Can I paint while pregnant?

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Ah, there's nothing like frantic pregnancy nesting to get the house clean, the nursery painted and all your spouse's ratty underwear thrown out.

But is painting safe you ask?

Well, you've got your two most common types of paint, latex/acrylic paint and oil paint.

Latex is water based and is generally considered a little less noxious than oil based paint which requires solvents to thin and clean up after.

Most sites agree that latex should be fine to use as long as you stop painting if you're feeling lightheaded (hey, stop sawing off your thumb if it starts to hurt while you're at it). Oil paint catches a little more slack because of the solvent factor but, not unlike alcohol, if you dabbled in it before you knew you were pregnant then they say the chances of it doing anything harmful is pretty low. 

Even better seems to be the low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint that most paint companies offer now because it contains even less crap than regular paint and, hey, it's better for the environment anyway. Plus, you can get a jump on all the hippy-treehugger mothers that will try to out "green" you at all the playgroups down the road.

Something that is super bad though is lead. If your house is on the older side, there's a chance that lead paint may have been used to paint previously so sanding is a no-no because ingesting or inhaling it is not good. It gets a little messy here because depending on where you live, there may or may not have been a ban on the sale of lead paint to the public and the dates where countries have banned it vary. You know what, pre-prep sucks anyway so just skip that step.

Painting is an area where I found my supervision skills came in quite handy. Pick the paint chip, assign the work, shuffle in and say "you missed a spot", then shuffle out because you've become "lightheaded".

search: painting during pregnancy, low voc paint, lead in house paint bans

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