View Full Version : Paint Mask/Respirator Suggestions

04-02-2015, 07:26 PM
Hi all,

I'm looking at paint respirators and I need some advice. I'm a back-yard painter. We have a small booth in our barn/garage that we paint in from time to time. Anyhow, I'd like a respirator that also covers my face/eyes. The Eastwood company has a respirator that is NIOSH-approved and filters 95% of airborne particles, it says. Not sure what I should get. With painting acrylic enamals, etc, I'm concerned about isocyanates in the hardeners. Any advice from more experienced painters would be appreciated.


04-02-2015, 07:50 PM
Look at Bullard, Sata, or anyone that offers a "supplied air respirator system." During my career, I sold them all. Unless something has changed, in the past few years, there is no mask certified to filter isocyanate particulate. Iso. is not even supposed to contact your skin. Therefore, a supplied air respirator system is touted as the only true safe method of protection when such chemicals are being used.

Don't be intimidated by the hype or initial complexity of the systems or terminology. They are really fairly simple. You can buy some fairly economical single mask units. They should work with almost any disposable Tyvek coveralls. You'd just need a hooded mask, and gloves to complete the uniform. If your coveralls don't have elastic cuffs, just use rubber bands.

The carbon canister masks are fine for sanding dust, regular enamels, etc. But, add ISO and you need better protection.

Or...in your back yard...always spray down-wind.;)

04-03-2015, 07:06 PM
A supplied air system is certainly the best option out there. The more often you paint, the more you should consider a supplied air system. I, on the other hand, am just an amateur and only paint occasionally. I use a 3M full face mask with 6001 cartridges. Those are the ones recommended by the 3M tech line for paints with isocyanates. I use a new set of cartridges for each job. When I do a car with several coats of clear to allow for color sand and buff I will change the cartridges after the base is down and again after the first 3 coats of clear.

04-04-2015, 09:06 AM
Supplied air is definitely the ONLY way to insure complete lung protection when spraying catalized automotive paints...These catalyst contains isocyanates...which are known carcinogenics....Isocyanates ingested into the lungs cannot be dispelled by your body....and in some folks these buggers can fester and lead to SERIOUS lung problems.

We love to see nice shiny Studes, BUT.......................................!! :(

Bob Bryant
04-04-2015, 10:13 AM
I hope this is not inappropriate, as I am not knowledgable about the subject. You probably don't need a source, but the exchange made me think of an Army buddy that joined SDC a few years ago. When I saw the name I thought that must be the same Arnie. He had purchased a Studebaker cnvt of about 47-48 vintage. I called and we chatted as we were drafted in 1954. He told me about his business http://www.abglovesandabrasives.com/ in Sturgis, MI. Just a source as everyone makes their own decisions and location may not be convenient.

04-04-2015, 02:18 PM
Thanks for all the responses. I definately will be shopping for supplied air system. I'm young enough to purchase something nice. I painted wheels last fall with acrylic enamel and hardener with only a mask and don't want to expose myself to that stuff again. I didn't get sick, but don't want to take a chance. Thanks.


04-04-2015, 02:57 PM
I lost my brother to cancer recently. NO history of cancer in our family.

He was a avid model train modeler and perfectionist, with almost everything on his railroad precisely scratch-built to copy past and present landmark buildings and scenery. I suspect that his exposure to his air brush paints had something to do with it...

He had commented to me, a few years earlier, that several avid modelers had recently died of cancer and airborne paint was suspected and that he was now using a mask.

I actually have some made-up air equipment now. I get angry with my son even when he is using spray bombs. Safe(?) levels of toxicity have not been determined and will vary from person to person.

Not worth it!

Deaf Mute
04-04-2015, 05:04 PM
How do you guys keep the air hose, and the hood supply hose from getting all tangled up? It takes three times as long to paint a car now as I am always having to stop and untangle hoses. I tried taping them together and that helped some... but it is a real PITA! There HAS to be a way.

04-04-2015, 05:24 PM
How do you guys keep the air hose, and the hood supply hose from getting all tangled up? It takes three times as long to paint a car now as I am always having to stop and untangle hoses. I tried taping them together and that helped some... but it is a real PITA! There HAS to be a way.

For those of us who paint only occasionally, it can be a PITA. Mainly, because we don't do it repetitively enough to develop the habit/routine as those who do it daily. I've seen belt clip manifolds, where, as you mentioned, the hoses were taped to a manifold, and air distributed from there. Keep in mind that for most supplied air systems, a larger hose is used for volume at low pressure. Those hoses, although larger, are usually lighter because they don't require the pressure of atomizing air. Anytime I paint using a pressure vessel, I tape the fluid and air hoses to the gun together. When using a conventional cup, or gravity feed gun, I always try to keep the air hose over my shoulder.

Another thing I always tried to do, when painting a vehicle, was to plan my path from start to finish, and then do a dry practice run. You might feel a bit silly, pretending to paint, but it will help you become familiar with the required motion and steps. The last thing you want to do is snag a coupler on some object and tip something over into your fresh painted fender.