Dos and Don ts - Paint

Dos and Don ts - Paint:

  • DO consider using High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) spray guns. HVLP spraying is usually the most cost effective method.
  • DO ensure paint operators are well trained and kept current in new painting techniques. Join a professional trade association that provides information about improved painting methods and new paints.
  • DO use paint and solvents with the lowest possible Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) content. Limit your use of thinner to the maximum extend possible. Avoid paints containing metals, if possible. Work with your paint vendor to identify such paints.
  • DO check with Community Affairs and EPD Air Quality Division on the need for paint booths, filtration, and ventilation requirements. If required, use and maintain a properly designed spray booth.
  • DO change paint filters before they become clogged. Consider using reusable and dissoluble filters, and crushing filters to reduce waste volume.
  • DO practice good inventory control; buy only enough paint to complete the job. Do keep all paint and solvent containers closed when not in use to minimize evaporation. Schedule jobs so as to reduce the number of color changes. Schedule light colors before dark colors.
  • DO use Teflon coated cans for mixing paint. This reduces the amount of solvent needed for cleanup.
  • DO use a single solvent for cleanup and paint thinning, if possible. Use the cleaning solvent the maximum number of times before disposing. Consider purchasing a distillation unit if you are disposing of more than 750 gallons of solvent per year.
  • DO consider purchasing/leasing a paint gun cleaner; paint gun cleaners can reduce solvent use by at least 75%.
  • DO use an industrial rag service.


  • DON'T discharge any paint, solvent, and paint cleanup wash water into septic tank, sanitary sewer, storm drains, surface water or ground surface.

  • DON'T dispose of paint filters as a solid waste (put into dumpster) without first testing for hazardous waste, if you are using paints with metal content.