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"Dustless" sanding techniques

Sanding dust can be harmful to breathe. And if your house was constructed before 1978, the sanding of painted surfaces can cause the airborne spread of lead-containing dust. To obtain an extra measure of safety, "dustless" sanding techniques can be used to greatly reduce the dust that results for manual sanding done with traditional abrasives, such as sandpaper. If you house was built before 1978, be sure to discuss "dustless" sanding products with your paint dealer.

"Dustless" sanding techniqes

Wet sanding with a damp cloth or sponge
A damp wiping cloth or sponge can be used to "wet" sand surface preparation fills and repairs.

Chemical sanding with a paint deglosser
The application of a paint deglosser softens the gloss finish of paint on wood trim preparing it for painting without the need for manual surface sanding. Some deglossers also clean the surface.

Paint deglossers are not necessary on flat-finish-painted surfaces.

Using a primer or primer/sealer that can bond to painted surfaces without first sanding
The application of a primer or primer/sealer that can bond to gloss-finish-painted surfaces without first sanding is another method that can help to reduce the need for manual sanding.

In many cases, flat-finish-painted surfaces (when stain-free) do not need to be either surface- sanded, or "scuffed" with sandpaper to promote a durable bond with applied paint.

Using paint remover
Paint removing products provide another alternative that can reduce the need for manual sanding when removing multiple layers of paint from trim surfaces.

Note: Read and follow all directions for use and safety precautions of any product you use when sanding, cleaning, preparing and repairing interior surfaces. Consult with your paint dealer if you have any questions regarding the surface preparation or sanding requirements of any surface.


The information for this article can be found in the book: The Homeowner's Guide to Surface Preparation for Interior House Painting, on page 92.