Seven Spray Paint Safety Tips
Spray paint can be a do-it-yourselfer’s best friend. It’s a fast, easy, and inexpensive way to give almost anything a fresh, new look. Of course, spray paint can be dangerous if not used correctly. As experts in the industry, we wanted to share these seven tips to make sure that you’re using spray paint in the safest way possible.
- Always Read the Label
Spray paint is extremely simple to use, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the instructions printed on the can. You should always read any directions or safety warnings before use. The manufacturer may have some specific recommendations that will not only help you use their product safely, but also help you to achieve the best results.
- Keep Away from Fire and Heat
Spray paint is highly flammable, so never smoke while using spray paint and keep it away from sources of heat and open flames. If you are painting a stove, oven, or other appliance that carries a flame, make sure you unplug it and extinguish the pilot light. Furthermore, you want to make sure that the appliance has completely dried before plugging it back in and relighting the flame. Finally, store cans of spray paint away from heat and sunlight. A cool, dark basement is a perfect environment.
- Do Not Crack the Can
Never puncture, crush, incinerate, or otherwise destroy spray paint cans, whether they are full or empty. Spray paint cans are filled with carbon dioxide under very high pressure, which helps expel the paint from the can. Cracking or puncturing a can—even an empty one—will release that high pressure gas, which may cause the can to explode and possibly hurt you or anyone nearby. Plus, it will release other volatile gases all at once, which could irritate your eyes and respiratory tract.
- Ventilate While You Paint
As just mentioned above, there are other volatile gases inside a can of spray paint that can be harmful even when using the product properly. Whenever possible, complete your spray paint projects outdoors. If you must spray paint indoors, then make sure windows and doors are open to let in plenty of fresh air. You could even place a few fans in the area to keep air flowing. Just make sure the fans don’t interfere with the paint spray.
- Protect Yourself
Make sure that you protect as much of your skin as possible while painting. It’s a good idea to wear long pants, a long-sleeved-shirt, and close-toed shoes or boots. You can prevent paint from blowing back into your eyes with protective goggles. And consider wearing a face mask, preferably one rated for chemical vapors, to reduce the risk of breathing in toxic fumes.
- Dispose of the Can Properly
Most people are surprised to learn that you can recycle empty spray paint cans. Just put it in with the aluminum at your local recycling facility or in your personal aluminum bin for curbside pickup. If the can still has some paint in it, but it’s too old to use, then contact your local recycling facility about disposal options.
- Know When to Call the Experts
Spray painting relatively smaller items like patio furniture, shelving, or hand-made crafts is simple enough for anyone to do quickly and safely. But if you have a larger or more complex job that needs to be handled, then it’s best to call in an expert like Spray Finishes who have the resources and knowledge to take all necessary safety precautions and deliver outstanding results.
Spray Finishes, a division of Stone Services, has been in the electrostatic spray painting business since 1938. They specialize in on-site painting for both residential and commercial properties, and also have a 10,000 square foot shop for large off-site jobs. Spray Finishes’ friendly and knowledgeable staff is ready to serve you at any of their five tristate area locations, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island, and Westchester. Contact Spray Finishes today for an estimate on your next painting project.