Safety Precautions for Painters

When painting your home yourself –you should adhere to some safety precautions. It is important to remember that all paintings have chemicals in them that will vary in consistency. If you or anyone else else inhales these chemical fumes, it could pose a health hazards. Read all the information that is printed on the cans of any paint, solvents, and paint strippers you are using.

Health risk precautions

• Do not paint for long periods and take short breaks to get some fresh air.
• If you start to feel dizzy, have watery eyes, or nauseous, stop, and go outside to get some fresh air.
• Make sure that the room you are painting has good ventilation

General safety precautions

• It is crucial that you choose the right type of paint as there are two different types: latex / water-based or oil based / alkyd, which is a type of resin paint. Most of the oil-based paints contain thinners. These thinners emit fumes that are poisonous because they are made of volatile organic compounds (VOC) so look for paintings that are marked 0 VOC, which means that they are environment-friendly. This type of paint does dry quickly. It is advisable that when painting indoors that you use latex paint.
• If you have to use paint stripper to remove the old paint try to never get it into your nose or eyes so wear a face mask. Also, make sure that the room is well ventilated and wear chemical resistant gloves. Before you use it, make sure that you carefully read the instructions on the can. You should use the one that has solvents that quickly evaporate.
• Even if the paintings do not appear to have an odor they can contain toxic vapors that if inhaled can be dangerous. This is why it is important that you have the windows open to get a cross breeze or even use fans. You should wear fitted painter's gloves and masks or the disposable nose masks. They will effectively keep out the odors and dust while painting.
• Painters should also use drop cloths to protect the floors from paint spills or drops from the brushes or rollers. It is best if you use the canvas drop cloths because the plastic drop cloths are slippery. You can use the plastic ones to cover the furniture and other things in the room if you paint the ceiling.
• When using a ladder to reach the higher parts of the room or ceiling make sure that it is placed firmly on an even surface. Do not stand on the very top to reach the ceiling.
• Wash your hands thoroughly when done to make sure that the toxic chemicals are not absorbed into the skin.