Being Safe While Painting: Follow These Precautions

Picture Credit- Home Beautiful Magazine

Design experts agree that there is nothing that can more radically alter a space cheaper and with less effort than painting. Painting can change the entire feel of a room or add a marvelous new accent. It can also be dangerous if not done correctly.  Some paints are poisonous, some are flammable, and some are both.

Paint the Wall, Not Yourself

Keep paint off of your skin as much as possible. Wash with soap and warm water when you’re finished, even if you don’t see any paint. Pay special attention to your hands and double-check before you eat.

Don’t touch your eyes until you’re clean and don’t put food, candy, cigarettes, or anything else in your mouth that may have been contaminated.

Get Some Air

Make sure the room in which you’re painting is properly ventilated, with open windows and fans pointing out. Use a mask that is approved for the type of paint you’re using if you feel there isn’t adequate air flow. Take frequent fresh-air breaks and go outside at the first sign of dizziness or lightheadedness.

Unfriendly Fire

Don’t smoke, use an open flame, or engage any tool or mechanism that creates sparks until painting is complete.

Don’t paint during electrical storms. Many paints are vey flammable and can ignite easily — especially when their fumes are lingering in the air.

Get the Right Paint

Paints can release harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the air. Make sure you buy a low-emitting paint and take a very close look at paint products labeled “Low VOC,” as this typically refers to paint’s impact on outdoor — not indoor — air.

Not a Family Affair

Keep young children, people with breathing problems, and pregnant women away. Children, the elderly, and other vulnerable people can succumb to even modest paint fumes. Just because you’re able to handle it, don’t assume grandma can.

What’s Inside?

Know your paint. It can be presumed that you know to avoid lead, but have you heard of

crystalline silica? It’s found in many latex paints, and when inhaled, can cause lung disease such as silicosis and possibly cancer. To avoid breathing in silica, wear a respirator approved for protection against crystalline silica dust.

Painting can bring a remarkable change to any room and can be done with relatively little money and effort — it can even be fun. Whether you’re painting an accent wall, a room, or the whole house, you can brighten your most intimate environment with a fresh coat of paint.

Painting shouldn’t be dangerous. Use common sense and avoid common dangers associated with painting, and there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. Just remember to lay down a dropcloth.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles who writes on a variety of topics.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • Diigo
  • email
  • Fark
  • Faves
  • Google Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Mixx
  • MySpace
  • Netvibes
  • Posterous
  • Reddit
  • Tumblr

Facebook Comments