Start your project by deciding on your method of reaching the high surfaces. Using a ladder or a scaffold along with an applicator extension pole is the safest and easiest way to enable you to reach high walls and ceilings with a brush or roller. So, how do you know if a ladder or scaffold is the right approach for your room?
In many cases, a ladder will be sufficient. It is imperative to use an appropriate ladder for the task at hand. Multi-function articulating ladders, platform ladders and 6’ or taller stepladders are good options for painting projects. Avoid using a ladder that requires you to overextend yourself to reach where you’re painting. If this is the case, your ladder is too short. Never stand on the top three rungs. Don’t ever stand on the top step of a stepladder. Use a ladder rated for the appropriate job type and weight limit. Check the label or sticker on the side of the ladder to see how much weight it can support. ANSI Type IA ladders can hold up to 300 pounds and are commonly used in commercial or professional settings. Type I ladders can hold up to 250 pounds, while Types II and III can support 225 and 200 pounds, respectively.
Never exceed a ladder’s maximum load limit. There should only be one person on a ladder at a time.
Never climb a ladder if you are ill, impaired or otherwise in a less than ideal physical condition. If the ladder’s or your condition makes you uncomfortable climbing, trust your instinct and keep off of it. The more distracted you are, the more likely a fall can occur.
Always place the ladder solidly on the floor. Never try to move the ladder position while you’re on it, and keep your body centered between the rails of the ladder at all times. Don’t place a ladder in front of a door that is not locked or blocked off. Keep the ladder rungs and other surfaces free of anything that can be a slipping hazard.
To reach a very high ceiling, you may need to use an extension ladder. Be sure to protect your wall from potential scratches and gouges from the ladder ends by investing in ladder covers or ladder mitts.
Scaffolds are highly beneficial when working at a height for sustained periods of time. They provide a sturdy platform from which to work and allow you to have your tools and paint supplies at your level for ease of use. Be sure to assemble the scaffold by following all manufacturer instructions and by following all recommended safety procedures.
Scaffolds can be more cumbersome to set up and move around. They also are not as practical an investment as a ladder; hence many DIYers opt to rent them for specific projects when needed. Your local True Value® hardware store has a number of scaffold options available for purchase or rent. Contact your store for details.
Before climbing or using a scaffold, be sure it is completely assembled and locked into position. If your scaffold has wheels, be sure they are locked or otherwise made immobile.
Do not exceed the scaffold weight limit.