Do it yourself (DIY) projects have become one of the fastest-growing trends in recent history. Reality television programs centering on real people renovating and improving their homes instead of hiring industry professionals have fuelled the fire and only increased the industries’ spike in popularity. Add to this the fact that everyday men and women are looking to save their money in a downturned economy and you’ve got a global phenomenon based around regular individuals tackling home improvement challenges seemingly everywhere you turn. One of the more popular tasks that singles and couples alike are opting to attempt is domestic painting and decorating.
Whilst the DIY movement certainly has its obvious benefits, there are specific drawbacks – many revolving around overall safety – which DIY enthusiasts have been too quick to cast aside. Painting and decorating may be misconstrued as being easier than say, installing a light switch or erecting a new patio, however, if ignored and flippantly treated, this occupation poses risks that are just as hazardous.
If you’re considering taking on a DIY painting project around the home in the near future or know someone that is then you should take a moment to review the following article prior to picking up a brush. There are some simple, yet often overlooked, safety tips and tricks that every DIYer should implement when playing the role of painter and decorator. Ensuring these safety measurements are in place is vitally more important than choosing a color scheme and could prove to be the difference between your projects turning from a masterpiece to a massive headache.
Some vital safety precautions to take into consideration before and during painting include:
Wearing the Appropriate Clothing – It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because you’re working around your own home, the entire painting process can be a very relaxed one. Don’t forget for a moment, however, that you’re about to be handling and applying toxic chemicals to your residence. They may look lovely and be tinted to glorious colors but paint is still poison and just because you’ve opted to not hire a painter and decorator doesn’t mean you can forgo the safety measures those professionals would have put in place. Wearing overalls is options although it is advised. If you choose to just wear casual clothing during your DIY adventure, make sure that it covers any sensitive areas of skin that you may have which could be irritated by spilled paint. This is particularly prevalent while using gloss/enamel-based paints; these have intense fumes and can only be removed from your skin using mentholated spirits. The absolute basic clothing that should be worn whilst painting includes long-sleeve t-shirt, tracksuit pants, goggles, and a face mask – the two, latter items will be available where you purchase your paints.
Ventilation is Vital – This is the primary piece of safety advice that we’d like to convey and is possibly the most essential piece of safety advice in this entire article. DIY painting is exciting and the results can be truly amazing but you need to remember this before painting, during and even after your final application: paint is poison. That’s not meant to scare you but it is meant to emphasize a point. You’ll be applying toxic materials to your home and, while they’re safe to use and apply when done correctly, you simply cannot avoid the precautions that need to be put in place. There will be a list of product-specific instructions on the side of each tin of paint you open; read these instructions. Far too many amateur painters don’t pay heed to the safety instructions and find themselves in a world of trouble, especially when painting alone.
Also, ensure that you have good ventilation in any room you’re applying paint too. Open windows and doors – at least one of each depending on the size of the room. Use intelligent, common sense and realize that unless you’re getting fresh air blowing into the area in which you’re working, then you’re literally going to be breathing in air which is littered with faint fumes which will make their way directly into your lungs. If you take nothing else away from this article, let it be this: read the instructions on all of your paint products and ensure that you keep ventilation and safety at the forefront of your mind.
We mentioned at the beginning of this piece that DIY projects have spiked in popularity in recent times but, as a result, so has the number of accidents taking place in and around such projects. Painting your own home can save you some money and can actually provide you with a wonderful sense of satisfaction once the final coat has been applied. If you apply common sense in addition to your paint then you’ll be healthy, safe and surrounded by a beautiful new paint job.