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What Is Painter's Scaffolding?

Supplies for painting.
Article Details
  • Written By: E.A. Sanker
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 14 December 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Painter’s scaffolding is a type of scaffolding used while painting areas that would normally be out of reach, such as high walls or tall objects. As with other types of scaffolding, the scaffold structure acts as a support for the painter to stand on as he or she works. Different types of painter’s scaffolding may be used depending on what the job requires — for example, the height of the area to be painted and whether the project is taking place indoors or outdoors. Scaffolding may be rented, bought, or constructed from raw materials.

The basic structure of a painter’s scaffolding consists of a floor surface supported by a cage-like framework of horizontal and vertical metal tubes or pieces of lumber. The vertical struts may rest on base plates or wheels on the ground, creating an elevated platform. Alternatively, the entire structure may be suspended by bracing from the side of a building with little to no direct support to the ground. Painter’s scaffolding may also hang suspended by cables, which are hooked to a higher part of the building or to a crane.

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The main advantage that painter’s scaffolding offers over an ordinary ladder is that it allows the painter to reach a greater area by walking across the scaffold floor surface, while a ladder allows only a narrow range of reach and no movement. Scaffolds can also be useful for areas that are too high for a ladder. In cases where an elevated area must be painted, for example the side of a building, the scaffolding can be hung or suspended against the wall using support beams.

A wide variety of painter’s scaffolding exists for different uses. For small-scale projects that do not require great height, such as painting the interior of a house, portable structures on wheels can be used. Some companies also offer small-scale hanging scaffolding for home improvement projects. Larger construction projects require structures that can provide access to high areas while supporting more than one worker. These types often incorporate more elaborate bracing and rigging systems for support, as well as heftier struts.

Renting a scaffold is a popular option because it is usually less costly than buying one and because scaffolds are temporary structures that can be rented on an as-needed basis. The drawback to rental scaffolding is that it cannot always be modified to do the job needed. For this reason, some workers choose to build their own custom scaffolding from bought lumber or other materials. Although potentially time-consuming to build, custom scaffolds offer versatility in irregular interior spaces where manufactured scaffolding cannot fit correctly.

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