With the UK on lockdown and a large portion of the country's workforce currently furloughed, you may have a lot of free time on your hands right now.

On Monday 23 March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged us to help slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) by staying at home and only going out for the following reasons:

  • Medical needs
  • Shopping for essentials
  • Exercising once a day
  • Work (but only if you can't work from home)

Those rules have been in place for a couple of weeks now, and unsurprisingly, many housebound Brits have been turning to DIY to keep themselves busy.

Man painting house with ladder in the background

Photo by Tafe Sa Tonsley

But it's one thing to reupholster an old armchair or try your hand at upcycling - jobs like those are easy to complete without going outside. What if you want to paint your house? Is that allowed under the current COVID-19 rules?

The answer is yes, you can paint your house - as long as you follow a few simple rules.

 

How to stay safe while painting your house

The most important thing to remember if you're planning to go outdoors at the moment - even if you're only stepping outside to do a spot of painting - is that you MUST keep your distance from other people.

Try to stay at least 2 metres away from anyone who isn't a member of your own household. Getting any closer than that will significantly increase your risk of catching COVID-19 and/or spreading it to other people.

 

Other important safety measures

Of course, the coronavirus isn't the only risk that you should be mindful of when you're painting your house.

If you're using an extension ladder to paint the upper level of your home, it's important to follow all the usual ladder safety rules to minimise your risk of having a nasty accident.

Here are a few tips to help you stay safe...

  • Before you begin painting your house, inspect your ladder thoroughly - does it look safe? Are there any loose rungs? Are the feet worn? Are the stiles (the vertical part of the ladder) damaged? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, you may need to buy a new ladder before you proceed.

  • Check your ladder's weight limit and make sure you won't be exceeding it. Bear in mind that it's not just your own body weight you need to consider - will you be taking any tins of paint up the ladder with you?

  • Make sure the ladder is nice and stable, and that it won't move around as you ascend and descend.

  • When you're on the ladder, don't over-extend yourself. Stick to painting spots that are within arm's reach, then move the ladder as needed before continuing. If you stretch out too far, you may end up falling and hurting yourself. (For this reason, it's important to ensure that your ladder is tall enough for the task at hand.)

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