Painting Your  Healthcare Facility: Tips, Tricks & Standard Practices

Painting the interior or exterior of commercial buildings is disruptive – yet necessary – for the health of your business. However, when it comes to healthcare facility painting, there are factors to consider and standards to meet for the health and safety of employees, patients, and visitors.

This article will look at the SOP for painting healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, dental offices, medical clinics, nursing homes, ERs, and medical offices. There’s a lot to consider when undertaking paint projects in healthcare-related spaces, including paint quality, the psychological effects of wall colors, safety, and more.

Hospital Painting

Paint plays a considerable role in the perception of a hospital’s environment, including the level of cleanliness and comfort. Hospitals are expected to be clean and sterile, and cracked or peeling paint in any area can sabotage this perception. After all, time spent in hospitals is typically stressful for all involved – patients, visitors, and medical professionals – so projecting a soothing and inviting environment is paramount to a positive experience.

Painting hospital walls and exteriors is not a DIY project, given the safety requirements and paint standards required for such an undertaking – especially when painting interior spaces. So, it’s essential to leave the job to painting professionals to ensure the safety of those working, residing, and visiting the facility.

Hospital Paint Standards

Safety should be a top priority in hospital room painting, including proper prep procedures like sealing all cracks and vents in the painted area. Paint professionals must take extra precautions to prevent dirt, dust, and fumes from escaping the space, and cleanup throughout the project is paramount.  Experienced healthcare facility paint professionals will work with facility administrators and operators to determine the least disruptive and safest methods and schedule possible.

In addition to safety and scheduling, selecting the proper paint is also critical to hospital painting projects. Hospital grade paint can withstand extensive cleaning without jeopardizing the integrity of the application, which is why semi or full gloss coatings are preferred. Also, experienced healthcare facility painting professionals should recommend low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds) products, which emit lower fumes and lack lingering paint odors. And finally, many facilities are required to select coatings that meet green certification requirements.

Using Antimicrobial Paint for Hospitals

Paint has come a long way over the years, especially where health concerns are a factor. In addition to low or no VOC coatings, manufacturers have created antimicrobial paint for hospitals and other healthcare facilities that incorporate additives to inhibit the growth and spread of bacteria and germs. Healthcare professionals prefer antibacterial paint for hospitals because of its ability to kill certain types of drug-resistant bacteria, such as E.coli, MRSA, Staph, and more.

Hospital Paint Color Ideas

Hospital paint standards for safety are critical, yet aesthetics are equally important. We’ve discussed the psychological effects of color and the importance of color psychology in commercial painting before, and it’s significant for healthcare facilities where stressors are common. Color selection for hospital room painting should inspire calm to soothe the apprehension most often associated with hospital visits. We suggest selecting your color schemes based on the room’s function, as specific rooms cater to different audiences.

Hospital Waiting Room Paint Colors

Hospital waiting rooms are often fraught with anxiety as visitors await news of their loved ones. Many facilities gravitate toward soothing colors in these areas, such as light blue, which is associated with calm and trustworthiness. Of course, white is a popular color for evoking a sense of openness and cleanliness; however, an all-white room devoid of color may appear too stark and inadvertently increase anxiety levels. If white is the preference, consider using an off-white and accenting it with soft colors.

Hospital Walls Paint Color Ideas

Whether wayfinding walls or hospital room walls, the paint colors should serve the same objective – soothe apprehension and promote health. In recent years, hospitals have favored a biophilic approach to design, which incorporates the colors and aesthetics found in nature to promote overall well-being and happiness1. This approach can be especially beneficial in hospital room painting where windows and views aren’t available.

Overall, your objective when selecting hospital paint colors should focus on easing anxiety and promoting calm. Professionals with hospital painting experience can be an instrumental tool in choosing the color scheme that accomplishes your safety and aesthetic goals.

Dental Office Painting

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Have you ever met someone excited about a dentist visit? Probably not. Like hospitals, dentists’ offices inspire anxiety – even fear for some. The last thing a visitor needs is exposure to a color scheme that exacerbates these feelings. So, dental office paint colors should inspire calm, trust, and confidence.

Dental Office Paint Color Ideas

When considering dental office painting ideas, it’s essential to look at the space’s customers, specifically adults or children. If it’s a pediatric dental space, we recommend white, off-white, or very neutral wall colors with bright accents. Bold accent colors can promote energy and playfulness, which can help alleviate any anxiety in children.

For adult dentist office spaces, neutral colors will imbue the space with calm to help relieve anxiety. Furthermore, pastel and biophilic accent colors – a mood-boosting yellow or soothing green – on walls or other areas will promote tranquility in stressful and apprehensive situations.

Medical Clinic Painting

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Medical clinics are for medical procedures that do not require overnight stays in a hospital. Color schemes in these spaces should welcome and calm visitors, which is why we recommend selecting clinic paint colors that are soothing yet professional.

Medical Clinic Paint Color Ideas

Since the time spent in medical clinics is a day or less, clinic paint colors can embrace more personality than hospital color schemes. We recommend neutral wall colors like ivory and taupe for clinic painting ideas and color schemes. These spaces also benefit from biophilic color schemes that create a soothing space that feels “alive”.

Nursing Homes Painting

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Unlike other color considerations for medical painting projects, nursing homes are intended for extended stays rather than just visits – most likely becoming a new “home” for residents. Although nursing homes have plenty of visitors, the primary customer should feel comfortable and familiar with their new surroundings.

Nursing Home Paint Color Ideas

When selecting paint colors for nursing homes, neutral wall colors are winners for their calming nature. Additionally, nursing homes can benefit from warm accents in browns and oranges to create a “homey” environment or pastels to exude serenity and peace.

ER Painting

When it comes to ER painting, the same color suggestions for hospitals generally apply to ER waiting room waiting and patient’s rooms, i.e., neutral color schemes designed to create a sense of calm. However, a different approach is necessary for the actual operating rooms.

ER Paint Color Ideas

Although neutral colors are best for ER common areas, we recommend avoiding white – especially in the operating rooms. The dominant color in operating rooms is red – yes, blood red. Studies have shown that when an individual stares at such an intense color for an extended period, blue-green spots can appear when they look up to a white surface. Therefore, ER operating rooms are often blue or green, just like scrubs. These colors counteract the red.

Medical Office Painting

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Many medical office visits are voluntary rather than necessary, so paying particular attention to aesthetics is vital to welcoming visitors, which is why we recommend selecting hues that promote a calming, professional atmosphere for medical office paint colors.

Medical Office Paint Color Ideas

Medical offices are much more aesthetically driven than medical clinics since they are voluntary services. Your medical office paint colors should create a modern, welcoming, and professional environment. Of course, when considering medical office painting ideas, the colors should complement the overall decor, including furniture, floor coverings, and lighting to create a professional and inviting space.

Painting or repainting interiors and exteriors of healthcare facilities are critical to the overall experience of both staff and visitors. The benefits of hiring a professional team for your healthcare painting are numerous – knowledge and adherence to industry standards, professional and efficient service, and minimal business interruption.  

Furthermore, healthcare and ER painting services, like Precision Painting and Decorating, can help you select the color schemes and applications that best compliment your practice and help your patient and customers’ overall sense of well-being.

Contact PPD Painting Today for a Quote


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