is it ok to sleep in a freshly plastered room?
Sleep Safety

Can You Sleep in A Room with Drying Plaster?

Last Updated on: 30th September 2023, 08:37 am

While most locations in a house or apartment can be avoided, 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 dust from the dry plaster mix, open windows, and consider running a radiator on low heat to reduce 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. Plaster a room early in the day, and you’ll be able to sleep soundly at night, assuming you’ve 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 too long without access to our bedroom. Sleeping in a familiar bed and enjoying a reliable routine before retiring 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 this 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 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. 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.

are plaster fumes dangerous?

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, breathing isn’t immediately safe just because plaster doesn’t release fumes.

When mixing the dry powder with water, particles can enter the atmosphere. Unfortunately, these particles can irritate the throat and eyes 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 the condition, which can be more serious if it occurs while you sleep.

Be wary of this if you have plastered a room to cover another issue, like black mold or damp spores. Until the plaster fully dries, it won’t block them from entering the atmosphere.

Be mindful of PVA glue, which is often used in plastering. While water-based and not considered toxic to breathe in, people with an allergy must be mindful of such 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 3-5 days. Before this, you can sleep in the room, but be careful not to damage the vulnerable plaster.

You’ll know that plaster is dry by the color.

Freshly applied plaster will be a dark shade of brown. Once 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 or wallpapering. As mentioned, there won’t be any fumes from damp plaster, so that’s not a concern.

You can speed up drying plaster with a radiator to regain your bedroom. Don’t use a dehumidifier, as plaster needs humidity, and extracting all moisture from the air will leave a plastered wall cracked.

Check the wall for dampness or leaks if the plaster is still damp and tacky after around a week. The surface should be completely dry and smooth after 5 days.

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 3-5 days to dry. While this occurs, the wet plaster’s moisture needs to go somewhere.

If you keep your bedroom windows closed during plastering, they’ll likely steam up.

Condensation after plastering occurs in a room that lacks airflow. This is one of many reasons why you should open windows in a room that has been plastered or reskimmed.

The condensation won’t last long if you keep windows open and apply a heat source to the room. 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 cause black mold to grow in the bedroom.

The journal Biology explains that black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) is 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?

Should I Leave Windows Open After Plastering?

When fresh plaster has been applied to a wall and the surface is no longer tacky, windows should be left open. There are many reasons for this, including the following:

  • Ventilation is critical to resolving condensation concerns 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 temperature.
  • 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 leads to an issue with sleep. If you’re used to sleeping in silence, the sound of fans – and, more pertinently, an open window if you live in a large, noisy city – may keep you awake.

The benefits of ventilating a newly plastered room remain prominent, so work around this. Check 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 can sleep in a bedroom the same day it’s plastered. If you have a lung condition like asthma or COPD, consider sleeping elsewhere for the night.

Follow these steps to ensure that a bedroom is safe for sleeping after plastering:

  1. Clean the room from top to bottom with a duster and vacuum cleaner.
  2. Beat any rugs, bedsheets, and other materials holding plaster dust outside the house.
  3. Open all the windows in the room for ventilation and use fans to distribute air if you have any.
  4. Consider turning on a heat source, but don’t allow this to interrupt your sleep. If necessary, fill a water bottle with cold water to remain cool in bed.
  5. Ensure you won’t damage the drying plaster overnight. Move your bed further from the plastered wall if necessary.

Conduct your usual bedtime routine at this stage. 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 the home, but it doesn’t need to be intrusive or annoying. Most people can sleep well the same day a bedroom is plastered.