Need tips on removing dust from drywall

alymarieDecember 12, 2006

We are getting set to start painting our new house. The drywallers just finished up yesterday morning. My husband and I went over last night to start some prep work. Does anyone have any good recommendations on removing drywall dust from the walls? We wiped everything down with a tack clock but sometimes it seemed like we were just moving the dust around the room. Any suggestions in making this prep work go smoothly would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

If they were MY walls, I'd vacuum first and then wipe down with a damp sponge, rinsing often and using two rinse buckets.


    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 6:17PM
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Please don't use a wet sponge or anything with water on your new drywall. The topping compound they use over the seams and nail heads is a very lightweight material that is feather sanded to perfection and wiping over that with a damp sponge can very easily screw that up. Do not agonize over removing every last spec of drywall dust from your walls before painting. The important thing is to not paint over big piles of it because that could affect adhesion. You can very easily have your walls in ready to paint condition with a leaf blower or a vacuum or a big push broom. Michael can use water and a damp sponge and rinse 15 times if he wants in his own home..that doesn't mean you need too. It's pretty clear he's a bit of a nut-job anyway. Say no to the water!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 7:12PM
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I use a horsehair brush and then let the dust settle for a few hours, then vacuum the floor with a Shop-vac. Don't use a regular vacuum cleaner because the fine dust will wreck it.

No problems with paint adhesion here.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 10:12PM
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Hello dust-fans...,
I've had decent luck with the Shop-vac route myself. You'll need a few repl. bags, since the dust is so fine!!

>>> You DO realize that you have to prime b-4 any painting don't you??!! You'll regret it if you don't!!
>>> Will your walls be smooth; or are you having the "orange-peel" texture sprayed on?
* If smooth may want to sand the prime-coat when it's well dried. Yes...MORE vacuuming here! Reason: the water in most primers will "fuzz" the paper in the drywall a bit. You'll get more of a glass-like look if it's sanded after priming! Use a 220 or higher sanding screen.
* If textured after the material dries-the next day usually.
>>> If using dark colors: Use a med.-gray primer (unless you like applying 4 to 5 coats of some reds...).


    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 12:24AM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

Who said use a wet sponge?

Besides, only 3% of the house wall is compound.

Thanks for the compliments, paintguy.


    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 6:28AM
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Thanks for the tips. I didn't mean to start a war between paintguy and brushworks but it sound like you guys have ruffled each others feathers before.

To faron79: Yes our walls are smooth and I am going to prime everything. We are renting a sprayer on Thurdsday and hope to have everything prepped for then. Last night we used a soft bristle broom on the walls in addition to the tack cloth and that seemed to work better. I am going over today to use the shopvac and check the walls in the light of day.

Maybe it is the homemaker in me but I keep feeling like I need to get all the dust off. I guess that is not realistic or even necessary. Thanks again for the tips and if anyone has any other suggestions on prep work I am all ears.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 9:56AM
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I, for one Michael really appreciate all of your time to respond to our many, many sometimes simple questions. Thank you!!!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 9:57AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

faron - dust-fans? lol! you're so silly :-) and very good point about how fine and tiny those dust particles are. Michael, I appreciate all your help and support too, on-line and off.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 10:56AM
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Most here have switched from damp sponges to Swifters.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 12:12PM
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There is no war between Michael and me. He's just goes really, really far with his prep and that's fine if he wants to do it in his own home and it's fine if he wants to suggest that you do it in yours. I'm just saying that doesn't mean you have to. The first thing I visualized was some homeowner climbing a ladder with buckets of water to wipe down drywall dust in a 2 story foyer and that is just bigtime overkill and just simply not necessary IMO. Get the majority of the dust off the walls and get to painting!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 7:06PM
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I need to chime in to paintguy, Michael/brushworks did not post anything about climbing up ladders with buckets of water. If you read his post again you will note that he suggested a damp sponge, and using the two bucket rinse system for water. What you may consider overkill, others may not. I have found the information, suggestions and encouragement on this site invaluable. While one might not agree with everything, I don't think calling people names like "nut-job" is acceptable.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 5:57AM
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We're at the milestone as the original poster with drywall just completed in our new home and getting ready to use paint sprayer to prime.
I've heard the swiffer suggestion before and wonder whether the DRY swiffer cloth or WET swiffer cloth?

The DRY swiffer seems like it would just push the dust around (although probably be enough on the ceiling to knock dust to the floor).

Wonder if the WET swiffer is too wet? I've never used a swiffer so not sure how wet the wet swiffer is.

And how often should you change the sheet? Wondering how many cloths to buy.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 9:37PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

Just use the damp sponge.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 9:51PM
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I don't know what kind of chemicals are in a wet Swiffer, but I sure wouldn't want find out how they react to paint on my walls! Another vote for your basic damp sponge.

I recently moved into a place that has some of the worst paint jobs I've seen. The two room I've painted so far had failing paint. Based on what I found during prep, I'd say that the original painter didn't clean off the drywall dust.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 11:42PM
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