Keep Yourself and Your Family Safe while Painting Your Home

Keep Yourself and Your Family Safe while Painting Your Home

by Ann Harrison

Are you planning a do it yourself paint job in your home? If so, there are a few safety tips you will want to follow, as a precaution. These tips will keep you and your family healthy and safe while you’re painting either one room, or your entire house.

Before you even start a paint job, be sure to protect your floors with either drop cloths made of actual cloth, or newspaper. If you use plastic to protect your floors, the surface can become slipper with wet paint, mud, and other materials, which could cause you to fall and hurt yourself.

When setting up your ladder, make sure that all four legs are on a sturdy, level surface, and lock the cross braces, to make the ladder more stable. Before climbing the ladder, be sure to wear sensible sneakers. Wearing high heels, sandals, or even climbing bare foot could cause a serious hazard. For your safety, I recommend that you keep the rungs or steps of your ladder dry. If your ladder isn’t high enough to paint the ceiling, borrow one that is taller, for your safety. When climbing the ladder, avoid standing on the top rung, or the utility shelf, to prevent accidents. When painting hard to reach places, it’s better to descend the ladder and move it closer to the surface you’re painting, than to lean over and risk falling off the ladder.

There are several pieces of safety equipment you’ll need, depending on the type of paint products you use. Before you begin to paint, you may need to sand and scrape away old paint, therefore you’ll need a dusk mask to keep any dust and chipped paint out of your lungs. If you’re using solvent-based primers, paint thinners, paints, or other solvent based products, a solvent respirator is required.

When painting with solvent based products, wearing goggles or safety glasses is required to protect your eyes. Keep children and pets away from the room that you’re painting. Do not paint near a fire place, heater vent, or any other open flame, as the chemicals in solvent-based paints are highly flammable. Read the labels carefully, to make sure that the solvent paint you buy won’t damage your walls. Wear solvent-resistant gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals in the paint. Make sure your house is properly ventilated, by opening doors and windows. Keep paints away from children and pets, and store them in a cool, well-ventilated area when cleaning up after the paint job, be sure to hang the used paint rags outside, so they can dry before you take them to a toxic waste dump. Taking these precautions will ensure your safety as well as the health of your family.

There is a better and much safer paint option that you may want to consider. Why not purchase water-based paints, instead of the solvent based ones that have harmful chemicals in them? High quality water based products are durable, retain their color, and are much safer for the environment. Wearing impermeable gloves while painting can protect your skin, and goggles or safety glasses can protect your eyes while you paint. Use these tips to give your home the look you want, while keeping yourself and your family healthy.

About the Author

Ann Harrison is a totally blind author, who grew up in the small town of Rochelle, Georgia, and has moved back to her family home after living in North Georgia for several years. Ann has written many articles of general interest for a number of clients since June of 2010, including the Cordele Dispatch. She has also published a short story entitled “The Big Climb” in Awethology Light. Ann also published a story entitled “The Woods” in December Awethology Light Volume by The #Awethors. She is currently working on several novels, and a self-help book. To read more of Ms. Harrison’s inspirational writings, visit her blog at

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