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🤩Kitchen cabinets: Day 3🤩

Welcome! Today is the third and final blog in our kitchen cabinet process! 

 

To read about DAY ONE click here!

 

To read about DAY TWO click here!

At the end of day two we had sprayed on the second coat.

Today we are going to look over everything we painted and make sure there are no dings from the doors accidentally touching each other and make sure there are no runs.

Once we make sure all of the door fronts, drawer fronts, and units are okay we are going to start cleaning up!

We will remove the plastic and tape from inside the units!

Now we are going to put the handles back on the doors and drawers. We will attach the hinges back onto the cabinet doors, then we will attach the whole door to the unit.

After we get everything put back together, we finish cleaning.

We have to take the rest of the tape, drop cloths, and plastic off of the appliances and floor.

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✌Painting cabinets: Day 2✌

Welcome back! Today we are continuing our special! Today we will go into detail about day 2 painting kitchen cabinets! 

At the end of day 1 we sprayed the primer on the units and fronts and we hung them up. 

After letting the primer sit over night we can put the first coat of paint on.

We use Emerald Urethane Enamel on our cabinets. It is the hardest, most durable paint Sherwin-Williams offers, it is the same paint we use on most doors and trim as well.

We start with spraying the units and then we paint the cabinet fronts and drawer fronts. 

When spraying you can’t go too fast because it will be too thin, but if you go too slow the paint will be thick and will cause runs.

After letting the first coat sit for at least 4 hours we check to make sure it is all even and there are no runs. If there are any issues you can sand it and fix it. 

Make sure to do this before spraying the second coat.

 

The second coat needs to sit for at least 8 hours! We always let it sit over night, so this concludes day two! 

Tune in next week to see how day 3 goes!

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🎨Kitchen Cabinets: Day 1🎨

Hi everyone! Today is the start of our How to paint kitchen cabinets in 3 short days post! Today we are going to walk through our process here at Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists.

Our kitchen cabinet process used to take 6 days, but since we work in an assembly line process, use an airless sprayer and create an onsite spray booth we are able to cut it down to a 3-day process.

The first thing we do when we enter a new job site is lay down drop cloths to protect your floors.

We lay cloth drop cloths everywhere we walk, where we will be spraying we use paper drop cloths purchased from Sherwin-Williams. We tape the edges of the paper down so they don’t move. The paper doesn’t allow liquid to leak through.

Next, we begin taking the drawer fronts and the door fronts off the units. These will not leave the job site at all, we will go over the on site spray booth soon.  After we take everything down we also remove all the hardware, this includes the handles, hinges, and anything else on the cabinets.

After taking everything off the cabinet fronts we clean everything with TSP. We use TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) to break down the grease, grime, and all other things off the surface. It is a safe chemical that easily breaks down dirt and other unwanted things in the kitchen.

To be able to spray the units we will tape off the inside so there is no over spray. We do this in the drawer and door fronts as shown in the video below. We place the tape inside the unit and drag the plastic down to cover the inside. We drape plastic over all the appliances, so nothing is damaged with over spray.

Now, before we go onto a light sanding we are going to set up our HEPA filter sanding system! This is an attachment to the sander that sucks up and collects all the extra dust that comes off as we sand. Sanding takes off any other layers of paint on the cabinets and makes it easier for the primer and new paint to adhere to the cabinets.

This filter system collects very small microns of dust! 

We are going to go on and set up a spray booth! Building a spray booth in the garage, spare room, or basement allows us to spray the fronts with the airless sprayer and keeping it on site.

To set up the spray booth we first lay drop cloths to protect the floor, we then hang plastic from the ceiling creating an enclosed space so there is no over spray.

After  lightly sanding everything (Door fronts, drawer fronts, & units) we then clean them with TSP again.

Now it is time to do the first spray: The primer.

We use extreme bond primer from Sherwin-Williams. We spray the units and the door and drawers front.

We spray the cabinets instead of roll or brush so there will not be any marks. It is important to keep up on your airless sprayer. If you do not, there can be many issues including over spraying and runs in the paint. 

We must wait at least 4 hours before we can apply the first coat of paint. Letting the primer set in will help the paint adhere.

The door and drawer fronts are hung up so we can paint the whole thing and let them completely dry.

This completes the first day of painting cabinets! Tune in next week to hear about day two!

CALL NOW FREE QUOTES:  309-271-1435

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😎Interior Painting😎

Introduction: Welcome to Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists blog!Today we are going to give you all of our interior tips when painting your home! Check out the

Read More »

🥰CABINETS Day 1🥰

Click here to Schedule Appointment and SAVE $200.00 Hi everyone! Today is the start of our How to paint kitchen cabinets in 3 short days

Read More »

🤯Day 2 on cabinets!🤯

Click here to Schedule Appointment and SAVE $200.00 Welcome back to Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists Blog! Today we are continuing our special! We will

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😮How we go Green-LOW VOC😮😮

Hi everyone and thank you for reading Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists blog!

As part of our “New Chapter” here with our company, we are GOING GREEN! As always we use Sherwin-Williams products so on our blog today that is who we will be talking about! Almost all of our products have little to no VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) in them!

When people hear us talking about VOC the most common subject to come up is the smell; while yes- paint with  VOC  has an odor, that is not the only risk!

Health effects may include:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
  • Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
  • Some organics can cause cancer in animals, some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.

Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include:

  • conjunctival irritation
  • nose and throat discomfort
  • a headache
  • allergic skin reaction
  • dyspnea
  • declines in serum cholinesterase levels
  • nausea
  • emesis
  • epistaxis
  • fatigue
  • dizziness

Steps to Reduce Exposure

  • Increase ventilation when using products that emit VOCs.
  • Meet or exceed any label precautions.
  • Do not store opened containers of unused paints and similar materials anywhere people are around often.
    • Identify, and if possible, remove all sources.
    • If not possible to remove, reduce exposure by using a sealant on all exposed surfaces of paneling and other furnishings.
  • Read directions on all house hold cleaners
  • Make sure you provide plenty of fresh air when using these products.
  • Throw away unused or little-used containers safely; buy in quantities that you will use soon.
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets.
  • Never mix household care products unless directed on the label.

Links to Sherwin-Williams low VOC program-

Thank you again for reading Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists blog and STAY TUNED!!! We will add more information weekly to keep you and your family safe when it comes to remodeling!!!!

All information was found on the official Sherwin-Williams Website and the official EPA website 

VOCs harm the planet, the environment, and anyone who comes into contact with the noxious gases. Exposure can lead to long lasting effects, even death from too much exposure. These gases combined all over are extremely dangerous to people and the environment! 

 

Low VOC products have little to no harsh chemicals so they do not harm the people around it or the environment. It is a safe, healthy alternative that still gives you the same great, new look you and your home deserve!

🎨How to Paint Cabinets🎨

How to paint kitchen cabinets in 3 short days! Today we are going to walk through our process here at Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists.

Our kitchen cabinet process used to take 6 days, but since we work in an assembly line process, use an airless sprayer and create an onsite spray booth we are able to cut it down to a 3-day process.

The first thing we do when we enter a new job site is lay down drop cloths to protect your floors.

We also make sure to tape down the drop cloths to make sure they don’t move.

Next, we begin taking the drawer fronts and the door fronts off the units. These will not leave the job site at all. After we take everything down we also remove all the hardware, this includes the handles, hinges, and anything else on the cabinets.

After taking everything off the cabinet fronts we clean everything with TSP. We use TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) to break down the grease, grime, and all other things off the surface.

To be able to spray the units we will tape off the inside so there is no over spray. We do this in the drawer and door fronts as shown in the video below. We take plastic and drape it over all the appliances, so nothing is damaged with overspray.

Now, before we go onto a light sanding we are going to set up our HEPA filter sanding system! This is an attachment to the sander that sucks up and collects all the extra dust that comes off as we sand. Sanding takes off any other layers of paint on the cabinets and makes it easier for the primer and new paint to adhere to the cabinets.

This filter system collects very small microns of dust! We are going to go on and set up a spray booth! Building a spray booth in the garage, spare room, or basement allows us to spray the fronts with the airless sprayer and keeping it on site.

To set up the spray booth we first lay drop cloths to protect the floor, we then hang plastic from the ceiling creating an enclosed space so there is no over spray.

After sand lightly sand everything (Door fronts, drawer fronts, & units) we then clean them with TSP again.

Now it is time to do the first spray: The primer.

We spray the cabinets instead of roll or brush so there will not be any marks. It is important to keep up on your airless sprayer. If you do not, there can be many issues including over spraying and runs in the paint. 

We must wait at least 4 hours before we can apply the first coat of paint. Letting the primer set in will help the paint adhere.

After applying the first coat of paint you will need to wait another at least 4 hours for the second coat. At our company we always do two coats on all our projects.

After the second coat waiting 12 hours is a must before it will be durable enough to put everything back together.

After removing the tape from the inside of the units you can hang the doors and drawers.

CALL NOW FREE QUOTES:  309-271-1435

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Affordable Fall Decor…

Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists: Crafting Affordable Decorations This Fall

Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists: Crafting Affordable Decorations This Fall

Hi and thank you for coming back to the blog for Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists. Fall season is in full swing and today we are going to discuss how to craft affordable decorations for your yard this fall! This includes using natural foliage from your yard to your benefit as well as DIY craft projects that anyone can do. Read on below for 10 tips and tricks on affordable decorating!

Use Natural Foliage

You might not realize it but the leaves that collect in the yard provide endless opportunities for do-it-yourself projects as well as simple craft projects for anyone in the family. Not only do they make our surroundings feel cozier but they provide an infinite resource for decorating the front of the home. From garlands to wreaths, these natural autumn decorations give the perfect touch and ambiance of the season to the front of the home.

Decorate With Pillows and Rugs

You would be surprised how a few deliberately chosen accessories can give a unique look to the front of your home. Get inspired by the fall season and add a few comfortable pillows and an outdoor rug or two for a variety of fall colors. Outdoor pillows can be found fairly cheap and provide the perfect pop of oranges, deep reds, dark blues and black that will look perfect on your porch. And think about using an old rug from the basement or your garage to place on your porch as a fall decoration that will provide even more fall color to the front of the home.

Add A Scarecrow!

It might seem an obvious decoration for the fall but it is a cheap option and can also be done yourself with leaves found in the front yard. But a scarecrow creates a whimsical (or scary!) mood to any front porch display. You can build a traditional scarecrow by stuffing old clothing with straw and leaves or you can purchase a ready-to-display scarecrow in stores or online. Just a reminder: make sure your display won’t frighten younger children before investing any time or money in creating a more elaborate display. 

Take Advantage of Antiques

Not only do antiques look lovely but they can connect us to a forgotten piece of history, a lost loved one, or simply just remind us that its fall. Rummage through your garage and basement as antiques can provide a great personal touch to the front porch of a home. Make sure it is nothing valuable – anything you place out front will be exposed to the elements, etc. – but you can usually find plenty of old trinkets just looking through your house. But if you don’t have any tools getting rusty in the back of your garage or an old metal wreath in your basement then you can buy antiques rather inexpensively at a thrift store or at a swap meet in your area.

Now when decorating with natural foliage from your yard you should always be aware of possible dirt and critters that could be found in the leaves. Always check the leaves you choose to use and never bring any of the decorations inside to avoid any dirt or bugs. As always thank you for reading these decorating tips! Be sure to come back and visit the blog at Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists for more fall tips and tricks, painting ideas, cabinet design, and more!

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😎Interior Painting😎

Introduction: Welcome to Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists blog!Today we are going to give you all of our interior tips when painting your home! Check out the

Read More »

🥰CABINETS Day 1🥰

Click here to Schedule Appointment and SAVE $200.00 Hi everyone! Today is the start of our How to paint kitchen cabinets in 3 short days

Read More »

🤯Day 2 on cabinets!🤯

Click here to Schedule Appointment and SAVE $200.00 Welcome back to Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists Blog! Today we are continuing our special! We will

Read More »

🏡How to decorate your Exterior🏡

Thanks for stopping by our blog! Here at Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists we are your guaranteed painting pros. Today we are going to discuss decorating the exterior of your house and the right colors to use for the fall. When it comes to seasonal decorating, Fall can be the most exciting time of year and those outside fall decorations can help your home standout and be the envy of others all season long!

 

The joy of decorating for the fall is the opportunity that the exterior of your home gives you. With the opulent colors of the trees on full display it is easy to give the outside of your home that same wonderful fall feeling. But where do you start? Like I said, the leaves from the trees and mother nature will do a lot of the work for you so the focus should always first fall on the exterior of the house. Consider where decorations can be placed – front porch, walkway, driveway. Do you have a one-story or two-story house? What is your decorating budget and will you need help setting these decorations up?

These are questions you will first need to answer before you start decorating. If this seems a bit complicated then consider how much work you are willing to put in. Exterior decorations do not need to be overly complicated and keeping it simple with a few well-placed crafts is always a good option.

Here is a list of 8 outdoor decorating options for anyone looking for fun and simple fall decorating ideas:

  1. Hang a Fall Garland. These decorations are cheap to buy or make at home yourself and can be placed virtually anywhere to decorate the house. They can even be layered on existing shrubbery or vines for greater effect.
  2. Add a Pumpkin! This can be real or fake and completely up to you! Carving your own pumpkin gives you the freedom to create your own designs but also comes with a pretty hefty mess. Feel free to avoid the mess and buy a battery operated one from the store.
  3. Hang a fall wreath. Or if you’re crafty enough, make your own leafy wreath with the leaves collected from the front yard!
  4. Create your own candleholders! According to SouthernLiving.com (https://www.southernliving.com/home/decor/outside-fall-decorations) “An outdoor fall decoration wouldn’t be complete without pumpkins. Choose multicolored gourds and carve spaces in the top. Fit in a glass candleholder and a pillar candle for a glimmering pathway border.”
  1. Add a Different Color Palette. While the October holiday generally dictates plenty of orange around this time of year – don’t be afraid to experiment with other fall colors and incorporate some gourds or shrubbery with greens and purples. And According to SouthernLiving.com (https://www.southernliving.com/home/decor/outside-fall-decorations) “deep red mums and other scarlet-toned blooms look great rising from planters at an entry. They also complement the orangey palette of a pumpkin display.”
  2. Get Creative with Pumpkins. Stack them together to create your own pumpkin patch or display. Or hollow out the inside of the pumpkin and the possibilities are endless! Create a planter with a blooming floral display for everyone to appreciate!
  1. String Lights. If you have an outdoor porch or a covered walkway and some free time think about adding some decorative string lights which can add some much needed ambiance to a darkened area.
  2. Incorporate Acorns. Those pesky things that can clutter up your lawn can actually be useful! They’re a perfect pair and an ideal alternative to classic pumpkins and work perfectly when used in wreaths or planters!

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💰New kitchen WITHOUT the price💰

Hi everyone! Thank you for reading Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists Blog!

Today we are going to help you save thousands on a brand new kitchen!!!

Are you tired of walking into the same 50’s kitchen every day? Are you embarrassed to invite friends over for dinner?? Are you ready to not spend an arm and a leg on a kitchen you AREN’T ashamed of!?

By the time we are done in your home, you will only be seeing this in your nightmares!

“Last year the national average cost for a minor, midrange remodel of the heart of the home was $21,198 The report goes on to add that a more major, midrange renovation averaged $63,829, and an upscale kitchen renovation’s average cost came in at $125,721.”

“The typical house has at least 30 linear feet of cabinetry using same design / size with medium-grade oak cabinets – Average of $117 to $140 per linear foot for a total of $4200. This does not take into consideration the removal of old cabinetry and the potential for reinforcement of walls and floors. Such costs would be based on the average carpentry rate of $70 per hour.”

 

The two above statistics are the sad truth we are living today!

Worry NO MORE! We have secret money saving tips you will all LOVE!

What if we told you you could completely transform your kitchen for less than HALF of that amount!!!?

To completely re-do this kitchen, it WOULD HAVE cost over $20,000.00… but because of our money saving tips, they only spent $2,730.00 and it looks like a whole new house!!!

There are many different ways to change up the look of your kitchen without replacing everything.

Besides just changing the color of your cabinets you can do other things in your kitchen to give it its own look.

Try giving the island its own accent color

If you don’t have an island in your home, try giving the two levels their own colors. These small but subtle changes give your kitchen a personality of its own!

twocolors.jpg

Don’t like the grain marks on your cabinets? — Don’t worry, we can take that away as well!!

Even if you do not like the grainy look your cabinets have you DO NOT have to replace them!

Do you want your kitchen to

1. Update hardware.

Hardware can completely change the look of a piece of furniture and it can do the same for your cabinets. Replace drawer and cabinet pulls for an new unique look that instantly updates your entire space.

2. Use lighter colors.

A light color on the walls and cabinets instantly brightens a space making it look larger and in turn, more expensive. Light colors reflect light and hide a multitude of sins, including those scratches, dings and dents in your old cabinets.

3. Change lighting.

Chandeliers and pendants are the perfect accessory to not only brighten your kitchen but change the mood of the space. Standard lights that come in most homes and rentals are uniform. Mix it up and give the most used room in your house some personality or an unexpected element.

4. Use artwork.

Artwork is a great way to elevate any room and it will do the same in your kitchen. Don’t be afraid to go big and bold — it will give the illusion of a bigger space. Art is also a great option for renters who don’t have the freedom to change everything they’d like to.

5. Paint your appliances stainless steel.

Don’t have stainless steel appliances? No problem. Use a paint-on stainless steel finish to update your appliances that still work well but are giving your kitchen a dated feel. Be careful, companies make different types if this liquid stainless steel depending on the appliance and its use.

6. Add window treatments.

Dress up your bare windows to instantly dress up your kitchen.

7. Hide small appliances.

Nothing brings down a space more than clutter. Keep your counter space clear of small appliances like toasters, blenders and coffee pots. They’re easy enough to take out when you want to use them.

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🤔Chemicals: What’s in your home?🤔

Do you REALLY know what is in your home?

or, more specifically, on your walls?

Today we are going to look more closely at what is REALLY in your home and on your walls.

Hi everyone! Thank you for reading blog!

As humans, we don’t really think about the paint on our walls… yes, we see the color, yes sometimes we even smell the paint… but have you ever wondered what you’re breathing in? Have you ever wondered what you’re children are exposed to daily?

More specifically we are going to compare Lacquer with Emerald Urethane.

Lacquer is a liquid made of shellac dissolved in alcohol, or of synthetic substances, that dries to form a hard protective coating for wood, metal, etc.

Catalyzed lacquer is a hybrid reactive finish that cures chemically, not solely through the evaporation of solvents

Lacquer has over 600 VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) they are the gases emitted from the product.

Click here to read how we GO-GREEN with our low VOC products

“EPA’s Office of Research and Development’s “Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) Study” (Volumes I through IV, completed in 1985) found levels of about a dozen common organic pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside, regardless of whether the homes were located in rural or highly industrial areas. TEAM studies indicated that while people are using products containing organic chemicals, they can expose themselves and others to very high pollutant levels, and elevated concentrations can persist in the air long after the activity is completed.” – EPA

Even though lacquer has such a HIGH VOC level painters still choose to use it because it dries quickly and is a good resistance to household chemicals.

Click here for all of the chemicals in lacquer.

Symptoms of Lacquer Poisoning:

Home Care

Now we will share some information about the LOW VOC  – Emerald Urethane from Sherwin-Williams.

Emerald Urethane has a less than 50 VOC level.

Click here for the data sheet from Sherwin-Williams site with all of the chemicals in Emerald.

The higher the VOC level, the longer it will take for it to clear the air. High VOC levels can cause harm to the painters and those who are in the home, even after the painting is complete.

Possible health effects include:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
  • Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
  • Some organics can cause cancer in animals, some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.

Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include:

  • conjunctival irritation
  • nose and throat discomfort
  • headache
  • allergic skin reaction
  • dyspnea
  • declines in serum cholinesterase levels
  • nausea
  • emesis
  • epistaxis
  • fatigue
  • dizziness

Tips to reduce your VOC Exposure:

Tip 1: Buy only what you need

When it comes to household chemicals, break the habit of buying in bulk to save money and simply buy what you need. Stored chemicals are a major source of VOCs, even when the container is closed up tight. Whenever possible, buy low-VOC versions of products. Many “green” brands are only slightly more expensive than conventional versions.

Tip 2: Store smelly stuff in a detached shed

Paints, paint thinners, pesticides, and gas cans are a major source of VOCs. The further away from your house you store these smelly items, the better. A detached shed is ideal. Use it to store gas-powered tools, too—lawn mowers, snow blowers, and chain saws.

If you have leftover pesticides, paint, and other chemicals, contact your municipal waste department to find out where you can dispose of them safely.

Tip 3: Seal off your attached garage

If you have an attached garage, you’ve got vehicles with VOC-producing gas tanks right next to your living area. Plus, if a detached shed isn’t an option, you’re likely to use your garage to store your chemicals, gas cans, and other VOC-spewing products.

If that’s the case, seal up any connections between your garage and living area. Weatherstrip your garage access door, and make sure that the threshold gasket is snugged up tight.

Sometimes connections aren’t obvious—loose holes around ductwork can leak garage air into your basement where an air return duct collects and disperses VOCs all over the house. Button up these gaps with caulk and foam sealant.

Tip 4: Your nose knows

Weather permitting, open windows and run exhaust fans when you’re working with paints and pungent cleaners. Trust your nose—if you can smell it, you’re whiffing VOCs. That includes any time you bring vinyl or plastic items (say, a new shower curtain) or dry-cleaned clothes into the house.

If weather permits, remove covers and packaging from items and set them outside for a while to off-gas—at least until they don’t smell. Schedule major interior paint jobs for good weather so you can open up windows.

Tip 5: Exhaust your possibilities

Bathroom and kitchen fans are great for removing VOCs from the air, especially because cooking and cleaning can release some potent, even carcinogenic, compounds. But if you run exhaust fans constantly, you create negative air pressure inside the house that may draw air—and VOCs—from your attached garage into your home.

Run fans until any chemical or smoke smell dissipates, then turn them off. If you use your garage as a regular work area for VOC-generating hobbies, such as woodworking, install an exhaust fan to the outside. Exhaust fans cost $250 to $400, installed.

Tip 6: Ditch the air fresheners

The health evidence against plug-in and spray air fresheners is mounting; many emit chemicals and ultra-fine particulates that aren’t identified on the label. Some also contain terpene, a fragrant chemical that’s widely found in natural substances, such as pine resins.

But when confined inside a house, terpenes react with naturally occurring ozone in the air and form compounds that have long-term effects on the respiratory system (asthma, for example).

The alternative? Keep a clean house, use environmentally friendly cleaners, and get a whiff of pine scent while taking a nice long walk outside.

Tip 7: Read the label

Before hiring a painting company or purchasing your own products, read the label and know the product!

Refuse the use of ANY high VOC products in your home.

VOCs health hazards

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are solids and liquids that convert easily to gas or vapor at room temperature. VOCs are contained in many paint products and have been linked to a variety of health problems—watery eyes, headaches, asthma, respiratory diseases and cancer.

Common paint VOCs

Common VOCs in paint include ethylene glycol (the same chemical compound found in antifreeze), formaldehyde, benzene, and a variety of other flammable or toxic chemicals. The paint’s materials safety data sheet (MSDS) lists the hazardous materials the product contains. Laminated MSDS sheets are usually displayed in paint stores, or you can download them from a paint manufacturer’s website.

When inhaled, solvents like benzene, which are added to paint to allow it to spread easily, can be absorbed into the blood stream. Some paints also contain toxic fungicides to halt mildew growth, along with biocides, which are used to extend the product’s shelf life.

Some VOCs have also been linked to cancer, especially for people who are exposed to them over a long period, experts say. A 2002 National Cancer Institute study revealed that men and women who work in the paint industry had a “significantly increased risk” of cancer. Paint manufacturers use combinations of up to 15,000 chemicals used in various paints, with the more dangerous chemicals including benzene, chloroform and dichloromethane, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report. Benzene is known to cause leukemia in humans, the report noted, and several other paint chemicals are suspected of causing cancer as well.

Painting safety tips

UL and other experts also recommend:

  • Keep the air moving. Paint in areas that have good air circulation. If you need to, use window fans to help the paint dry sooner and get rid of emissions. Make sure to leave the windows and doors open.
  • Protect your eyes. Use eye goggles or safety glasses to reduce the risk of paint splashing in your eyes.
  • Don’t breathe it in. Wear a breathing mask when sanding, or a solvent respirator when working with solvent-based products.
  • Create a kid-free zone. Keep children and pets out of the painting area.
  • Stick with water-based paints. These paints generally pose fewer health risks than oil-based, solvent paints. Oil based paints, stains, and products, typically contain more solvents and can emit higher amounts of gases. It’s safer to use these products outdoors or in areas where there is excellent ventilation. Solvents are also highly flammable.
  • Read labels carefully. The label on that can of paint contains some valuable information, including drying times, warning labels and other important information. Always know what you’re working with.

Below are tips to help From VOC to other hazards:

1) Old smoke alarms

Smoke alarms should be replaced after 10 years to make sure they’re in good working order, says Owen Davis, spokesman for the National Fire Protection Association. There are two types of smoke alarms, ionization and photoelectric, which use different technology. Ionization smoke alarms contain a small amount of radioactive material, so safe disposal is important. Check to see if your state’s radiation control program offers collection of expired smoke alarms or mail the alarm back to the manufacturer, the EPA recommends.

2) Pesticides

You’ve gotten rid of the cockroaches, rats or other pests that invaded your home, but now you’ve got leftover pesticides. The best way to get rid of pesticides is to use them up, the EPA recommends. Once you have an empty bottle or can, you can throw it in the trash unless the label on the bottle directs another method of disposal. If you can’t use what’s left, look for a friend or neighbor who might. If you don’t have any luck, check with your city or county for hazardous waste disposal rules. 

3) Paint

Your walls got a fresh coat, but now you’ve got a few partially full cans of paint on your hands. How to dispose of them depends on the answer to this question: oil or latex? “Oil-based paints are considered hazardous wastes,” Holtzman says, adding that you’ll have to dispose of oil paint through your local hazardous waste disposal program. However, many local governments allow you to put latex paint out with regular household trash if the paint has been dried out, she says. Never dry out oil paint, though, because that releases hazardous fumes.

4) Mercury thermometers

If you need to see if your tot is running a fever, the EPA recommends using non-mercury thermometers. But if you do break a mercury thermometer, follow these mercury cleanup stepsrecommended by the EPA. Once you have the broken glass and mercury in a paper towel sealed in a zip lock bag, check with your city or county on how to dispose of items containing mercury. Or search Earth911.org for local and mail-in programs.

5) Expired medications

Do you have expired flu medicine, unused pain pills or other drugs in the back of your medicine cabinet? It’s a good idea to get rid of old medications, but don’t just toss those bottles in the trash. First, check the drug label and patient information for any specific disposal instructions, the FDA recommends. In general you can dispose of drugs by dropping them off at a hospital or pharmacy that has a medication take-back program, according to the FDA. Or you can mix many medications with cat litter or coffee grounds and throw them away in the trash. However, there is a short list of medications you should flush down the toilet instead to make sure no child or pet ingests the drug, according to the FDA.

6) Lightbulbs

Old-fashioned incandescent bulbs can go in the trash when their life is over, but fluorescent bulbs are a different story. They contain a bit of mercury gas, so they require special disposal. Check with your local hardware or home improvement store to see if they recycle them. Or look for a disposal site by searching Earth911.org.

When a compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb breaks, clear kids and pets out of the room and put on gloves, Holtzman says. Then turn off your central air or heating system and open a window or door to air out the space for several hours, the EPA recommends.

Use stiff cardboard to gather up any glass fragments, and put them in a glass jar with a lid or in a sealable plastic bag. Then, use sticky tape to pick up powder or tiny glass fragments. (The EPA offers more detailed cleanup instructions.) Check with your city to see if you must take the broken bulb to a recycling center or if you may toss it in your household trash.

7) Insulin needles/sharps

Stick sharps in a hard plastic sharps container as soon as you’re done using them, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends. If you don’t have a sharps container, you can buy one at a pharmacy, medical supply company or through a health care provider. Or, in a pinch, use a sturdy plastic container, such as a household laundry detergent bottle, with a tight-fitting lid. Label the container: “Sharps: Do not open.” [Contact your local trash disposal service or health department to find out how to dispose of sharps containers in your area. You might be able to drop off the container at an approved collection site at a hospital, pharmacy or health department, according to the FDA.

8) Cooking grease

When you’re done cooking up a skillet of bacon, don’t throw the grease down the drain, garbage disposal or toilet. Fats can clog pipes and lead to plumbing backups. Pour hot beef, chicken or pork grease into an old coffee can or other sealable container, then cool or freeze until it’s solid. Vegetable oils won’t harden like other fats will, so put them in a container and add coffee grounds or kitty litter to sop up the oil, then put a lid on it. You can throw these containers into a covered household trashcan, Holtzman says.

9) Sharp stuff

Sharp items such as broken glass, razor blades and old kitchen knives can seriously cut anyone handling the trash or sorting through your recycle bin. Never throw these items straight into your trash. Instead, put any sharp objects that aren’t contaminated with body fluids or chemicals into a sturdy box or other puncture-resistant container and tape it tightly shut, Holtzman says. Then, take a marker and write “sharp objects” on the box in big letters.

10) Appliances

If your old fridge, stove or dishwasher kicked the bucket, don’t take it apart or toss it outside. Old appliances may contain hazardous substances such as mercury, used oil and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), according to the EPA. First, check with your electric company to see if they offer a “bounty program” that will pay you cash for turning over an outdated, inefficient appliance, the EPA recommends.

If there’s no program in your area, contact your city or county to check disposal rules. Some cities offer “bulky item pickup” for appliances. Before you put a refrigerator, freezer, washer or dryer in front of your house for pickup, take off the door so children can’t get trapped inside, Holtzman says.

11) Antifreeze

The antifreeze that keeps your car rolling on cold days can harm people and pets. Ethylene glycol and propylene glycol, the most commonly used types of automotive antifreeze, are poisonous, so it’s crucial to discard used antifreeze properly, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Never pour antifreeze on the ground, in a septic system or down a storm drain. Instead, check Earth911.org to see if a recycling center in your area takes antifreeze for recycling. Or call local automotive shops to ask if they accept used antifreeze. Otherwise, check with your city or county for disposal rules.

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