I've been shooting single stage acrylic enamel with catalyst, and I know the catalysts are dangerous. I have to paint in my garage (I line an area with plastic sheeting). I wear a tyvek suit with hood and a full face mask with organic filters. Recently I bought a supplied air system with both full and half mask face pieces, and I plan to use the full face when painting. ( I got a great deal on a pre-owned but never used system) I also found some longer nitrile gloves, so I should be able to keep my wrists covered.
I don't really know what is necessary, but I figure since I am in a sealed area with no sort of air filtering / evacuation I need to use the best I can.
What do you guys use? I'm hoping for input and an education from experienced hobbiest and pro's.
Good Lord ! .... what kind of paint are you shooting, cyanide ? Is this stuff really
so dangerous as to require a moon suit ? Maybe it is time to rediscover lacquer !!!
Yes, That stuff is that dangerous. With any type of paint you need to have a good respirator. You can get away with spraying lacquer with out a Tyvek suit but do not spray modern two stage enamels with out full body protection unless you have enough insurance to cover your family after you are gone.
It sounds like you've got it "covered" (pun is NOT intended, but it is there). The full face one is good, as you can absorb the stuff through your eyes, VERY easily. I usually use the extra long Kitchen rubber gloves. After a while you get used to them and can do lots with them on.
And even with lacquer, protection is a good thing.
Even when I painted Locomotives in an open giant engine house, I wore the suit, etc. They called me "Orange Man" (WP used a LOT of orange on their engines).
Burger, Paul is 100% correct, if you want to avoid problems later in life (sometimes earlier) you should wear protection around paint/coatings (a lot of modern finishes aren't really paint, they are engineered coatings). The safety stuff isn't very expensive either, especially when you see what paint costs nowadays!
Gary, good on you for making the investment to round up proper safety gear. My question would be -- is the garage in which you're painting attached to your house or free standing?
Either way, after you're finished, the overspray has cleared, and you're standing around admiring your work, if you can smell it, you don't need to breath it. The stuff that's off-gassing while the paint cures can be just as bad or worse than the atomized paint you were spraying. So, keep that in mind as you work.
Point being about if your garage is attached to the house -- you don't want it migrating into your living area.
Yes, smart of you to consider long-term health hazards of the 2-part paints. According to the PEL limits used in MSDS standards, hardeners/activators containing Cyanoacrylates are 10 times more hazardous than Arsenic.
Lots of folks also fail to take precautions when sanding or blasting old paint finishes. Old paints contained many heavy metals which are also hazardous to your health in dust form.
Not many comments on your supplied air system. I've been using one for the past 20 years and really love it. Not only am I assured of getting safe air, but I'm also getting a nice fresh breeze in my face while painting. Using a filter type mask (of any kind) involves re-breathing of some of your prior exhale. The lower oxygen content (and higher humidity) in subsequent breaths results in less oxygen to the brain and a lot more perspiration.
I find that I am far less tired after painting with the supplied air system, don't feel as rushed to "get it over with", and don't have the problem with my glasses fogging. So not only does the supplied air system make for more safety, but I also believe I'm more comfortable while painting and get a better finished product.
An auto shop teacher once told me that the supplied air system was the only piece of safety equipment that he had no trouble getting the young guys to use. He always had to push them to use hearing protection, protective gloves, face masks, etc. But once they tried the supplied air, they loved the comfort aspects and there was no problem getting them to use it every time.
Can you detail this "supplied air" system for us neophytes ? I grasp the concept.
More interested in deployment and products used. I suspect more here will like to
know, as well.
The supplied air system consists basically of an electric air pump, some air hose, and a face mask.
The air pump operates at low pressure, along the lines of a vacuum cleaner in "blow" mode rather than "suck". The emphasis is on air volume rather than pressure. The air pump is placed remote to the paint area in an area of clean air. I place my pump outdoors and up wind to be certain I won't get any fumes. The hose is 50' long, and I have two lengths. But I've never found it necessary to put the pump a full 100' away.
The air hose looks like light weight garden hose. About an inch in diameter and has screw connections just like garden hose. On my unit (Hobbyair) there is a belt that is worn around the waist with a clip to attach the hose. At that point a quick disconnect attaches the flexible mask hose to the long air hose.
The mask is available as either a full face type of a half mask. At the time I bought mine, only the half mask was available. But now I'd like to try the full face type to see if it's any better. A constant flow of air enters the mask; more air that you can possibly use. Excess air escapes through a couple of outflow valves in the mask and also escapes at any leak points if the mask doesn't fit perfectly. Leaks aren't a problem, since all the air is going out rather than in.
In practice, you simply plug the pump into an electrical outlet to start air flow, put the mask on, attach the quick disconnect hose at your belt, and you are in business.
The only downside to using a supplied air system is that it's one more hose to drag around. Now you have an air hose for the spray gun and a second hose for the operator. On my system, I have to be careful not to turn around too many times in the same direction because I can put a twist in the hose and stop the air flow. You know when that happens because you start smelling paint. I just have to discipline myself to look at the hose occasionally to see if I'm putting too many twists in one direction.
If you google "Hobbyair" you can see pictures of the system. There's also a system called "Breathcool" and probably many others. I only have experience with the Hobbyair and don't know much about other types. The basic price for the Hobbyair is around $400, depending on type mask, hose length, etc. I don't regret one cent of the purchase price. I use it for sanding as well as painting so I can avoid breathing dust. Any time I would have have been using a dust mask I use the supplied air if only for the fresh, cool air blowing in my face.
I don't paint my safety equipment. Wait. I don't HAVE any safety equipment.
Since you are in a closed space, setting up a waterfall at a closed end of your paint area will help collect the over spray. I've seen several commercial booths set up that way in the 60s and 70s. The larger you can make the waterfall, the more over spray it will collect. You will see the over spray collect in the water pool at the bottom of the falls. This can be scooped out later and disposed. Also very wise to use a separate air source for breathing.
I don't know how you you guys do it...wearing all that equipment. I need all my senses when I am doing something tedious and precision. I don't wear gloves when welding...and driving a nail with a hammer and wearing gloves is ridiculous. I guess I will stay with lacquer and spray outdoors like I have been doing for the last 65 years.
I have used the Hobbyair systems and they work well and are economical. I currently have a SAS Safety supplied air system that uses a rotary vane air pump. The advantage is the turbine (Hobbyair) systems use a rather large hose to deliver air volume whereas the rotary vane compressors use a 3/8 hose. The downside is they cost about three times as much. It is a pain being tethered though, particularly if you're running around trying to do a whole car. It is very nice for sandblasting, particularly when you're out working in the sun and mostly standing in one place or moving slowly.
Waterfalls typically only work when you are spraying into them or if you have a fan drawing the booth air past them. I think they are no longer legal for most commercial painting operations.
You get used to it. I have no depth perception, so I have to pay attention to reflections, etc. to figure out what I'm doing when painting.
However, I don't wear gloves while nailing, unless I'm on a roof doing shingles.
Yes, the paints with hardeners are very hazardous. When I could paint outside I'd just use a respirator and long sleeve shirt, but because I'm in a sealed environment now the concentration grows high and quickly. That's why the tyvek suits, long gloves and full face mask to protect my eyes.
The tyvek suits can be bought off eBay pretty cheaply, and they can be worn more than one time. They aren't heavy or restrictive at all. I bought a dozen for about $50 a few years ago and have only used a couple of them.
Walter; The garage is attached but there is no door between them. I extinguish the pilot light on the water heater and shut down the furnace breaker before I start painting, then once I'm done I can open the door and let the garage itself breath. I wait at least an hour before relighting the water heater. The sealed area I use for painting takes a long time to vent, but the main garage is pretty much smell free within a very short time.
Originally I was looking at the Hobbyair just because of the price point, but I found an SAS system that was roughly 10 years old but had never been used; it had not even been removed from it's packaging. It had both the 1/2 and full masks with it, and I bought the system for $400.
I'm changing my '11 to the correct color, then repainting the '15, and with the limited space I have for painting I figure I've got about 10 painting days within the next year (not counting small stuff). I've got a short beard, and shy of shaving it I can't get a perfect seal with a regular respirator. The seal is decent, but not perfect; by the time I would finish painting I could noticeably smell the paint, my mask would be fogging, and I'd be rushing to get the job done. With the supplied air system the seal is excellent... when I tested the mask seal without the pump turned on it sealed perfect, even with a short cut beard.
What I have found is that with the supplied air the mask doesn't get fogged, I feel cooler and I don't smell paint. Because of that I don't feel rushed like I did before.
So... what got me started on this was I really don't have any formal background on this stuff, and I suspect a lot of what the manufacturers put out there is based on reducing liability. They'll say used forced air, then show a picture of a guy painting in a booth with a 1/2 mask.... that's really why I've been asking.
I paint my parts outside early in the morning before the bugs come out or the breeze kicks up.
I've not done a lot of painting, but I have used catalyzed enamel and single stage urethane. Both were done with just a respirator. Never smelled anything with the respirator on, so it must have been doing something. If I did it for a living, I would be more concerned, but for the rare occasion I use automotive paint, I felt safe enough with just the respirator on.
I am NOT a glove wearer. Can't stand 'em. I only use them when working with something hot (Steam engine/boilers, molten lead). The only other times is when I use a shovel or axe or something like that, and then only after I start to get a blister. Wish I would think about them before that, but I seldom do. I just don't like wearing them. My hands sweat inside them and I can't feel what I'm doing. I find it awkward. Kinda like cranking left handed.
Gary, are you using an HVLP type gun or traditional spray equipment ? The reason I ask is that with older type guns they atomize the material much more putting more in your "booth" that will stick to your skin or aerosolized finer effecting the air space you are working in. HVLP guns are prone to a more "orange peel" finish but will greatly reduce overspray in the air older guns paint out finer but create more overspray in your work space...at the end of the day you are only doing this as a hobby and are not subjecting yourself to these materials on a daily basis though I do understand your cautions in dealing with these toxic materials....just go old school and shoot it all and finish up with a shot of Jim Beam to calm your nerves why do you think all the painters in the day were drunks??? They had to drink just to feel "normal"...no joke.
I use a Satajet HVLP spot repair gun for anything small, and a Satajet RP for larger panels or full bodies. Both atomize very well and don't have a lot of overspray unless I'm spraying something like wheels, where you can't help but lose a lot of paint. The RP gun is about as efficient as an HVLP.
I have a Satajet for my panel painting, for small stuff I use the throwaway gun from harbor freight. They are on sale for 9.99 all the time. I often will modify one by drilling the tip with a 5/64 bit to make a good hi build primer gun Ive painted a whole car and produced a near perfect job with my SATA. The gun was not cheap though.
Years ago I was around a sandblaster that used supplied air. It was just a tap off of the compressor. The deal there was the possibility of getting CO in the air from the compressor. So, they added a CO monitor that would ring a bell if CO was present. With that said, is there anything in the Hobbyair system to alert to a CO problem? I was looking at running a Model A Ford/Gordon Smith air compressor but am concerned about sucking the exhaust in the supplied air mask.
The Hobbyair and the SAS supplied air system that uses the turbine don't need monitors because of the way they build air pressure. There are systems you can buy today that run off of a compressor; they do require a monitor and by the time you add that in it's way beyond the cost of the Hobbyair.
Ugh. Never, never, never breath air from a compressor using petroleum oil as a lubricant unless it has a rated filter that removes all of the oil vapors from the air. Compressors for breathing air are few and far between and mostly found in SCUBA diving stores or manufacturing facilities that produce food containers. These compressors have non lubricated cylinders that use plastic rings and seals.
Gary. YouTube the Breathe Cool system. It's a stand alone air pump that sits outside of your shop and pushes fresh air to you via a 1" diameter flex hose. A hood is worn which has a large window with peel off clear covers. The hood itself is only $35.00 and the lens covers are a dollar a piece. I paint quite a lot of heavy equipment and use all the nasty stuff. The air pump is over $200, but well worth it. I also use it to supply air to my welding mask. Check it out.
I like Steve Jelf's cheap fresh air mask he uses for sand blasting - it uses a shop vacuum cleaner for air. May have to be modified if used for painting, but still interesting
Talking with a professional painter a few days past he told me even house hold paint thinner will change your attitude for several days after use if its sprayed without protection.
Wonder what it does in a parts washer to your health?
I am currently doing two trips at 9 in the morning and 9 in the evening for infusion at our hospital for an infection in my elbow from T work better protection might have saved this issue from happening!
Ken, do you mean Isocyanates?