Painting from a ladder might seem like something that is easy and that anyone can do. Surely it’s as simple as setting up the ladder, placing the paint tin on a run and getting on with the job? Sometimes this might be the case, but remember that if you are going to work from a ladder then you will be working at height. Whether you are carrying out a full renovation of your home or just giving the walls a lick of paint, it is essential that you understand how to paint safely from a ladder.
Here we are going to look at some important safety tips about painting from a ladder – including whether you should even be on the ladder in the first place. Once you know what you need to do, you can feel confident to get on with the job safely and securely.
Is there a safer way to carry out the painting?
If you are going to carry out any work at height such as painting ceilings or high walls, you need to first answer the question as to whether there is a safer way to complete the task. Working at height, such as using a step-ladder or ladder, will always have inherent dangers due to the fact that you will be in a precarious position and at risk of falling.
So, for example, if you are painting a high ceiling in your home, you need to consider if there are alternatives to using a ladder. For example, an extending painting roller could be used for floor level to paint a ceiling, which would entirely remove the risk involved in getting up on a ladder.
Of course it is the case that there are some examples where this is not possible. For example if you need to carry out precise painting on woodwork it might be not be possible to use a roller, and this may necessitate a ladder. This simply shows that you need to approach each job afresh and consider the safest solution in each case.
Check over the ladder thoroughly before use
If you are going to use a ladder for your interior painting then you need to make sure that the equipment is completely safe. Carry out a full check over the ladder to ensure that it is in good condition and is free from dirt or anything that could make it easy to slip for the rungs.
And of course it should be stated that if you do find that the ladder is not in the right condition to be used then you should not attempt to use – even just for a short period. You can easily buy a new ladder which will keep you safe.
Make sure that it is the correct type of ladder
Next you need to make sure that you are using the correct type of ladder for the job. You might have a stepladder that you often use for DIY tasks around the house, but if this is not high enough for you to paint where you need to, then it will be unsafe to use. Using a ladder in a way that it was not intended is dangerous.
Always evaluate the task that you are going to be carrying out and establish whether you can do it safely from your ladder. If you can’t then it is essential that you should choose another. Yes, this can be a pain if it means going out and buying a ladder for a job (or lending one from a friend) but the alternative is to put yourself in a dangerous situation. Getting a big canvas print to hang straight is impossible without a proper ladder.
Tips for painting on a ladder
- Do anything you can from ground level – only work on a ladder if there is no other option
- If you are working from a step-ladder, you should never stand on the top of the ladder
- Do the hard, boring work first
- Only paint what you can reach – yes, it can be a pain if you think you can just stretch out and do the last section, but this is unsafe. Always readjust the ladder if you can’t reach
- Spend the most time on the painting that will be seen most regularly