PART E: MAINTAINING PROTECTIVE COATINGS
2-12. Efficient and Safe Handling, Storing, and Disposing of Protective Coatings. You must know
how to handle, store, and dispose of protective coatings efficiently and safely. Proper knowledge of
these duties will prevent overage stocks, the opening of wrong containers, and incompatible paint jobs.
Furthermore, you can prevent accidents and injuries by learning safe disposal methods.
a. Handling. When handling paint containers, be careful not to damage the labels. Paint labels
have valuable information on them, such as the date the paint was manufactured, its color, and its type.
Without this information, you could waste or misuse large amounts of paint. If the labels are damaged,
you should replace them with the correct information.
b. Storing. If possible, store protective coatings in dry, fire-resistant, well-drained, and well-
ventilated structures, preferably separate from other buildings and under automatic-sprinkler protection.
Avoid using space heaters and other direct-fired heaters in storage areas.
Ensure that storage areas have concrete floors that are drained to one point. The drain
should run to a sump or a detached cistern and have a deep trap.
Ensure proper ventilation to allow paint fumes to escape. Place screened inlet air vents 6
inches above the floor and screened outlet air vents through the roof.
Prevent paint containers from getting wet by protecting them from rain, snow, steam
leaks, or other sources of water.
(1) Indoor heating. To avoid direct heat on the materials, do not store them near steam lines
or other sources of heat. Use steam heat with heating coils above the stock and screen the coils to
prevent them from contacting the containers. Do not store paint on floors below grade (ground level).
Lay the first tier of containers on pallets that are at least two inches above floor level to allow suitable
(2) Outdoor storage. Paints and paint thinners packaged in 55-gallon steel drums may be
stored outdoors; however, the drums must be protected against rusting. Paint the bare metal areas and
set the drums on dunnage (scrap lumber) to provide approximately 2 inches of clearance above the
ground. Lay drums on their sides to prevent the loss of the markings stenciled on their heads. This also
protects the drums against the weathering action of rain, snow, and sun.
(3) Indoor storage. Store paints and paint thinners separately from other materials such as
grease, oil, and spare parts.
NOTE: Rags, wood, and similar combustible material must not be stored in the same building