires turpentine or mineral spirits for cleanup.
Some studies over the years have shown that exposure to solvents may increase the risk of having a miscarriage, and heavy continued solvent exposure may raise the risk of birth defects and learning problems – so using oil-based paint or being around the fumes during pregnancy is generally not recommended.
You can have someone else paint your house using oil-based paints, as long as you aren’t around while they’re painting. It’s okay if you can still smell the paint fumes after the house has been well ventilated. As long as you’re not feeling ill from smelling the fumes, there are no known risks to your baby.
Don’t worry if you painted or were exposed to paint fumes before you knew you were pregnant, as the chance that you harmed your baby is very small
The American Pregnancy Association gives the advice to have someone else complete this project, but in the event that you are just too excited, and must be a part of the project, they offer these guidelines to decrease the likelihood of paint exposure:
- Protect your skin by wearing protective clothing that includes long pants, long-sleeved shirts and gloves
- Be certain that the room and house are well ventilated; open the windows and turn on fans
- Limit the time you spend on the project; take breaks and move into the fresh air frequently
- Keep your food and drinks away from the area so solvents and chemicals will not accidentally be consumed
How did you handle painting your nursery? Did you follow these guidelines, or did you simply hire someone else to do it?