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How to Paint without Allergies

Follow these easy steps to minimize the allergy symptoms that a do-it-yourself paint project may cause.

Collage of a man painting the walls orange nest to a green door and a window with floral curtains

Step 1. Consider Allergy-Friendly Products

Before you start, look for allergy-friendly paints and products endorsed by the AAFA and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Step 2. Know Your Materials

Putting up new walls? Be careful of dust from wall paneling, particle board, fiberboard and insulation. Try to avoid wallboard that has glass-mesh cement "backer" boards; these can create extra debris.

Step 3. Keep Your Workspace Enclosed

Reduce the spread of potential triggers to the rest of your house by isolating the work area. Tape plastic sheets on doorways to reduce the spread of dust. When you're done, dispose of the plastic sheets carefully.

Step 4. Protect Yourself from Allergens

If you're doing the work, wear a facemask approved by the NIOSH. You can also reduce your exposure to allergens by wearing goggles and protective clothing—even a protective cap—which you can find at any home remodeling store.

Step 5. Ventilate and Filter Your Space

Control indoor air quality with a good central heating, ventilation and air- conditioning (HVAC) system fitted with a replaceable or washable HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter.

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