Author Topic: Drywall dust  (Read 963 times)

BudgetSlasher

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 548
Drywall dust
« on: July 24, 2018, 08:32:44 PM »
Anyone have some tips or trick for removing drywall dust from wall and ceilings prior to painting?

In the past I have only has small areas of repair work (a scratch here, a nail hole there, or a box deleted over there) and have gotten by with wipe the immediate area with a dampened cloth. In this case we have removed popcorn ceiling, repaired prior poor drywall patch work, made about a dozen new patches, and repaired 30 years of small dogs clawing up the walls. In the end most of the walls and ceilings in the kitchen, dining room, and living room have been covered in mud and sanded. Now they are covered in dust and I'm hoping there is a simple quick way to remove the dust in preparation for priming.

I'm a little extra paranoid in this case and one this step . . . we are working with essentially unpainted walls, because the original painter left so much drywall dust on the walls when they painted that all of the old paint peeled off easier than wallpaper AND you could still run your hand over the wall and coat it in dust.

Systems101

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
Re: Drywall dust
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2018, 09:29:45 PM »
In my experience, it's simple, reasonable in the amount of time it takes to do, but not quick in time on the clock, due to waiting.

I take multiple passes at the wall with dry cotton towels (think terry towels from Costco)

First take one dry cloth and wipe a whole wall.  I avoid moisture, since with any significant water, the mud will move around and you will lose the smoothness you generated by sanding.

This first pass is more of a mass removal than anything.  So there will likely be a lot of dust that falls to the floor.  I wait for that to settle - vacuum up after a bit (30 min is fine).  Let the air settle overnight.  All of that assumes you have a HEPA air purifier running to take the dust out of the air - otherwise a lot will settle back on the walls.

The second pass I'm more careful about changing over to different cloths - take a pass at a small area (12-16 sq feet or so), then flip the cloth over and do another area.  Refold it so you use all sections of the towel then switch to a new towel.

You're brushing the wall (you can be gentle).  If you scrub, you can leave streaks in the dried mud/joint compound.

After two passes my experience is that the walls are as clean as they will need to be.  You could still touch the joint compound and get some "dust", but that's likely because your finger is abrasive and you're removing a layer, not because it's actually dust on top. 

Note it's a lot better for your washing machine if you rinse the cloths in a bucket and dump the water out in your back yard rather than throwing fully saturated with drywall dust items into your washing machine.

lthenderson

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1163
Re: Drywall dust
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2018, 07:22:39 AM »
I usually just dry mop or broom the walls, sweep up as much dust as I can off the floors and then wipe the walls down with a wet rag. By wet, I mean I have wrung out as much water as I possibly can so that the rag is really just damp. If you have to much water, you can move mud around. I usually sweep up the dust once more while waiting for the walls to dry.  Some I know make their own tack rags using turpentine and varnish but I've never had any problems using a damp rag and it is much faster and less odorous.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3220
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Drywall dust
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2018, 10:13:49 AM »
The dust will clog up your vacuum filter/bag, fyi. If you have a shop vac, when you're done take the filter out and either replace or try to clean out the worst of it. I've found banging it around inside the trash bin is fairly effective. Trees are excellent as well, but some people object to turning them white with dust.

If you're dealing with PLASTER dust - it's fine to wipe up with a damp cloth, and less fussy about getting wet. Also will mess up filters.

Systems101

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
Re: Drywall dust
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2018, 01:25:34 PM »
The dust will clog up your vacuum filter/bag, fyi.

This is a good point that I missed.  I have a washable HEPA filter in my ShopVac...

BudgetSlasher

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 548
Re: Drywall dust
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2018, 07:01:12 PM »
In my experience, it's simple, reasonable in the amount of time it takes to do, but not quick in time on the clock, due to waiting.

I take multiple passes at the wall with dry cotton towels (think terry towels from Costco)

First take one dry cloth and wipe a whole wall.  I avoid moisture, since with any significant water, the mud will move around and you will lose the smoothness you generated by sanding.


This is generally how I address smaller projects. I was hoping, possibly futility to find something a little quicker.

Quote
This first pass is more of a mass removal than anything.  So there will likely be a lot of dust that falls to the floor.  I wait for that to settle - vacuum up after a bit (30 min is fine).  Let the air settle overnight.  All of that assumes you have a HEPA air purifier running to take the dust out of the air - otherwise a lot will settle back on the walls.

During this time of the year we have no climate control so rather than HEPA I will be running a fan marketed as up to 3200 CFM (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-24-in-Heavy-Duty-2-Speed-Direct-Drive-Tilt-Fan-BF24TFCE/303061463) exhausting out a window and brining in fresh air. I do have a delta air cleaner for my wood working shop that I could use it its place.

Quote

The second pass I'm more careful about changing over to different cloths - take a pass at a small area (12-16 sq feet or so), then flip the cloth over and do another area.  Refold it so you use all sections of the towel then switch to a new towel.



This follows my previous pattern for smaller jobs. As I said I was hoping for something a little quicker. The aerial footprint of the section of the house we are working on is ~950 sq/ft plus at least . . . plus the walls.

Quote
You're brushing the wall (you can be gentle).  If you scrub, you can leave streaks in the dried mud/joint compound.

After two passes my experience is that the walls are as clean as they will need to be.  You could still touch the joint compound and get some "dust", but that's likely because your finger is abrasive and you're removing a layer, not because it's actually dust on top.

Thanks for the input, I very well may end up going this route as it is roughly what I had come up with on my own.

Quote
Note it's a lot better for your washing machine if you rinse the cloths in a bucket and dump the water out in your back yard rather than throwing fully saturated with drywall dust items into your washing machine.

Good tip.

I usually just dry mop or broom the walls, sweep up as much dust as I can off the floors and then wipe the walls down with a wet rag. By wet, I mean I have wrung out as much water as I possibly can so that the rag is really just damp. If you have to much water, you can move mud around. I usually sweep up the dust once more while waiting for the walls to dry.  Some I know make their own tack rags using turpentine and varnish but I've never had any problems using a damp rag and it is much faster and less odorous.

When you say dry mop is that the same thing as a dust mop? Say something like this https://www.homedepot.com/p/Quickie-Swivel-Soft-Microfiber-Dust-Mop-60GRN6/206131702 ?

The dust will clog up your vacuum filter/bag, fyi. If you have a shop vac, when you're done take the filter out and either replace or try to clean out the worst of it. I've found banging it around inside the trash bin is fairly effective. Trees are excellent as well, but some people object to turning them white with dust.

If you're dealing with PLASTER dust - it's fine to wipe up with a damp cloth, and less fussy about getting wet. Also will mess up filters.

I have a separate 5 gallon bucket on a moving dolly that acts as a water pre-filter for the shop-vac and captures most of the dust before it makes it to the actual vacuum. It is a bit of a pain and I think in another life I'll try something like a dust deputy as opposed to a water based (a lot of water makes it over to the vacuum in the version I have built).

Thanks everyone for the input and if anyone else has input I am listening. I'm not going to take a shortcut after the number of hours that we have put into mudding and sanding, but if there way so shave a couple hours off of my prep-time (without sacraficing quality), I would love to know it.

lthenderson

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1163
Re: Drywall dust
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2018, 02:17:17 PM »
I usually just dry mop or broom the walls, sweep up as much dust as I can off the floors and then wipe the walls down with a wet rag. By wet, I mean I have wrung out as much water as I possibly can so that the rag is really just damp. If you have to much water, you can move mud around. I usually sweep up the dust once more while waiting for the walls to dry.  Some I know make their own tack rags using turpentine and varnish but I've never had any problems using a damp rag and it is much faster and less odorous.

When you say dry mop is that the same thing as a dust mop? Say something like this https://www.homedepot.com/p/Quickie-Swivel-Soft-Microfiber-Dust-Mop-60GRN6/206131702 ?

Exactly. I have a slightly bigger version but I just use it to remove the bulk of the dust off the walls/ceilings before going to rags.

letired

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 809
  • Location: Texas
    • Needs More Glitter
Re: Drywall dust
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2018, 05:21:38 PM »
I recently finished skim-coating and painting most of my house.

1) a DIY air filter is great for keeping the dust down. https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/how-to/a21300/diy-air-filter/ In my case, I literally taped a hepa filter from the hardware store the the back of a box fan, lots of tape around the edges to force the air to be pulled through the filter.

2) On the wall itself. A gentle touch with a lightly damp rag or towel is fine. Don't scrub it. just. gentle. broad. wipes. I have a bunch of microfiber towels that worked great. I changed the water semi-often or when I hit a really dusty patch.

3) If you are vacuuming, a paper collection bag will save you a lot of headaches even if they are overpriced for what they are, and one of those cyclone dust collectors is great if you're going to be doing a lot of vacuuming.

risky4me

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: Drywall dust
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2018, 01:21:04 PM »
For low cost, no dust vacuuming, I move the shop vac outside and tape together a few hoses, run them through a window, so any dust escaping vac filter is not emitted indoors. Using a wide attachment with a soft brush keeps from leaving indentions that a hard tool might leave on the surface.