While most locations within a house or apartment can be avoided if necessary, we all need somewhere to sleep. It’s important to know when a bedroom can be used after plastering.
It’s safe to sleep in a freshly plastered room if you follow the safety protocols. Clear the space of any dust from the dry plaster mix, open windows, and consider running a radiator on low heat to escalate the drying time. Plaster doesn’t emit fumes, so it shouldn’t adversely affect your sleep.
When redecorating a home, plastering is usually the least intrusive job in a bedroom. Plaster a room early in the day, and you’ll be able to sleep soundly at night, assuming you have cleaned up after the job.
Is it OK to Sleep in a Freshly Plastered Room?
For many of us, it’s hard to envisage going any prolonged period without access to our bedroom. Sleeping in a familiar bed and enjoying a reliable routine ahead of retiring for the night is often key to a good night’s sleep.
Heading to a bedroom may not always be an option, especially when undertaking home improvements or repairs. In such an instance, a bedroom wall may need to be plastered.
Plastering is the art of applying a layer to an interior wall. Usually, this is done before painting to provide a smooth finish, or it could accompany a more significant task like rendering or soundproofing the wall.
In theory, there’s no reason why you won’t be able to sleep in a bedroom that has been plastered after just an hour or two. That’s an ideal case scenario, though. Plastering is often a messy business, and other chemicals will be involved.
You shouldn’t sleep in the room for several days if you apply paint to a wall after plastering it, especially oil-based paint. If it was just plaster used, you could sleep in the bedroom the same night, provided you follow some safety protocols.
Are Plaster Fumes Dangerous?
Plaster doesn’t release fumes. Most forms of plaster are constructed from gypsum, cement, or lime. The plaster is a dry powder turned into a paste when mixed with water and applied to a wall.
Unfortunately, it isn’t immediately safe to breathe in just because plaster doesn’t release any fumes. When mixing the dry powder with water, particles can enter the atmosphere. Unfortunately, these particles can irritate the throat if you don’t ventilate the room.
At best, this will cause a cough and sore throat. If you have a lung condition like asthma or COPD, plaster dust can aggravate it and lead to an attack. That can be more dangerous if it occurs while you sleep.
Be wary of this if you have plastered a room to cover another issue, such as black mold or damp spores. Until the plaster fully dries, it won’t block anything unsuitable from entering the atmosphere.
Be mindful of PVA glue, which is often used in plastering. While this product is water-based and thus not typically considered toxic to breathe in, anybody with an allergy must be mindful of potential hazards.
How Long Does Plaster Take to Dry?
None of the concerns discussed above are relevant once the plaster is dry. Plasterboard applied to a wall will usually be fully dry after three days. Before this, you can sleep in the room, but be careful not to damage the plaster.
You’ll know that plaster is dry by the color. Freshly applied plaster will be a dark shade of brown. Once it has dried, the plaster will be pale pink across the entire wall. There won’t be any dark or discolored patches on completely dry plaster.
Don’t attempt to add or amend anything to do with the plaster until it is fully dry. That means no painting and no wallpapering. As mentioned, there won’t be any fumes from damp plaster, so that’s not a concern.
You can speed up drying plaster using a radiator if you’re keen to regain full use of a bedroom. Don’t use a dehumidifier, as plaster needs humidity, and extracting all moisture from the air will leave your freshly plastered wall cracked.
If your plaster is still damp and tacky to the touch after around a week, investigate your wall for dampness or leaks. If you have followed these steps and slept in the room for a few days, the surface should be completely dry and smooth.
Is Condensation After Plastering a Problem?
When the plaster is applied to a wall, it creates a damp layer that skims a dry surface. The plaster will usually take at least three days to dry. While this occurs, the wet plaster’s moisture needs to go somewhere.
If you keep your bedroom windows closed during the plastering process, they will likely steam up. Condensation after plastering is a certainty in a room that lacks airflow, and this is one of many reasons why, as we’ll discuss in a moment, you should open windows in a room that has been plastered or reskimmed.
If you keep windows open – even if just cracked – and apply a heat source to the room, the condensation won’t last long. When the plaster is dry, you shouldn’t experience the issue further.
If the problem persists, you should seek professional assistance because condensation, especially in a bedroom, is not something to ignore long-term. Condensation will lead to dampness, which will turn cause black mold to grow in the bedroom.
The journal Biology explains that black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) is a dangerous toxigenic. It’s even more problematic in a bedroom, where we’ll breathe it in while we sleep for hours.
Should I Leave Windows Open After Plastering?
When fresh plaster has been applied to a wall, windows should always be left open. There are many reasons for this, including the following:
- Ventilation is critical to resolving the concerns surrounding condensation in a freshly plastered room.
- Open windows allow any dry plaster particles to escape the room, making it less likely that you’ll breathe them in.
- You’ll likely have a radiator on to speed up the plaster drying – open windows can counter the increase in temperate.
- The air quality will be improved. While plaster doesn’t smell or release fumes, you’ll know it’s there.
If you can bolster the improvements in air quality caused by opening windows in your home using fans, do so. The more air and oxygen are redistributed around a room, the better you will sleep at night.
Of course, this potentially leads to an issue with sleep. If you are used to dozing in silence, the sound of fans – and, more pertinently, an open window if you live in a large and noisy city – may keep you awake.
The benefits of ventilating a freshly plastered room remain prominent, so work around this. Check websites like YouTube for white noise recordings designed to aid sleep, or download an app and play it on your phone.
Preparing a Bedroom for Sleep After Plastering
You’ll be able to sleep in your bedroom the same day it is plastered. If you have a lung condition like asthma or COPD, consider sleeping elsewhere for the night. If that’s not an option, keep an inhaler handy.
Follow these steps to ensure that a bedroom is safe for sleeping after plastering:
- Thoroughly clean the room from top to bottom with a duster and vacuum cleaner.
- Beat any rugs, bedsheets, and other materials holding plaster dust outside the house.
- Open all the windows in the room for ventilation and use fans to distribute air if you have any.
- Consider turning on a heat source, but don’t allow this to interrupt your sleep. If necessary, fill a hot water bottle with ice water to remain cool in bed.
- Ensure you won’t damage the drying plaster overnight. Move your bed further from the plastered wall if necessary.
You should be able to conduct your usual bedtime routine at this stage. Prepare yourself as you ordinarily would and enjoy a blissful night of sleep. There’s no reason for a newly plastered wall to disturb your sleep or impact your health.
Plastering is often essential when undertaking DIY jobs in a home, but it doesn’t need to be intrusive or annoying. Most people can sleep well the same day that a bedroom is plastered. Take precautions if you’re vulnerable, but plastering shouldn’t disturb your sleep routine.