Professionals know what they’re doing. They know and are familiar with all the safety steps they need to follow for a painting project. DIYers—meaning those of us who are simply homeowners and have decided to do our own painting or repainting—may not be so knowledgeable yet. So, to help keep you safe and injury-free, below is a list of home painting safety tips to always follow for simple painting projects.
Keep in mind that these safety tips cover small painting projects at home. Bigger painting projects, such as those that require more advanced equipment such as airless spray guns, come with even more painting safety tips.
1. Don’t forget to wear protective gear
Remember to pick up protective gear while you’re at the hardware store for paint and painting tools. Protective gear may not be the most exciting thing to shop for but they are essential.
For example, wear a respirator mask especially if you’re working with solvent-based paint. Though some paints, specifically those that are water-based, do not smell as strong, it’s still best to wear a mask to avoid inhaling paint fumes. Also on the topic of paint fumes is adequate ventilation. When working indoors, make sure you open the windows and doors of the room you’re painting in.
You’ll also need rubber gloves in addition to a mask and goggles when handling paint thinners and wood bleach—handle these chemicals with extra care! Work gloves are also necessary if you’re working on other home improvement tasks that require tools like a hammer or saw. A mask is also essential when sanding.
2. Know that some paints and solvents are extremely flammable
Take note that some of the items you will be taking home and using for your paint project may be extremely flammable.
Here’s a painting safety tip: At the hardware store, don’t forget to ask if the paint you’re buying is water- or solvent-based. It’s not only useful for knowing if your paint will have a strong chemical smell but will also tell you if your paint is flammable and will therefore require extra precautions from you.
When around solvent-based paint and other solvents like paint thinners, make sure there are no open flames around such as from gas stoves and candles. Importantly, do not smoke around these products as well.
3. Choose safe paint products
So what exactly should you be looking for if you want safe paint products? A good place to start is to check if your chosen paint is lead safe and low-VOC.
All Boysen paints are certified lead safe by the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN). Lead is a toxic metal that can cause serious and permanent health damage. In the past, lead was widely used in the manufacturing of paint. Today, many efforts are being made to remove it from household products such as the Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds (Administrative Order No. 2013-24) issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Next, see if the paint is low-VOC. VOC stands for volatile organic compound. VOCs are released into the air as paint dries and causes harm to humans and the environment. Boysen follows the Green Seal standard and manufactures water-based coatings that are within international VOC limits.
4. Be careful when using ladders
It may be necessary for you to climb up a ladder for your painting project. The most important safety goal when using ladders is to avoid falls.
Before using, do a couple of safety checks. Check for stability (you don’t want to get on a shaky ladder), that no parts are missing especially the ladder’s anti-slip shoes, and that all the steps are sturdy and level. If you have a metal ladder, check for corrosion.
When climbing, keep alert and focused on the task. There’s no need to rush. Always maintain three-point contact—that’s either one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot—with the ladder. Wear appropriate shoes that will keep you from slipping. Do not stand on the last two upper steps of a ladder as this will make the ladder unstable and prone to tipping.
5. Clean up well
Remove your protective floor covering (a.k.a. the newspapers or cardboard you’ve placed on your floor) carefully so as not to spread around any paint that your covering has caught.
If you have to store leftover paint and other painting products, replace lids firmly and make sure to keep them in an area inaccessible to children and pets. Again, keep solvent-based paints away from sources of fire.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after a painting project. Baby oil will help get stubborn paint flecks off the skin.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. It takes just a little bit more effort to learn and follow painting safety tips so why not, right? Especially if they can keep you from having to suddenly rush to the emergency room.
For any inquiries on Boysen products such as low-VOC paints, feel free to consult with our Technical Team. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (02) 8363-9738 local 413 to 418 during office hours.