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Category Archives: Paint Safety

Are Paint Strippers Harmful?

Removing paint can be a real challenge sometimes. This is when paint strippers come in handy. Whether you want to remove varnish from furniture or strip the paint off of baseboards, you will most likely need to use a paint stripper.

Are Paint Strippers Harmful?This also means that you are using chemicals to do the job, and this can pose some risks if you don’t take the necessary precautions.

The active ingredients in a paint stripper may be harmful to eyes, skin, respiratory tract, nervous system, and internal organs. Chemical paint strippers became popular years ago to remove lead-based paint. Different paint strippers have varying chemicals in them, but most of them include some amount of methylene chloride and other abrasive materials which cause paint to peel off.

Health hazards associated with paint strippers

Unfortunately, paint strippers pose many health risks, especially when they are used incorrectly. Take a look at some of the health hazards:

Skin damage- Direct contact with a paint stripper can result in dermatitis because it dissolves the skin’s natural protective oil barrier.

Respiratory damage- Paint strippers can irritate the nose and throat membranes, and they also have the ability to damage lung tissue as well.

Brain and nervous system damage- When the solvent exposure causes depression of the nervous system, it can result in symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and loss of coordination. Chronic exposure to paint strippers can cause permanent brain damage and seizures.

Paint strippers also pose a huge fire hazard because they are a combination of different chemicals, each with fire-causing potential. Be sure to get the least flammable type of paint stripper possible.

Precautions to take when using paint strippers

  • Remove sources of heat or flame.
  • Do the job outside to ensure proper ventilation.
  • Wear eye protection to avoid irritation.
  • Protect your hands with gloves.
  • Dispose of solvent-soaked rags properly.

Chemical paint strippers can be harmful if ingested or if it gets on your skin or in your eyes, but they can be extremely useful when they are used in a correct manner. Be sure to closely follow directions and handle paint strippers with caution and care for best results.


Are Paint Solvents Harmful to Your Family?

Paint solvents can be extremely harmful to you and your family if you don’t use them properly. Here is some basic paint solvent information to assist you in preparing to use them safely:

Are Paint Solvents Harmful to Your Family?Paint solvents are typically used to thin out paint products, but they are also used to treat and clean wood and other materials. Solvents are usually needed to clean and prep a surface for a new finish after a paint remover has been used. They can also be used to create a desired color or painting effect.

There are many types of paint solvents. Commonly-used solvents include acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, turpentine, lacquer thinner, and denatured alcohol, to name a few. Each one works differently to thin out paint or to remove it from rollers and brushes. There are solvents especially for glass, metal, and other specific surfaces. Some paint solvents can be used on any type of surface.


Alcohols in high concentrations, such as methanol and amyl alcohol, are irritants of the eyes and upper respiratory tract. They can cause intoxication, blurred vision, and dizziness. Alcohols are possibly lethal if ingested. They are used as shellac thinner, paint and varnish remover, and lacquer thinners.


One of the most popular paint solvents, turpentine is extremely flammable. If turpentine gets into your eyes, it can result in severe burning. This is why you need to wear safety glasses when using turpentine.


One of the most commonly used solvents, acetone is produced naturally. It also has a strong smell and should never be inhaled or swallowed. Acetone is in many products such as nail polish remover.

The safety of you and your family should be your utmost concern when working with paint solvents. Every type of paint solvent poses risks, so protect your body by wearing the appropriate clothing, gloves, and goggles. Make use of a respirator if necessary, and be sure to work in an extremely well-ventilated area.

Ask a Professional Denver Painter what can affect your family.