Paint and drywall questions


Jul 11, 2013
Apollo (8 years old Sunday conure), and Ari (7 years old jenday conure) and Cosmo 9 years old goffins cockatoo). All DNA tested females.
I am in the process of replacing the plaster walls in my house with drywall, one room at a time. I have started with the 200 square feet room where my birds spend the majority of the time. They are being kept a few rooms away. I have heard that there is a concern about drywall mud while it is drying. Then there’s the paint and primer. I plan on buying low or zero voc paint and primer. I’m thinking that brush and roller would be preferable vs a paint sprayer so as not to atomize the paint. I will seal the door ways of the room. I have a good air scrubber with a true HEPA filter and a pre filter that can be swapped for a carbon pre filter. It cost me near $700. I plan on running it 24/7 in the room being remodeled. It should be able to change that room’s air at least 10 times per hour on high. I also have a normal household air purifier, also with a true HEPA and pre filter.

How long after the final coat of paint dries would it be safe to move the birds back in the room? What other concerns and precautions are there?
Hmmm, never heard anything about drywall mud, AFIK it would just be water that is evaporating. But modern industrial science keeps coming up with faster , quicker ways to slowly kill us.

Paint, it sounds like you are taking great steps to assure the birds are not affected.
My rule - if you can detect the slightest hint of fumes, its not safe for the birdies. I would think 7-10 days after painting, with all your steps above, should be sufficient.
How old in your home?

Removing Lath and horse hair plaster is messing and that room needs to be vented to the great outdoors with a fan pulling air from the room to the outdoors. Drywall (2' x 4') board is very dangerous because of contamination and also 4' x 8' board sold in the 60's, 70's and 80's for the same reasons. New drywall boards are safe as is the joint compound purchased in the last two decade. In all cases sanding drywall and joint compound is dangerous because of the fine particles and should, as stated above, be vented to the great outdoors.

Modern paint, specifically water based paint is kind of safe. Be very careful of primers as each is very different and run the gamut from very dangerous to kind of dangerous. Today, the biggest problem is density of the off-gassing in the air. Always fan vent to the great outdoors while applying and at least 10 - 12 hours afterwards. Never close-off a freshly painted room as off-gassing can occur for up to 4 days after painting. It is better to leave a window open to the great outdoors for a few days.

The number of coats and their thickness is the true guide of how long. All guidelines are based on a professional painter applying the primer and paint, which is commonly very thin and as few coats as they can get away with.

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