Safety Tips for Painting Baseboard Heaters

Painting baseboard heaters is not a difficult task, and sometimes it needs to be done. Since heat rises, many homes come with baseboard heating systems. They are near the floor and can get kicked around, dinged by furniture or brooms, or just get dirty with time. A paint touch-up will help keep your baseboard heaters looking good.

Precautionary Measures

Safety is always a necessary issue when dealing with any electrical system. Baseboard heaters should be turned off and unplugged from any power source before working on them. Paint is wet and can cause electrocution or a short in the system.

In addition to the initial precautions of removing electricity from the baseboard heater, you should always adhere to standard construction safety precautions. Wear proper eye protection when you are working on painting. Old paint can chip and get into your eyes.

Tool Safety

Removing old paint and creating a surface to put the new paint onto a baseboard heater requires tools. If you are using a paint chipper, chemical paint removers, or a wire brush be sure to wear protective eye wear and a face mask to reduce the amount of dust you inhale. Also wearing gloves will protect your knuckles from scraping. Do not use a paint sprayer to paint your baseboard heaters. The spray from the heater can gum up the moving parts, making the safe operation of the heater more difficult to acquire. Paint should be of a fire-resistant quality.

Painting Safety

When you are painting the baseboard heaters be conscious that the heat needs to come through the coils and vents. Keep the paint from blocking the vents. Remove all the knobs before you begin in order to keep them from being painted on the surface of the baseboard heater, making them difficult to turn. Keep a rag handy to wipe away any paint that may gum up the moving parts. Considering the future safety of operation of the heater is important, and all the regulator knobs for heat and fans need to be in good working order when you are done.

General Safety

Paint causes fumes. When you are painting anything you should ensure that you are in a well ventilated area. If you are working on the floor you may find that the fumes have very little space to move around. If you do not have a window you can open a small fan will help move any paint fumes away from your work area. Wipe up paint as you go along, and use a small toothbrush to remove any dried paint from moving parts and the vents. Turn on the heater while you are going to be home for a while to ensure that the fan is blowing well, and that none of the vent holes are blocked by paint. Also, this way you can adjust the knobs and ensure that the rest of the system is still working safely before you walk away.