Safety Tips for DIY Painting Projects

landlord helpThe weather is heating up, and the time has come to spruce up rental properties.

But before you pick up that paint roller or climb a ladder, take a look at some safety tips from the Paint Quality Institute that can keep you — and your tenants, out of harm’s way:

The basic gear you need for a safe DIY paint job are: gloves, safety glasses or goggles, a dust-mask for sanding, and sensible shoes with a good grip.

Skin protection:
Wear the appropriate gloves: cloth or leather gloves for sanding and scraping, impermeable gloves for applying water-based paint, solvent-resistant chemical gloves for handling solvent-based products.

Eye protection:
Use eye goggles or glasses, or a face mask.

Lung Protection:
Wear an anti-dust mask whilst sanding a surface or a solvent-respirator if working with solvent-based products.
Ensure good ventilation with open windows and doors.
Remove sources of ignition.

Handling Solvent-based Products
All organic-based solvents ” including white spirit, solvent-based paints, solvent-based thinners and primers, solvent-based wood treatment products as well as paint strippers ” represent potential health hazards, and require that particular precaution be taken both in use and in storage.

Here are some tips:
Read the label carefully for information on safety and health-related issues.
Solvents are highly flammable ” keep these paints away from all sources of heat, and never expose directly to an open flame.
Store in cool, well-ventilated areas.
Keep these products out of reach of pets and children.
Dispose of rags properly ” rags soaked with oil-based materials can ignite spontaneously if not spread out to dry.
Ensure good ventilation with open windows and doors.
Wear protective equipment.
Keep children and pets out of the painted area.

Water-based paints: a viable alternative to solvent based paint:

To a large extent, water-based paints pose fewer risks and health hazards than solvent phase paints. Modern, high quality water-based paints offer an excellent performance profile ” superior durability and colour retention, excellent washability, for example. They are also more convenient to use ” low in odour, they dry quickly, and brushes can be cleaned with warm, soapy water, with no need for white spirit or turpentine. And of course they are more environmentally-friendly.

Using Step-Ladders Safely
Step ladders are very often both a central part of a paint job, but also a key danger area.

Here are some tips on how to minimise the likelihood of a ladder-related accident:

Inspect the ladder first.
Take time to check the condition of the ladder both before and after use.
Check that the ladder is sufficiently robust to support your weight.
Make sure the steps are free of oil, wet paint, mud, or any other potentially slippery substance.

Erecting the ladder:
Clear the area around the ladder from any clutter. Make sure that no electrical cords or wire leads are close.
If the ladder needs to be in front of a door, consider locking the door to prevent surprise openings.
If the ladder is in a high-traffic area, draw attention to this fact in the house ” a hand-written sign would do.
Make sure the floor is even and stable. Avoid wet or slippery surfaces.
Always support the ladder at four points

Climbing the ladder:
Wear suitable shoes ” no heels, barefoot is not good, nor are most sandals.
Never climb onto wet or slippery steps, make sure they are dry.
Never overstretch ” do not climb beyond the last three steps of a ladder.
Keep your shoulders between the rails and don’t over-reach ” move the ladder instead.
Always keep 3 point contact with the ladder.
If your ceilings are high, but your ladder too small, don’t try to overreach yourself ” renting or borrowing a suitable ladder is much safer.
Don’t let your children climb up the ladder: prevent access at the end of the day if you have to, or fold it up after use.
Be prepared for an unforeseen vertigo attack “ don’t look down, breath slowly and steadily, and go back down step by step.

For more information on paint and remodeling with paint, visit

About the Paint Quality Institute (SM)

The Paint Quality Institute (SM) was formed by Rohm and Haas Company (now a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company (Dow)) in 1989 to educate people on the advantages of using quality interior and exterior paints and coatings. The Paint Quality Institute’s goal is to provide information on the virtues of quality paint as well as color trends and decorating with paint through a variety of vehicles, including television appearances, newspaper and magazine articles, and instructional literature. Please be sure to visit the Paint Quality Institute at

About Dow

Dow combines the power of science and technology with the Human Element to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainabilityto help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2009, Dow had annual sales of $45 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 214 sites in 37 countries across the globe. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at

Courtesy: Home Improvement News and Information Center

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