Types of Safety Clothing for DIY Projects: A Comprehensive Guide

Clothing safety is an area of safety that is sometimes overlooked. It only takes a split second for a chemical spill, fall, or other accident to cause an injury. For any type of DIY project, it’s important to have the right safety clothes and gear. Safety garments and gear are special products designed to protect you. Learn more about the common types of safety clothing and their uses.

Safety Clothing for DIY Projects

Some types of special clothing may be considered personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE clothing includes garments that are typically worn in the workplace to minimize health and safety risks. PPE may also include wearable safety gear like helmets or goggles. This section will cover the main types of safety wear to consider for your projects.

Eye Protection

There are plenty of safety glasses on the market. However, not all of them adequately protect your eyes. You’ll notice that some leave gaps on the sides, above or below. They should be impact-resistant glasses that at least have side protection. Goggles fit snugly on your face and offer better protection from flying debris. For better glasses, look for ones that are approved by the American National Standards Institute. Think about other factors specific to your needs as well. For example, if you plan to use them a lot and work outdoors, you may want polarized lenses. A face shield is another option to protect your eyes and face. It may cost a little more than a good pair of safety glasses. One benefit of a shield is that you don’t have any vision obstruction from frames or side covers. Also, it protects your entire face. If you’re doing something that requires maximum visibility, a shield may be a good choice. For example, it’s useful if you’re feeding materials into a saw or machine. If you’ll be around falling or flying objects, consider wearing a hard hat as well.

Ear Protection

Power tools and even hammers can be loud. It’s a good idea to wear earplugs for lighter projects. You can find these in many places, and some have convenient cords attached. If you’re using loud power tools for an extended time, you may prefer protective earmuffs. In addition to protecting your hearing, ear protection can help keep out debris.

Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection is important when you’re using paint thinner or chemicals. It’s also important to protect you from debris and fine dust. People often wear masks along with their safety work clothes. There are basic masks and masks with respirators. A basic N95 dust mask is good for filtering out drywall dust and wood dust. However, you’ll need a P100 respirator for spraying or removing paint. N indicates non-oil-proof masks. P indicates that a mask is oil-proof for up to eight hours. R indicates oil-resistant abilities for up to eight hours. The numbers after the N, R, or P indicate the percentage of particles they filter. If a mask has a 100 on it, it qualifies as a HEPA filter. One additional safety tip to remember when removing paint is to consider its age. If you’re unsure, contact your local health department for guidance. If your house was built before 1978, there may be lead paint under the current paint. Lead poses many health hazards, and creating dust by sanding or removing it can create even more. There are more advanced face respirators for professionals that have filters for lead and asbestos. While they’re sold in some stores, don’t use them unless you’re familiar with the right safety processes.

Hand Protection

Safety gloves are important for a wide variety of tasks, and there are different types. Some gloves are designed to protect your hands from abrasion. For example, if you’re using tools, gloves can help you avoid pressure blisters. They can protect you from getting cut if you’re working with rough materials that need sanding. Also, some types can prevent burns if you’re handling chemicals or hot objects. Gloves may help keep your hands warm if you’re working outside when it’s cold. Some gloves also keep you safer by helping you grip items when precision is vital for safety. Another type of safety wear to accompany gloves is protective sleeves. They usually start at the wrist and cover your forearm or even the whole arm. They’re helpful for preventing injuries from chemicals and flying debris.

Body Protection

Torso and leg injuries can happen without the right body protection. Whether you’re sawing, sanding, or using chemicals, it helps to be fully protected. Work aprons are commonly used. Different materials are available for various purposes. For example, there are aprons for painting or light woodworking. However, you’d want one that’s resistant to flames if you’re using welding tools. Coveralls are useful protective clothes as well. You can find cheap disposable coveralls. They’re great for short-term projects like painting, sanding wood, or using chemicals. You may also want knee pads if your project involves repetitive manual knee movement or lots of kneeling.

Foot Protection

When people buy protective clothing supplies, they often forget about footwear. Safety shoes and work boots can provide you with the right protection. Are safety boots or shoes better? It depends on the project and your preferences. For example, if your ankles need to be covered for safety, work boots may be better. Both work boots and safety shoes come in several styles and varieties. The most common choice to make is between steel or composite toes. Your needs will determine the better choice. Composite is lighter and doesn’t conduct heat or cold as much as steel. However, steel is stronger and offers more protection from the force of heavy objects. So, if you’re out cutting down trees, you’d want steel boots. You could mitigate the issue of cold toes by wearing extra socks. What if you’re working in the cold with lighter tools and need to move quickly? Composite may be better in this case. It wouldn’t make your feet as cold, and the lightness of it would allow for easier movement.

How to Choose the Right Safety Clothing

Think about all the tasks you’ll be doing. Now that you know the purposes of different types of safety attire, you can pick the right ones. Will you be using chemicals? Will you be working with flames? Will you be sanding? If there are different varieties of safety gear, also make sure you pick a suitable one. For instance, if you’re sanding paint, you’ll need a better mask than what you’d wear if you were sanding wood.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the common questions about safety gear for DIY projects.

Why is safety clothing important for DIY projects?

It’s important to prevent internal and external injuries.

What types of safety clothing are required for DIY projects?

You should make sure you have ear, eye, respiratory, body, hand, and foot protection. Use the right variety for the level of risk you’re taking.

What’s the best type of eye protection for DIY projects?

Look for ANSI-approved goggles or glasses if you prefer safety glasses. Otherwise, a face shield offers better visibility and whole-face protection.

How do I choose the right size for my safety gloves?

For safety gloves with number sizes, measure the inside width of your palm. Next, separately measure the length of your middle finger from the inside of your hand. Add the two numbers. Divide them by two, and that’s the size of glove you’ll need.

What’s the difference between work boots and safety shoes?

While safety boots cover at least your ankles, safety shoes typically do not. Some safety boots may also cover part of your calf.

How often should I replace my safety clothing?

This can vary widely based on the manufacturer, material, and product type. Most safety gear will come with instructions. Read those carefully to determine when to replace the item.

What safety standards should I look for when purchasing safety clothing?

The ANSI website offers a full list of specific safety standards to look for if you want top-of-the-line PPE. It addresses all types of safety clothes and provides detailed descriptions.

Can I use regular clothing instead of safety clothing for DIY projects?

Although some people skip safety clothing in DIY videos, it’s a dangerous choice. It’s better to protect your body to avoid temporary or even permanent injuries.

What should I do if I don’t have the proper safety clothing for a DIY project?

Wait to do the project until you have the right gear. You can find it at a True Value store or online.

How do I properly clean and maintain my safety clothing?

Since directions vary based on materials, read the item’s instructions. Always follow cleaning and care instructions exactly. If the care tag is missing, contact the manufacturer for cleaning tips.


Now that you know what you need for your next project, it’s time to prepare. Head to your nearest True Value store to find safety clothes and gear.