Staying Safe While Painting Your Car

Written by on November 18, 2012 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page


You have to be cautious while driving your car; you have to be no less safety-conscious when you are painting it. DIY auto painting has allowed people to save money, increase the value or enjoyment they get from their vehicle, and do some good old-fashioned hard work at home.

At the same time, it has also made these do-it-yourselfers vulnerable to the hazards that come with the job. How can you achieve professional-quality results while maintaining professional-quality safety standards?

  • Check your local/state regulations.  In some jurisdictions, laws prohibit people from painting cars in their garages or driveways because of the concern over the chemicals. Before you spray, make sure that you won’t get busted!
  • Find a suitable space with ventilation. The great outdoors offers natural ventilation, of course, but it tends to make a mess and dust, dander, and other debris can impact the quality of your paint job. What many people do is make or buy a painting booth for their garage. With some fans, PVC pipe, and plastic, you can create a booth that will help minimize mess and keep you safe. WikiHow has a tutorial on this, and you can find more on YouTube.
  • Wear a respirator.  If you plan on getting by with just a face mask, reconsider. A respirator provides you with additional protection from toxic paint and from the dust that you will kick up while sanding your vehicle. Make sure your respirator is NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety) approved.

  • Use gloves and coveralls. Paint toxins and chemicals can irritate your skin, not to mention ruin your clothing. Nitrile gloves provide good protection against chemical solvents and paints and cost about $10 for a box of 100.
  • Wear eye protection. Again, you are working with chemicals, toxins, and sanding dust. Keep debris and irritants out of your eyes with strong safety glasses. If your eyes are sensitive or you want extra protection, get goggles that create a seal around your eye to prevent debris, fumes, and splashes from damaging your eye and the surrounding tissue.
  • Practice spray gun safety.  Make sure that your spray gun has been properly cleaned and that you use the correct pressure when applying the paint and/or primer. If you’re the type that doesn’t like to read directions, make an exception! Know the ins and outs of your spray gun. You’ll stay safe – and your car will look better in the end.
  • Mix carefully. Here’s another case in which reading instructions comes in handy! If you are mixing products like reducer into your primer or paint, make sure you do so according to the product directions. Your paint and primer needs to be the right viscosity in order to flow from the spray gun. Again, this is a matter of safety and achieving optimal results for your car. Check out this website for auto paint supplies, prices, and information on safe mixing and viscosity so you know what to expect before you even buy your paint.

Also, pay attention to the paint’s pot life so you know how long you have to use the paint. If you leave it until after its pot life has expired, the viscosity can change, and this may affect your spray gun safety.

Professionals have access to this equipment in their shops, but it sounds like a lot for the DIYer. It can add to the upfront cost of your paint job, though you will still save money by tackling the job yourself. The good news is that once you’ve invested in safety equipment, you can use it again. If you want to paint another car or do some touch-up work, you will have all of this gear ready to go.

This is a guest post.

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG /


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