Safer Choice

Automotive Refinishing Safety Information

About this Design for the Environment's (DfE) best practices project

Automotive repair shop workers and owners, this information is aimed at helping you protect yourselves and the citizens in your communities.  

The information came from a DfE best practices project (1997-2013) conducted in partnership with the automotive refinishing industry and its career/technical schools.

Goals of the project were to: 

  • Increase awareness of the health and environmental concerns associated with refinishing activities.
  • Develop best practices for automotive refinishing shops.
  • Encourage the use of cleaner, safer, more efficient and effective practices and technologies that reduce air toxics.

The project helped EPA to:

  • Develop numerous tools to enhance the awareness of health and safety issues associated with automotive refinishing, which you can find in this website.

Automotive refinishing best shop practices

Automotive refinishing icon

Best shop practices focus on changes in key areas that small auto refinish shops can make. Compiled from real-life shop experiences, the topics include:​


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Shop and spray booth ventilation

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Sanding, solvent wiping, paint mixing, and spray painting

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Glove selection

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High-volume, low-pressure spray guns

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Supplied air respirators

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Worker health and safety

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Technical Reports & Success Stories

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