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Using the right PPE for Painting Jobs

Using the right PPE for Painting Jobs

Using the right PPE for Painting Jobs

Whether you are an avid DIY-er giving your living room a facelift or a professional painter about to start a new job, it is important to understand that painting can come with certain health risks. Luckily, with a little bit of knowledge and the right safety equipment you can get the job done safely.


Although painting might seem like a relatively risk-free endeavor, the truth is, it can cause serious bodily harm if the right precautions are not taken. One reason for this is that paint is made out of chemicals that are harmful to people. When it lands on unprotected skin or eyes, it can cause severe irritation. Paint fumes can also cause respiratory problems and headaches.

Another reason is that certain products used in painting, such as oil primer and paint thinner, are highly flammable. Without careful handling, painters run the risk of burns. Finally, exterior painting often requires working at heights, which places painters at risk of falling and injuring themselves.


To keep yourself safe during any residential or commercial painting project, you need the right personal protective equipment (PPE):

  • Gloves: Always wear gloves to protect your hands. Leather or cloth gloves are sufficient for sanding. Solvent-resistant gloves are required for handling paint thinner and other solvents. Impermeable gloves are best for water- and oil-based paint.
  • Eye wear: Use protective eye glasses, eye goggles or a face shield whenever handling paint or paint thinners. It is especially important when painting above your head or spray painting, as well as when sanding.
  • Paint masks: Wear a dust mask or particulate respirator when sanding. If you are very sensitive to chemicals, you should also wear a respiratory mask when using a brush or roller. Note that if you are painting outside in an area with lots of birds, you may need to wear a mask to protect yourself from the harmful pathogens in bird droppings. When you are spray painting, you are best advised to use a paint respirator, as this offers more protection for your airways.
  • Coveralls and shoe covers: A disposable or cotton coverall and disposable shoe covers serve to protect both your clothing and any exposed skin that could become irritated by contact with paint.
  • Hard hat: If you are working at heights like on a ladder, a hard hat is a wise safety precaution, as it can help protect your head if you fall. Additionally, if you are working on a busy construction site, it will protect your head if an object falls on you.
  • Fall arrest: A fall arrest system can consist of a single carabiner or double carabiner that can be attached to a railing to prevent you from falling. It often comes with a harness that straps around the torso and legs for added safety. Scaffolding may also be used in some situations to prevent injuries from falls.
  • Fire extinguisher: It is always important to keep a fire extinguisher on site in case there are any incidents with flammable materials such as paint thinner.


Source: Construction Fastener And Tools Canada