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  • Operator Practices
  • Appropriate Attire
  • Best Practices
  • Operator Error

2.2.4 Operator Practices

One of the best ways dirt can hitch a ride into the paint booth is on the operator. Clothing, hands and hair provide ample opportunity for contamination. One of your best investments is a throw-away paint suit. It lasts a week or more and only costs a few dollars — a lot cheaper than rubbing out dirt. Here we deal with areas concerning the operator that need attention.




2.2.4.a Operator Practices


Appropriate Attire


• In the booth, wear clothing with no fibrous particles. T-shirts are possibly the greatest source of contamination. Cotton material, besides being full of fibers, creates static electricity that holds dust like a magnet.

• Never spray in the booth without a lint-free painter's suit. This work clothing should be worn exclusively inside the spray booth and should be kept in a dust-free place.


• Lint-free head covers or paint socks over the head should be worn by everyone in the booth. All hair should be covered or sealed. A human hair is an automatic rejection for a paint job, and dandruff is three times larger than a human hair!

• Wear rubber form-fitting gloves — both for safety and cleanliness.


• Respirators or a fresh-air system should be used by everyone in the booth when painting is going on.

• Store suit in an airtight plastic bag



2.2.4.b Operator Practices


Best Practices

• Store paint suit(s) in an air-tight plastic bag.


• Wear paint suits only in the spray booth / mix room / vestibule environment. They should be worn nowhere else.


• Put on paint suits only within the clean-room area.


• Tack exterior surfaces of suit before spray operations.


• Wash hands in heavy soap and water before touching or masking the vehicle. This helps keep skin oils and dirt off the vehicle.


• Restrict or eliminate traffic in and out of the spray booth.


• Do not allow visitors in the booth.


• Check any respirators or fresh-air systems (essential with urethanes) for loose dirt or dust before using them in the spray booth.


• If the size of the shop permits, limit the painter's duties to only painting. The more often a painter comes in contact with outside contaminants, the more chances of bringing them into the booth. Assign someone else to prep work before the car goes into the booth as well as final tack-off and other work in the booth. The shop will get better results and more production.



Want to see how contaminated a paint suit can become? Standing in the dark booth (no lights), pass a portable blacklight over the surface of the paint suit. Particulate on the suit shows up vividly in this test. Solution? Blow off and tack the suit before painting.

2.2.4.c Operator Practices


Operator Error!


The most common operator errors





Human Skin

Human Hair



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