Asked on Jan 24, 2017

Where do apartment dwellers paint?!

Cori Widen
by Cori Widen
We live in an rented apartment in the middle of the city. I have a bunch of furniture painting projects that I want to embark on, but I'm not sure where to do it with no garage or outdoor space. I'm especially concerned because I have two small kids and don't want lingering fumes. Any ideas? Thanks!
  13 answers
  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Jan 24, 2017
    Hi Cori-
    Does your building have a backyard area? that would be ideal.
    If not, do you have a balcony? If you're concerned about fumes you can place fans around the balcony entrance to direct any unwanted fumes out of your apartment.
    Either way, remember to use a drop cloth to protect your space

    • See 1 previous
    • Lyn Buerger Lyn Buerger on Jan 24, 2017
      If the budget will allow use the low odor paint because if you are blowing the smell outside your neighbors will not be too happy. I know one day I got really sick because my neighbor was blowing his sticky chemicals into my area.

  • Stu Louden Stu Louden on Jan 24, 2017
    Hi Cori,

    Make sure you get a Zero VOC / Low Odor paint that may help cut down the smell... I've used this paint at Home Depot and got good results.

  • Johnchip Johnchip on Jan 24, 2017
    You can rent a small storage unit, many use them as work spaces. (and often first month is free)

  • Mary Mary on Jan 25, 2017
    the storage unit is a great idea, but make sure the company allows paint in there.

  • Cori Widen Cori Widen on Jan 25, 2017
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I'm going to tackle a wooden cabinet next week!

  • Ann Marie Ann Marie on Jan 26, 2017
    Hi Cori,
    I'm assuming that you live in a multi-level building, whether high-rise or low-rise. I know that a lot of buildings in NYC have outside fire escapes with a landing at every level. If this is something your building has, maybe you could use the landing outside your apartment ? Might be a hazard to block it, but I'm sure doing so temporarily wouldn't be a big deal ? Just a thought..............

  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Jan 26, 2017
    Why don't you put and ad on like Craigslist or local yard sale site asking if anyone has some outdoor or shed space you could use?

    • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Jan 27, 2017
      I have a lot of concerns about this because you do not know them and you could be putting your safety in jeopardy. Ask friends and family, co-workers, etc. Maybe check out local schools etc. that do adult education, they may have a suggestion of where you could go or who might have space you could use.

  • Cori Widen Cori Widen on Jan 28, 2017
    Thank you everyone for the suggestions! I'm going to try and do it on my porch with fans facing the opposite while my kids are out for a while and we'll see how it goes. If not, I appreciate all of these ideas!

  • 9530106 9530106 on Jan 29, 2017
    Also, many of the chalk paints available are considered "safe". Just depends on the manufacturer, of course.

  • Kate Sullivan Kate Sullivan on Jan 29, 2017

    These spray tents come in different sizes, depending on your space. It's what I use in my apartment.

  • Lori Lori on Jan 30, 2017
    I have the same problem....I ended up painting and staining projects in my tub (covered in drop clothes) with the bathroom fan on for hours afterwards. Worked well enough even if it was a bit cramped to work in.
    I built a pie safe and footlockers using my tub as work space!

  • Lori Lori on Jan 31, 2017
    You're welcome! Plastic drop cloths work best so nothing sticks to the tile or tub. Just make sure than fan is on high and wear a face mask so you don't breathe in too much paint fumes. Close the door when you're not in there so the fumes don't take over the entire apartment.

  • Louise Louise on Jan 31, 2017
    Add a cap full of vanilla extract to your paint and there will be no odor