PPE for spraying

PFDarkside

Senior Member
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I’m tempted to try to spray a body, and maybe do a bit more. I’m practicing by helping my son with his pinewood derby car. What is the proper PPE for spraying finishes?

I’ll be spraying outside or in the garage. Is there an appropriate respirator available on Amazon? When do you need eye protection?

I’m looking at everything from Rustoleum/Krylon to Duplicolor, some of the nitro cans available. Is there a respirator that will be appropriate for all of these when being shot in a garage/outside?

How about letting it dry? Our first shot of rustoleum was rather pungent when drying inside, should it be left outside to cure as well (at least the initial flashing)?

Also while we are on it, for sanding are any of the N95 dust masks we all seemed to have acquired the last few years appropriate?
 
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Hi, PFDarkside.

For spraying nitro or other highly volatile coatings, you want a respirator mask rated for organic vapors. A simple N95 or equivalent sanding mask will not neutralize the acetone, xylene, whatever else is in there. 3M is the go-to manufacturer of such items, but there are a million suppliers on Amazon. Personally, I'd go with the known quantity, rather than a manufacturer with potentially fake NIOSH certification. You can find a half-mask (one that covers the nose and mouth but not the eyes) for under $25USD on Amazon. This item will suffice for any coating you're likely to spray in your workshop. Note that the organic filter cartridges degrade over time, so if you will need to replace the organic vapor filter cartridges from time to time in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

As a rule you should wear eye protection when spraying or otherwise throwing particulate stuff into the air (i.e., when spraying, sanding or sawing), but if you're spraying outdoors or in a wide open garage you might be okay with skipping this. BUT: If you spray 2K coatings, which undergo a chemical reaction to cure rapidly, you do NOT want that stuff to get in your eyes, on your skin, or especially in your lungs. Wear full-face protection, full body covering, and gloves. You could get one of those cheap Tyvek suits and use that for spraying, just so you can be sure you won't get anything on your clothes or skin or your magnificent hair - $9.50USD at Amazon.

Generally you don't want your high-VOC (volatile organic compound) finishes to cure indoors where people eat, breathe, and sleep. If your garage or other work area is warm enough, I'd let the part hang there for the first part of its curing period, or at least a day or so.

If you are in a cold area and use your basement as a work area, first, don't spray in there - the buildup of flammable and potentially lethal fumes is a BAD THING and could do more than give you a headache - it could kill you outright, or ignite if there's a spark or a furnace turns on, or whatever. Second, and having addressed the insanity of spraying in an enclosed, unventilated area: you can use it as an area to let your sprayed part cure, bearing in mind that it will still outgas some potentially harmful fumes and stink up the joint for a while. Be aware of your own condition - if you're in the workshop and you're feeling nauseated, woozy, or headachey or otherwise out of sorts, get out of there and breathe some fresh air, and maybe store the part elsewhere for a while.

Others will likely have some useful info to share as well.

Happy finishing!

Bagman67
 
Fantastic post, thank you @bagman67 !

I’m on board with everything you’ve posted. Thankfully I’m not working with exotic woods that cause concern when sanding/cutting so I’m assuming an N95 dust mask will be sufficient. (Same for sanding paint?)

I also agree with risking false ratings, and that’s most of the point of asking here. To be blunt, that 3M 5301 is sufficient for aerosol lacquers, enamels, acrylics, etc? Is it also sufficient in the case that I wanted to use a catalyzed product like 2K? (I’m aware of the danger of these products and if I did experiment with them it would be after I am fully comfortable with my process for Rustoleum/Nitro/etc.

As a note, these cheaper Warmoth bodies (and the DIY paint option) has me thinking. It would be a good time to ramp up into spraying right in the April/May sweet spot of temp/humidity where I am.
 
Glad you found this helpful. And yep, the 3M respirator I link to above will suffice for your rattle-can needs.
 
Glad you found this helpful. And yep, the 3M respirator I link to above will suffice for your rattle-can needs.
Ok I tried the 3M respirator with Rustoleum outside and in the garage tonight, it works fantastic. I’m getting no smell whatsoever, so that makes me feel good. I may as well use it for sanding too when I’m creating dust.

It was “warm” today, so I sprayed outside and brought the test pieces into the warmer garage to flash off between coats. So far so good. (Testing some ideas for my son’s pinewood derby car, which will in turn be practice for my own guitar pieces, long term.)
 
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Another thing to consider is when you are done is to put the respirator into maybe a gallon size ziplock freezer bag to help keep the charcol cartridges fresh longer.
 
Another thing to consider is when you are done is to put the respirator into maybe a gallon size ziplock freezer bag to help keep the charcol cartridges fresh longer.
66124806.jpg
 
I'll just add that I stripped and repainted a bicycle in my apartment in brooklyn. Yes I opened the windows, but I didn't use a mask, and I got so stoned from the fumes that I was drooling. My wife asked me what was going on, said painting a bicycle. I learned a lesson from that. I don't know how many times you can thru that in your life, but once is enough.

Given all the stupid things I've done in my life, I'm lucky to be alive.
 
I'll just add that I stripped and repainted a bicycle in my apartment in brooklyn. Yes I opened the windows, but I didn't use a mask, and I got so stoned from the fumes that I was drooling. My wife asked me what was going on, said painting a bicycle. I learned a lesson from that. I don't know how many times you can thru that in your life, but once is enough.

Given all the stupid things I've done in my life, I'm lucky to be alive.
Ya, me too Rick. And really aren't we all? You get to an age where we have experienced losing enough of those we have loved to realize this.
 
Public Service Message;

I will say this about spraying 2K finishes - That stuff is TOXIC!! and if you can smell it through your respirator while spraying, it's already too late. You need a good name brand respirator, 1/2 face or full face (recommended) with cartridges rated minimum P100 service. Note, isocyanates are absorbed through the skin so you should wear a full tyvek bunny suit, goggles for a 1/2 face respirator, gloves and the hood up on the suit. Swap out pre-filters after each session, change filters every hour. Even if it says "Water Based", as a 2K finish it has something highly toxic like Iso in it.

Please be careful if you're going to spray this stuff.
 
I work in a guitar factory, and I have been digging into personal protection quite a bit.

This is what we use:

3MA1.jpg

3M active carbon filter, the 3M 06911.

Add:
4E746F757304478A907625A6E9E89209.jpg


3M 06925, to filter larger particles (this is technically a dust filter that goes OVER the 6911 filter, and there's even a better P3 filter: that one filters even smaller particles)

If you really want to be safe, get:
3M_TR600-LIK_02.jpg
3M_TR600-LIK_02.jpg
This is the Versaflow, an active system that filters out fumes etc, and injects cleanair into the hood. The TR6310 is an excellent choice for chemical vapors.
 
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