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Tips on Buying the Best Respirator Mask for Spray Painting and Dust

The respirator you wear while you are doing jobs that involve chemicals or create fine dust particles that are emitted into the air are the most important tool that you have.

The best respirator for spray paint is one that fits properly, functions perfectly, and is comfortable enough that the person wearing it will not be tempted to remove it. Our experts all agree that the following respirators qualify according to that criteria.

3M Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6800/54146
3M 7162 Full-Facepiece
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 12
  • Material: Respirator
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Safety Works SWX00320 Multi Purpose Respirator
Safety Works SWX00320 Multi-Purpose
  • Weight: 6.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4 x 10.5 x 11
  • Material: Other
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3M 65021HA1-C Household Multi Purpose Respirator

  3M Dual Cartridge
  • Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 3.9 x 9
  • Material: Respirator
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GVS SPR457 Elipse P100 Half Mask Respirator

  GVS SPR457 Elipse P100
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Included Components: TPE
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Safety Works SWX00320 Multi Purpose Respirator
  Safety Works Multi-Purpose Respirator Half-Mask
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Material: Silicone
  • Size: Medium
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Top 7 Paint Respirators: Expert’s Review

1. 3M 7162 Full-Facepiece Spray Paint Respirator

3M 7162 Full-Facepiece Spray Paint Respirator

This is a full-face respirator that can be used when you are painting, or applying finish coats like laquer or shellac. It is also capable of filtering out dangerous elements when you are doing things like spraying pesticides, and filtering out tiny particles when you are sanding wood or metal, or doing anything that creates fine dust particles.,

This respirator will fit perfectly on about 70% of the people. If you have any doubts on whether the respirator will fit you it might help to know that if you wear a hat size of 8 ¼” or smaller, and have an average size face you will find the respirator to more than likely fit you.

2. Safety Works SWX00320 Multi-Purpose Respirator

Safety Works Multi-Purpose Respirator Mask for Spray Painting

The low profile cartridges on this Safety Works respirator help to improve the view that the wearer has.

This respirator is excellent for anyone who is working around lead, asbestos, toxic dust particles, fiberglass, ammonia, formaldehyde, paint fumes, and more. It does meet the OSHA and the NIOSH requirements for respirators.

This respirator can trap 99.97 percent of the toxic dust, germs, and contaminants that might be in the air around you.

You will find the facepiece to be soft and comfortable to wear, and there is a built-in exhalation valve that helps to keep your face cooler.

3. Disposable Full Face Mask Pack

GVS Elipse Half Mask Respirator for Dust

The compact and lightweight design of this half-mask respirator make it flexible and easy to wear without the wearer being uncomfortable.

It has a large central non-return valve that reduces moisture build up inside the mask. It also has an adjustable strap that can be moved into four different positions. It provides a precise fit even when you are working in humid or wet conditions that might cause your face mask to slip.

It is a half mask so your visibility is not obstructed at all, and you can wear other eyewear like safety glasses, or your normal glasses while you are wearing the mask.

4. 3M Dual Cartridge Respirator Assembly

3M Dual Cartridge Respirator Assembly

This respirator meets all the standards of excellence required by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), for use around solvents and particulates.

If you are working in a light solvent environment, like when you are painting your home, you can wear this respirator for 40 hours and expect proper filtration. If you are working around more concentrated solvents like harmful chemicals, or pesticides, then you can expect the respirator to function properly for eight hour periods before you have to change the filters.

It is a half mask respirator so you can wear your own personal eye protection with the unit. It also will not obstruct your visibility while you are wearing it.

5. 3M 65021HA1-C Household Multi-Purpose Respirator

3M Household Multi-Purpose Respirator for spray paint

This respirator is a half-face respirator that allows you to wear other eyewear or ear coverings if you need to. It has low profile filter cartridges that do not get in your way or impede movement or visibility.

It has dual organic vapor cartridges and the kit comes with the face piece, and the cartridges along with P100 particulate filters for those cartridges.

This respirator is NIOSH approved to be used around both solid and liquid aerosols including oils. The respirator filters out 99.97 percent of the harmful contaminants that might be present in the air around you.

6. GVS SPR457 Elipse P100 Half Mask Respirator

GVS Elipse Mask Respirator  for home usage

This respirator is exceptional for home usage, using around the office, or when you are traveling. It will fit most adults and children because it has an adjustable face strap configuration. The respirator is comfortable to wear so kids won’t struggle to take it off.

It will effectively protect the wearer from possible germs, bacteria, pollutants, dust particles, light solvent fumes, and other particulates.

The respirator contains five layers of support that are made of activated carbon, melt-blown cotton, and non-woven fabric.

Each of these respirator kits comes with four carbon replacement filter to help keep your family healthier and protect their lungs from any damage.

7. 3M Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator

Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator

This is a full face respirator but it has a large lens that provides the wearer with a wide field and increased visibility.

The face seal is crafted from silicone and combined with the well-balanced design of the thermoplastic elastomer the rest of the respirator is made of, it provides comfort to the wearer.

This respirator is easy to disassemble and clean. It is designed to last you for a long time.

The center adapter of the respirator mask directs the exhaled breath downward to reduce fogging and moisture inside the face shield. This also helps the respirator to stay cooler.

Factors to Look Out in Best Spray Paint Respirator Mask

When you are buying a respirator there are a few things that you should look for. The following respirator features are important:

NIOSH Approval

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), establishes strict guidelines for respirators by testing the materials that the units are made from and see if they are capable of filtering out enough of the harmful solvents and particulates from the air.

NIOSH guidelines are put in place to make sure the consumer is not duped into buying a product that they think will protect them and getting something that was not efficient. Always buy a NIOSH approved respirator, and if possible get one that also meets the OSHA safety equipment guidelines.


When you are buying a respirator you want to get one that can be used more than once. The higher quality respirators are designed so that the filters inside the cartridges can be changed, but the face mask and the cartridge system can be used repeatedly.

The respirators that are designed to be worn once and then tossed away will not provide the same amount of filtration as the reusable respirators.


When you buy a respirator you need to find one that is comfortable to wear. If the respirator is uncomfortable, or heavy, then you are possibly not going to wear it as much as you should and that could be dangerous for your health.

When you are considering comfort you want to think about:

  • The weight of the respirator
  • Does the face shield have adjustable straps so you can adjust it to fit your face
  • Will the exhaled air be directed down and away from the face shield to prevent fogging or moisture build-up?
  • Are there adequate airflow valves that will help the inside of the face shield to remain cool?

Filtering Capacity

If you need to wear a respirator to do a job, then you want the most protection that you can get. Try to find a respirator that is capable of filtering the air 99.97%.  If the respirator you are considering has any lower filtration possibilities it may not be doing the best job for your safety.


You really want to get a respirator that you can clean easily. Sweat and other contaminants are going to come into contact with the face shield so you want a respirator that you can clean to keep it smelling fresh.

Half Face VS Full Face Respirators

When you are shopping for a respirator you will see options of units that cover your entire face, or units that cover from the nose down. You have to decide which of these styles is going to be the best according to what you are being exposed to while you are wearing the respirator, and your need for increased visibility or your need to wear protective ear coverings or prescription eye coverings.

Half Face Respirators

  • Half face respirators are lighter
  • Half face respirators allow you to have increased visibility
  • Half-faced respirators do not fog up or develop as much moisture inside them as the full face ones
  • Half face respirators allow you to wear other eyewear, such as prescription glasses while wearing the respirator

Full Face Respirators

  • Full face respirators are often bulkier, hotter to wear, and they are naturally heavier than the half face.
  • Full face respirators provide more protection, especially to the eyes and mucosal membranes of the person wearing the unit.
  • Full face respirators are generally made to be worn when the dangers of particulates of solvents are higher than what the average homeowner will encounter.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Type Particulate Filter Should I Buy or do I Need?

You need to buy a particulate filter that is designed to handle the type of particulates you are going to be around. Fine dust from sanding and working can often slip through some respirator filtration systems.

The filters you want should be approved by NIOSH and/or by OSHA according to their requirements for the types of particulates you will be exposed to.

Your filters should be created from activated carbon, non-woven fabrics, and melt-blown cotton to provide the most protection.

The best filters will eliminate 99.97 percent of the particulates in the air. The amount of filtration the filter provides should be listed on the manufacturer’s description of the equipment.

What does a p100 Mask Protect Against?

p100 is a rating given to respirators to indicate the amount of protection they are capable of providing. If a respirator has a p100 rating then it has the highest capabilities of filtering out whatever contaminants and particulates might be present in the air you are exposed to.

If your respirator has a p100 rating then you can use it around the liquid and solid aerosols that are considered to be harmful. This rating is required in places like petrochemical plants so that their workers are not exposed to harmful chemicals so basically this rating means the respirator is the best of the best.

What Type of Respirator should I Use for Spray Painting?

You want to buy a respirator with an adjustable mask so you are comfortable while you are wearing it.

A respirator comes with letters to show what they protect against. If they have an N they are not oil proof, an R means they will resist oil for as long as 8 hours, a P means they are oil proof for a period of 8 hours. The number they are assigned like p95 means they are ail proof up to 95%

For general painting, you only need to buy a multi-purpose respirator and not one designed to protect you from chemicals.

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Final Note The Best Respirators

The best respirators for spray painting are the ones that are comfortable to wear, easy to adjust, easy to clean, and that provide the ultimate in visibility. Most homeowners choose to buy a half face shield respirator because they are lighter and cooler than their full face counterparts.

Remember that when you are shopping for a respirator you should consider all of the jobs you might do that would require you to wear one of these units. Some jobs that make a respirator handy are painting, sanding either would or metal, grinding metal, spraying insecticides, and applying sealants.

About Lisa Bohrer

Lisa is a native Texan who says she wears many hats. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, farmer, animal lover, fisherwoman, gardener, and college student. Lisa is a sophomore at Liberty University where she is taking classes to earn her Associates Degree in Creative Writing. She and her husband of 35 years fill their days with life on the farm raising goats and chickens, and then most evenings she can be found at the computer writing, or researching a topic that has piqued her interest.

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