Essential safety tips for your first DIY project | the ReFab Diaries

DIY is part of a zero-waste lifestyle. And the first time you do it, it's exciting! Rolling up your sleeves, making something new, saving money—it actually gets me every time. But in the crafty thrill of your first time, it’s easy to forget the fact that you’re working with sharp tools, heavy (or messy) materials, and occasionally, chemicals. Yes, paint is a chemical.

Essential Safety Tips for Your First DIY Project


That means that safety is just as important as creativity when it comes to crafting, and my essential safety tips for your first DIY project will help you protect yourself.

Wear protective clothing

No one would allow a construction worker to walk onto a site without protective gear. In the same way, one of the simplest ways to stay safe during your first DIY projects is to make sure you’re dressed properly. This is more than simply putting on old clothes to avoid getting paint all over yourself. When you’re crafting, be sure to have:

  • Close-toed shoes
  • A smock
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • A long-sleeve shirt
  • Long pants
  • A face mask for projects involving fumes

Additionally, if you have long hair, it’s a good idea to tie it back and avoid wearing any dangly jewelry ir rings that could get caught in what you’re doing.

Use eco-friendly materials when possible

It’s no secret that many crafting materials, such as paints and wood stains, are loaded with volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These chemicals are what give paint and stain its harsh smell. They may also aggravate allergies, chemical sensitivity symptoms, and in cases of prolonged exposure, cause breathing problems.

To avoid this, choose eco-friendly options when selecting paint or wood stains. Water-based alternatives don’t have any VOCs and are the safer options.

Practice proper ventilation

Of course, there are times when water-based options aren’t available. In these instances, and even when you DO use low-VOCs, practicing proper ventilation is essential to protecting your lungs and getting rid of that wood stain odor. Proper ventilation includes:

  • Keeping windows and doors open
  • Placing fans throughout the room
  • Making sure vents aren’t covered
  • Being aware of other spaces where vents may open into

One obvious way to make sure that you can breathe easy is by working outside. But if the weather isn't cooperative, follow all the advice above.

Clean up afterwards

When your DIY project is done, it can be tempting to put off the clean up. But the mess you've made can prove dangerous to others in your home, especially young children or pets. So cleaning up is just as important as staying safe during the project.




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