Getting the nursery ready for a newborn is tons of fun. Just be wise if your prep includes painting. While there are no studies documenting the effects of painting while pregnant, it is recommended to avoid exposure to oil-based paints, lead, and mercury. Lead-based paints were commonly used prior to the 1970s so do not scrape or sand old paint due to the risk of lead exposure. Also, when you paint, wear protective clothing, open windows, take fresh air breaks, and keep food and drinks away from the area.