Painting safety and the electrostatic painting process

Working with electrostatic paint spraying involves certain safety hazards that must be taken into account.

Poor execution of electrostatic painting can lead to safety hazards and reduced transfer efficiency. For the safety of the operator, it is essential that all key areas in the electrostatic painting process are properly grounded.  

Working with electricity, as with electrostatic painting, always involves a safety hazard. It is therefore of the utmost importance that everything within the painting system is grounded. This will prevent electrical shocks and hazards and poor transfer efficiency. The key areas in the electrostatic painting process that must be grounded are the operator, the target, the air hose, and the paint supply.



If the operator is not properly grounded, the paint can wrap back towards the operator instead of being attracted to the target, or it could head to the floor. Follow these painting safety instructions to prevent paint being attracted to the operator:

  • Avoid wearing insulated or rubber shoes; wear shoes with leather soles. 
  • Avoid using gloves. If a glove is worn, make sure the palm and the trigger finger are cut out to create direct skin contact with the gun.  
  • Do not stand on paper unless it is conductive.
  • Make sure the floor is clean and dry. Any paint overspray on the ground can act as an insulator.


The target is usually hung on hooks connected to a conveyor belt and then grounded through its connection to the wall. Key focus points are where the hook connects to the target part and to the conveyor. These areas will frequently have paint overspray, causing insulation of the target. When the target is insulated it results in a poor wrap. It is important to keep hooks clean and grounded at all times.



The air hose and paint supply could attract an electrical charge, so be sure to use a specially grounded air hose. Graco hoses have left-handed threads to make sure you cannot connect the wrong air hose to the gun. The same applies to the paint supply. A good solution is to use a metal bucket directly in contact with the ground and connect a ground wire to a grounded location. Ensure the pump is grounded by connecting the ground wire to a true earth ground. 

It is important to test the electrical charge of all of these key areas with a megohmmeter before you begin spraying. If each one displays a mega ohm reading of 1 or less, it is safe to start work.



What if you could get rid of the traditional mixing room set-up and enjoy even more safety benefits? An incredible finish quality and impressive transfer efficiency in a highly operator-friendly and safe environment?

You can! Graco’s HydroShieldTM solution is an electrostatic spray system for waterborne materials that ticks all the boxes. If you’re looking to install a new painting line or to make the switch to waterborne materials, check out the HydroShield system. By minimizing interaction between the operator and the system and isolating the inner system in a sturdy isolation cabinet, HydroShield is one of the safest spraying solutions on the market.

Do you want to know more about the most common safety issues encountered when spraying waterborne materials using electrostatics? Read our dedicated article to find out how to avoid the most common hazards. Are you ready to explore the HydroShield system and its numerous potential benefits for your spray coating business? Click below for all the details. 


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