ladder leading to a roof

Safety & Exterior Paint Projects 

When people think about painting, they don’t typically think of it as a high-risk activity. That is until they realize that painting can take place indoors or out, in hard-to-reach places, and while working with chemicals commonly found in paint. Now do you see how painting could be a safety concern? 

Painting a home can be fun and exciting, especially if you can’t wait to see the transformation a coat of paint can have on an exterior or interior space! Most do-it-yourselfers see the task as pretty straightforward and easy. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t believe how many calls we get from homeowners who have determined (after they started their project) that the cathedral ceiling or second floor attic peak is just too high for their comfort level to paint on their own. 

However, if you do decide to tackle your paint project on your own, there are some safety considerations that you may want to think about before you open a can of paint or even set up your ladders. Here are a few…

man on stepstool

Ladder Safety 

One of the areas that is most difficult in terms of safety is using a ladder either indoors or outdoors during your paint project. Here are a couple of tips to keep you safe while you paint those hard-to-reach spaces. 

  • Make sure the ladder is on a flat, stable surface. 
  • Use a spotter to hold the ladder if you feel like you need the stability. 
  • Use the rule of three. Keep three contact points on the ladder – two feet and one hand. 
  • Confirm that the spreader bar is extended completely and in the locked position. 
  • Never use a metal ladder around wires. 
  • Check the rungs to be sure they are in good shape. 
  • Never try to move the ladder while you are on it. 
  • Use a ladder that is the appropriate height so you will not need to stretch or overreach. 
  • Use the proper paint tools and ladder attachments so you can use your hands for balancing rather than reaching and holding paint cans/brushes. 

Ladders and scaffolding are usually the most risky places during a paint project. Follow all manufacturer safety guidelines and if you doubt you balance, hire a professional. 

Personal Safety Equipment 

Professionals are always careful to protect their lungs, eyes, and skin when starting a paint project. They often use goggles, masks, respirators, and gloves. 

Depending upon the task at hand, whether it is sanding paint, using a sprayer, or getting rid of lead paint, professionals know the right personal protective equipment to use. Be sure you plan ahead and invest in some of these items to make your paint project safe from beginning to end. 

mask for paint fumes

Traction Tools 

While it is not all that common, there’s always a risk of slipping when dealing with wet paint. Dripping or spilled paint can be a slip-and-fall hazard, so try to use canvas or cotton drop cloths that will help absorb any dripped paint and prevent falls. In addition, make sure the traction on your work shoes is good enough especially if you will be on a ladder or roof. 

If any of these safety measures seem more than you can handle, call our team at Jerry Enos Painting and we will come out to give you an estimate for your project.