I recently began spraying furniture with oil based primer and chalk paint. WOW! The VOCs of oil based primer are strong. Therefore, the respirator that you wear is extremely important to ensure that your health is not adversely affected by the chemicals.
I read a very detailed article "How to Choose a Respirator or Dust Mask" that I used as a guide to select my new respirator. I also consulted with an auto body repairman that has been refinishing cars for over 45 years and shares my concern about VOCs,
"To filter out the vapors from spray paint and primer, you need a chemical cartridge/gas mask respirators NOT a dust mask! Chemical cartridge respirators include special carbon-filtering material that absorb gases & vapors from the air. The replaceable cartridges are inserted in a mask that seals tightly around the edges to block out unfiltered air.
Cartridge respirators may be half-mask (covering only your nose and mouth) or full-face (for protection against chemicals that irritate the skin)"
For more detailed info read the article referenced above.
The respirator I chose was a 3M product. The link to that respirator and the filter I use are listed at the end of this article . While some may say that this respirator is a bit over the top, I took into consideration all that I come in contact with when refinishing an old piece of furniture. I never know the history of the furniture. It may contain mold or worse yet, lead. (note-I always test for lead if there is any chance that a piece may contain lead and I do not refinish furniture with lead paint!) The fumes and vapors from the various products I use can be very strong including bondo and spray primer. Therefore, I would rather err on the side of being overly cautions. This respirator protects against just about every thing because I use P100 filters for another measure of safety!
The fit is very important to ensure that it works properly and this 3M respirator has a tight fitting mask that seals well around my chin and bridge of my nose. I could immediately tell the difference because for the first time could NOT smell the paint or primer I was spraying on.
Be mindful of your health! Wear the right respirator and wear it properly.
The mask and filters that I use:
Please read all labels and follow all manufacturer safety recommendations when working with paints, stains, and other equipment and wear and use appropriate personal protection equipment. Viewers should attempt these projects at their own risk.
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