Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

February, 2001

Paint and Coating Permits for Using Airless and Air-Assisted Airless Spray Guns

Q. I live in Ohio and I'm planing on starting a painting business in the future. I will be painting with airless sprayers and airless equipment. What if any, permits will I need and how can I obtain them?

A. Thanks for your question. You did not tell me if you are planning to do interior house painting or industrial painting inside a paint spray booth. It makes a big difference.

In both cases, you should check with the Ohio EPA and do not take my answer as the final word. I can only give you a starting point from where you will need to do you own investigations.

If you plan to do interior house (architectural) painting, you must tell the Ohio EPA that this is your intention and then ask if permits are required. In many states you do not need a permit for this. In Ohio it might also make a difference if you are doing wood finishing as opposed to painting walls and ceilings. In California, for example, the types of paints used for wood finishing even inside homes, are regulated.

On the other hand, if you have a job shop or other facility in which you will be painting inside a paint spray booth, you may well need a permit, depending on how much paint you intend to use per day, month or year. Each state has different requirements. For instance, if you were in California and wanted a permit to use airless or air-assisted airless spray guns to paint miscellaneous metal parts, you would not be given a permit because in California only HVLP and electrostatic guns are allowed. Again, you will need to check with the Ohio EPA, but tell them exactly what type of business you intend to start, where it will be located (regulations are different for industrial and rural locations), how much paint you intend to use per day, month and year, the approximate hours of operation of your painting operation, the types of paints and thinners you intend to use, and copies of the MSDS of each paint and thinner. Also, the agency might need additional information that I have not listed here.

I hope this helps to get you on your way.

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