Sanding without getting dust everywhere

Updated Mar 26, 2024 | Posted May 11, 2021 | Professional insight, Miscellaneous, Tool Insight | 0 comments

I’ve been a professional decorator for most of my working life. In that time, I’ve done enough sanding to wear a medium sized oak tree down to sawdust. The main problem when sanding is the mess you make whilst doing it!!

As a decorator I’m expected to be clean and tidy at all times, so that’s what I strive for!! To that end, I do everything I can to avoid too much dust when sanding. That’s what I want to talk about in this blog.


Sanding By Hand Without Making a Mess


Ok, I figured I’d start with the section which will be least help to anyone!! Sanding by hand and using sandpaper can be a real nightmare, especially on filler and powdery substances like that. If you can’t afford an electric sander, or you’re only carrying out a small job, then you may just have to do the best you can.

One thing that does help a little bit is putting a vacuum cleaner nozzle up, just under where you’re working. This will catch some dust at least. Other than that, it’s just a case of containing the dust as best you can. Keep doors closed and tape up around the edges to create an air-tight seal. Open a window, plastic sheeting over furniture and plenty of floor protection. That’s pretty much all you can do unless you buy something electric. Above all else, wear a dust mask!!


Mirka Roundy Hand Sander kit

There is a sanding tool you can use to ensure your sanding is completely dust free. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on expensive sanders either. The Mirka Roundy is a hand sander with a hose which fits into your vacuum cleaner. I assume it fits any vacuum, I have a Henry and it’s very compatible.

You simply hook it up to your vacuum, attach a mesh sanding pad, turn your vacuum on, then you’re good to go. The suction scoops up any dust created while you’re working. Plus, the sanding pad sticks to your wall, so there is no need to add additional pressure. Click here to see latest prices.

the best way to sand without making a mess

How To Make any Electric Sander Dust Free


I’ll be more helpful on this section of my blog, promise!! There is a cute little hack you can use to turn any sander, even a dead cheap one into a “dust free sander”. All you need is a Henry Hoover and this adapter!! Simply connect the hoover hose to the back of the sander using the adapter, then switch it on and use the sander as normal. The dust will be simply sucked through the sander and trapped in the hoover back, thus eliminating any mess, genius!! (told you I’d be more helpful).


Dust Free Sanders


This is an expensive option, but by far the best. Dust free sanders are used by a lot of decorators nowadays. They are high-end, exceptionally clean sanders which use very powerful dust extractors to catch any dust which may otherwise escape into the air. You’ll find them quick and efficient, but they’re probably a bit much if you only decorate a couple of times a year.




How do you sand wood with minimal dust?

Attaching a vacuum to a palm sander would help reduce dust. Another way is to use ‘wet and dry sandpaper’. This is no good for excessive sanding, but it’s great de-nibbing. You wet the sandpaper before you start and keep it wet as you work. You won’t see any airborne dust when sanding like this.


Is sanding dust bad for you?

Very much so. Sanding dust can include all sorts, including led or lime. Even if it doesn’t, all those particles of dust are corrosive and heavy on your lungs. If you breathe too much in, you risk becoming seriously ill.


Is it OK to sand wood without a mask?

I wouldn’t. The dust can be harmful if you breathe it in.


What is dust free sanding?

Dust free sanding is a method whereby a machine sander is attached to a specialist vacuum. As the sander operates, the dust is collected by the vacuum and doesn’t become airborne.


How do you dust walls after sanding?

There are a couple of different ways to dust walls after sanding. The first is to use a sweeping brush for the main part of the wall, and then a dust brush for the edges. Another way is to use a tact cloth, which helps reduce spreading the dust around.


How long does dust stay in the air after sanding?

Dust seems to settle fairly quickly. Wait a couple of hours and your room should be clear. However, it’s difficult to get rid of it all together. If you get dust everywhere when sanding, you then move it around the rest of the house every time you disturb it again.


Final Thoughts


Decorating is messy, there’s no getting away from it, but being able to sand without getting dust everywhere is half the battle. I like to remain as clean and tidy as possible while I work, so spending a little bit longer setting up a Henry Hoover before I start sanding, or sealing all the doors, is invaluable.

I hope this blog has helped.

Sanding Without Getting Dust Everywhere – by Mike Gregory

Updated Mar 26, 2024 | Posted May 11, 2021 | 0 comments


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