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Sanding Dust

Question: I'm in the process of stripping paint and stain from the woodwork in my 1910's American Foursquare. Do you have any suggestions on how to keep the dust down, or at least capture some of it, when sanding? In the living room and dining room, it wasn't as much of a problem but now in the kitchen and foyer, I don't want to have clean everything afterwards or tape up drop cloths everywhere.

Answer: Sanding dust is always a problem. There are a few things that will help a bit. If you are using an electric sander that does not have a built in dust bag, you can tape the nozzle of a vacuum to the sander near the base plate and let it run as you sand. It will be noisy but it will capture a lot of the dust.

You can run a damp (not wet) cloth over the wood before you sand, although this will have a tendency to clog up your sanding discs, belts or pads.

Turn-off the furnace and any other ventilation systems (range hoods, bath fans, etc.) - they draw air from all over the house and will spread the dust. Keep windows and doors closed, as they create air circulation.

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