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"Don't wreck yo self!"

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

The 4 Pieces of PPE You Need for Furniture Refinishing

You’ve found your project, you read our last blog post on how to prep it, you’re gaining confidence and heading in the right direction but you’ve got questions on how to properly protect yourself. Don’t worry, here are the top 4 pieces of PPE you need for furniture refinishing. (Hint: PPE is short for Personal Protective Equipment.)

Gloves - Our skin is our largest organ and it’s important to protect it. At the time of writing this, the COVID-19 pandemic is in full swing and Harbor Freight--where I get my disposable gloves--pulled all of their listings for disposable gloves off of their website. So, I’ll describe them.

The brand is Hardy and they’re 7 mil in thickness. They’re powder-free, nitrile, industrial strength and offer a barrier against a variety of things but the one we’re interested in is paint and they protect against paint. I’ve also used these gloves when working with stains, Rub ‘n Buff, and a variety of other finishes around the shop.

Safety Glasses - Yeah, no one wants paint, stain, sawdust, or anything else foreign in their eyes. You can find just about any kind of pair that you need online. I’m not going to list the multiple versions you can get because that would put anyone to sleep. A quick google search for the kind you need will be just fine. Most of the time I use my regular glasses, but some jobs require the large safety goggles to go over my glasses. Those days I feel like I am back in high school Chemistry class.

Respirator - Even if you’re working outside, you’re still breathing in the air around the project you’re working on and that air will still have traces of VOCs and other potentially toxic fumes. VOCs are Volatile Organic Compounds and you can read their impact on our health in a trusty little article from the EPA here. Warning, it’s not a pretty list… and some of the issues I have never heard of.

The respirator I use is usually in stock at Home Depot, although currently unavailable to purchase just one. But, here’s a link to the multi-pack to give you an idea. Hopefully once the COVID-19 pandemic slows down, these will be available in single forms again. Also, the same outlet sells additional cartridges for replacement. These cartridges do have an expiration date. This respirator has been perfect for all of the workshop needs.

Hearing Protection - This is somewhat of an optional piece of PPE. If part of your prep work contains sanders, saws, or other noise creating activities, I’ll share with you what I use for ear protection. Because I enjoy having tunes while I work and wanted to know when a phone call, text message or email popped up, I bought this amazing invention by 3M off of Amazon. They’re noise-reducing, Bluetooth-connecting headphones that were comfortable on my head and ears for hours at a time.

If you get and use these 4 pieces of PPE, you are set to safely begin your refinishing project!

Pictured here is your fearless author Amanda standing shoreline to a lake with beautiful mountains in the back, soaking up the sun beams from heaven as she wears all of her PPE in demonstration... Dreaming of days where she leaves the quarantine walls again... Sigh. Soon my friends, soon. In the mean time she says, "check yo self before you wreck yo self and wear the PPE".

Stay healthy, stay safe!


Please comment with your experience and include photos if you'd you like! If you found this post helpful, please share with others. Thanks!

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