Spray Safe, Everyone!

So we at Prestige Painting have a little rule when it comes to painting: making something look great should never come at the expense of your health. Sounds simple and logical, right? We think so too, but the truth is that some painting processes are pretty darn dangerous, and not everyone knows how to protect themselves when using them.


Of all types, paints that are applied through a spray process have some particularly damaging effects if used incorrectly, as anyone who’s ever coughed up a tissue full of black stuff after spending some time painting with spray paint or an airbrush can tell you. Sprayed paints are certainly not to be taken lightly; however, protecting oneself isn’t all too difficult, if you know what to do.

1. Avoid enclosed spaces as much as possible.

It might look like excess sprayed paint just disappears if it doesn’t attach to something, but that’s not the case. Whatever you spray will remain in your general vicinity unless it’s dispersed by an air current. This means that spraying outside is always safest, and any indoor spraying should be done with all possible windows and doors open, along with a few fans where available.

2. Take breaks

Spray paint damage is cumulative, meaning the longer the exposure, the worse it is for you. This also means that taking 10 minute breaks every 30-45 minutes will hugely diminish the amount of damage you’ll take from using spray paints. Getting something done quickly is nice, but so is having working lungs and brain cells, so make sure you take those breaks often!

3. Cover your hands

This is one most people don’t realize is necessary, but you should never let spray paints get on your hands. Spray paints are almost all highly toxic, and those chemicals can get into your bloodstream through your skin as well as through your mouth and nose. Buy gloves that protect from chemicals, such as polyurethane or vinyl gloves.

4. ALWAYS Wear a Mask

Other than taking breaks, the number one thing you can do to keep safe while using sprayed paints is to wear the right kind of mask. Dinky little paper or foam-product masks that you can buy cheaply are not the answer, and will do very little to protect you, as the spray will come right through them. In fact, wearing one and then doing a little spray painting will prove this to you, as when you take the mask off, you’ll see that the inside part of the mask will be covered in paint where you’ve been breathing out.

What you want instead is a carbon activated respirator, which can be purchased for $20-30 at your local hardware store. Companies like 3M make great masks, and once you’ve bought one, all you have to buy are ultra-cheap replacement filters every once in a while. These are absolutely worth the extra original cost for the enormous, unbeatable health benefits you’ll receive.

In addition to what’s listed here, you can also add a little extra protection by wearing goggles and long sleeves, but as long as you’re careful, those aren’t necessary. If you do feel like you’ve had any damage from spray painting, or feel light headed or “buzzed,” stop spray painting immediately and consider seeking medical attention if the feeling doesn’t fade.

Spray paints are an incredible tool for quick and effective coverage of almost any object, and we hope we haven’t scared you off from their use too much. As long as you keep to the above tips and use common sense (for instance, never heat a spray paint can or get it anywhere near a flame), you’ll not only be perfectly fine, you’ll have some well-painted items to boot! Keep safe out there, painters.

If you feel this task is too much for you, you can always call us! Until then, check us out on Facebook for more tips and tricks to making your paint job easier!


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3505 Bent River Road
Birmingham, AL35216

Phone: 205-982-0420