Homeowner's Academy

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Home Repairs: Painting Safety 101

by BROOKE GOLD HASSON | Apr 04, 2014

painting-101-300x196Spring cleaning often comes with a fresh coat of paint. Painting can be a great way to change the feel of a room or give your home some great curb appeal. Painting also plays a role in home repair by protecting the wood of your home against the elements, essential here in Florida.

If you decide to try your hand at painting this spring, People’s Trust has some tips that can keep the experience enjoyable and safe for everyone in your family.

Try Some Eco-friendly Paint

Spring conjures up the sniffles for many people in the great outdoors, but paint may do the same thing inside of your home. Household paints have previously contained up to 300 toxic chemicals, including the hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that release particles into the air for years after you paint.

Try a low-VOC paint, which tends to be water-based, for any home interior painting. These have taken off in recent years and come in every shade and finish imaginable. Some brands also create no-VOC paints by replacing chemicals with more natural ingredients. These no-VOC paints are often pet-safe, but always check the label and never leave your pet unattended in a room where paint cans are open.

Home Repair Supervision

If you have children, never let them be in a room with open paint cans by themselves. If children are under the age of 10, they should never be in a room with any open painting materials. Even eco-friendly paints are extremely dangerous if ingested. If you believe your child has ingested any paint, immediately call poison control at 1-800-222-1222.

Try Cloth Catchers for Indoor and Outdoor Painting 

You can pick up plastic sheets to protect your floors and lawn, but these often move and tear as you walk around painting. Turn to cloth or canvas drop cloths that will stay in place easier and can be weighed down with objects without the risk of tearing.

For painting the outside of your home, try a tarp with tie-holes. These can be staked into the ground to provide a steadier surface for a ladder.

Remember Your Ladder Safety 

Another thing to watch for is keeping your ladder safe and sturdy. Our Ladder Safety 101 applies to painting both inside and out.

Ventilate: Make Room to Breathe 

If you’re painting inside, open the doors and windows. If your room has a fan, turn it on. You want proper ventilation for any space you’re painting to help air out the room and not breathe in paint fumes. If you can’t ventilate where you’re working, get a respirator and only paint in short stints.

Ventilation is essential to most common home repair improvements.

Stick to the Shade 

If painting outside, you know that you need to take a break in the shade, but what about your materials? Paint, paint thinner and lacquer all need to stay in the shade as much as possible when painting outdoors

Not only can heat and sun alter some of these items when they’re sitting in the can, but heat can also be a big problem for these flammable items. The city of Las Vegas actually warns its citizens to be careful when painting their homes or canvases outside because paint thinner has been ignited by the sun and started home fires.

Clean Up after Home Repairs

When you finish painting for the day, clean up the entire space. This will prevent spills and any accidental exposure.

Latex paints can typically be cleaned from surfaces and your skin with soap and water. Oil-based paints will have specific cleaning instructions located on the paint can itself. Take a look at your can before you start painting and write down what it says, because paint often spills on the outside of the can during the painting process.

Gasoline was once used to clean paint off of brushes, but this should never be used. Gasoline is extremely dangerous and should never be used as a cleaner for any object.

It’s always a smart practice to clean up and watch your space clearly when doing any home repair project.

This Blog is sponsored by:
People’s Trust Insurance Company