5 Tips for Carrying Out Healthy and Eco-Friendly Indoor Painting
Painting is among the most common DIY projects in homes. But despite what we know about the harms associated with VOCs, toxic paints remain in the market. And unsuspecting buyers continue exposing themselves to their effects.
According to various studies, the levels of several organics are roughly two to five times higher in indoor spaces than outdoors. If inhaled, these organics can cause several health problems.
When carrying out your house-painting project, the quality of your indoor air should take top priority. And it starts with buying health-focused paints. Here are a few other tips to ensure that your project is eco-friendly and healthy.
1. Check for Asbestos and Lead in Old PaintYou will need to get rid of the old paint when preparing the walls or surface. Old houses tend to have lead paint and asbestos, especially if it was built in the 80s and 70s or earlier.
You should not sand lead paint. Lead dust is extremely toxic, and you wouldn’t want to expose your family or pets to this. Hire a licensed painter trained in the identification and removal of heavy metals. They will remove the lead paint or asbestos using the right technique.
2. Take Safety Measures During DIYIf the old paint is free from lead and asbestos, you can remove it the DIY way. Follow the safety precautions on the label. But keep in mind that paint stripping increases the indoor level of VOCs and you need to protect yourself.
Ensure that you are wearing protective clothing. Dangerous chemicals can get through to your skin. Add some safety glasses, a dust mask, and gloves. Take frequent air breaks and ventilate the room properly. Use a fan to keep an adequate flow of air. If you are pregnant, have someone else take care of the task.
3. Get Health-Focused PaintsYou need to focus on the content of your paint. Traditional paint contains high levels of VOCs, which continue off-gassing years after painting. You can find zero or low VOC paints readily available for purchase.
However, pay close attention to the ingredients in any paint you buy. Some agents used to create low-odor paint actually cause additional indoor pollution. Health-focused paints have no hidden ingredients. For verification, check if your choice of paint meets various VOC emission standards (such as CDPH 01350) and that it's proven to be environmentally friendly.
4. Buy the Right Amount of PaintYou want to buy enough paint to complete your project, but you also don't want to buy more than you need. A professional can guide you on the paint coverage so that little is left over. Our coverage calculator may be a helpful resource to determine how much paint you need. When disposing of paint, follow your community's guidelines on the recycling of paint or follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.
5. Store Painting Equipment CorrectlyYou should not store the brushes or other application tools with paint on them. For water-based paints, clean application tools with warm soapy water. You should refrain from using cleaning agents that contain VOCs.
In a nutshell, changing the paint in your house is a significant decision. But amid the excitement, don’t forget about safety.
Use health-focused paints, take safety precautions when removing the old paint, and use best painting practices. To get started on finding the right non toxic paint for your project, contact us today!