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Safety Considerations while Spray Painting

Breakthrough Paint Protection are commonly used to protect automotive surfaces against scrapes, rock chips and airborne contaminants. It is often the invisible perils of our world which are the most dangerous – since they are the most difficult to avoid. Many a stout swordsman of the old European warrior-culture was brought low not by the skillfully-wielded weapon of an enemy, but by legions of bacteria lurking unseen in drinking water that was not properly boiled. Many a doughty laborer and leathery explorer have been felled by the microscopically small pathogens in the beak of a mosquito or a flea. In the modern age, these microbial dangers are somewhat better controlled and contained, but there are many hazards just as insidious and unseen, though of different character – springing, this time, from chemistry.

The overspray accompanying even the cleanest spray-gun’s action is one of these risks, so it is important to protect yourself in several ways when painting a car. The process of painting – even when it uses LVLP (low volume low pressure) equipment – creates clouds of overspray which may contain anywhere from 30% to 75% of the paint that you are blasting onto the car’s surface. The air pressure drives the paint droplets so hard that many of them bounce off the sheet metal rather than adhering, and form a billowing mist around the painter and the car alike.

Ventilation is the first safety precaution that is needed, because it helps with handling the other precautions that are needed in the car painting environment. Many kinds of paint need to be sprayed indoors because of the risk of surface contamination, and indoor spaces are perfect for trapping and building up fumes to dangerous levels.

Whether you are using a professional spray booth or your garage, you need both inlets and outlets which will move a sufficient volume of air to keep up with the overspray. The inlets should be at one end of the garage or workspace, and the outlets at the other, to keep an even, steady, predictable air flow moving through the space. This allows you to start spraying the car at the end nearest the inlets and work forward towards the outlets, thus ensuring that overspray droplets will fall on unpainted areas rather than already-painted ones.


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