How to Paint Safely

By: Fix-It Club

Except for the danger of falling off a ladder or scaffold, painting may not seem to pose much risk to the painter or other members of the family, but paint itself is a substance that can be hazardous to a person's health. Paint is a combination of chemicals and requires careful handling and proper precautions.

Here are some tips to be aware of:


  • Water-thinned or solvent-thinned, paint ingredients are poisonous and should be kept away from children and pets. Antidotes are listed on can labels.
  • Work in well-ventilated areas at all times, even if you're using odorless paints. They still contain fumes that may be harmful if inhaled. Wear a paper painters' mask when painting indoors. Also wear one outdoors if you're using an airless sprayer. Do not sleep in a room until the odor has dissipated.
  • Do not smoke while painting and, if possible, extinguish pilot lights on gas appliances. Shut off gas to the unit first.
  • Toxic paint chemicals can be absorbed through the skin. Wash up as soon as possible.
  • When painting overhead, wear goggles to keep paint out of your eyes. Chemical ingredients can cause burns to sensitive eye tissue.
  • Never drink alcohol while you're painting. Combined with paint fumes it can be deadly.

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  • House Painting Tools: Before taking on any painting project, make sure you have the tools you'll need to do the job well. This article will help.
  • Painting Interiors: Learn the essentials of painting walls, doors, and everything inside the house on this page.
  • Painting Cleanup: Cleanup is an important step to the painting process. Find helpful tips on cleaning brushes, rollers, and more in this article.