How To Keep The Dust Down In A Garage When Painting?

A garage is typically a dusty place because of the many ways in which it is used. Driving vehicles in and out, storing lawn and garden equipment and other odds and ends and simply opening and closing the big doors on windy days tends to cause a massive accumulation of dust. This can be a real problem when you want to use your garage for painting projects.

In this article, we share smart tips to help you control the dust in your garage, especially when you want to paint something. Read on to learn more.

How To Keep Dust Out Of Your Paint Jobs

How To Keep Dust Out Of Your Paint Jobs

Clean Up!

Start by cleaning your garage completely. Begin at the top and work your way to the floor. It’s smart to start by brushing dust away and down. Once you have it all on the floor, sweep it up and dispose of it.

Follow up by going over all surfaces, again top-to-bottom, with your shop vac. Finish it off by going over everything with a micro fiber dust cloth and/or a damp cloth. Wet mop the floor.

Seal And Protect Cement Surfaces

If you have an unsealed concrete floor, you should take steps to seal it so that it doesn’t constantly shed powder efflorescence. Unsealed concrete decomposes releasing a continuous light sheen of rock and cement dust. As you walk over it and move things across it, this dust rises and settles on surrounding surfaces.

Seal it with a penetrating sealer that soaks into the concrete. This will protect the concrete against damage while sealing in the dust.
If that’s not possible at this moment, wet it down before you begin painting. This will help prevent dust from being able to rise as you walk about on the floor.

6 Steps To Create A Dust-Free Zone

Set aside a special, dust-free area for occasional painting projects. Follow these six steps to create a safe space for painting:

  1. Use your shop vac to clean up your work space before you begin your painting project.
  2. When you set up your dust free work area, use an anti-static wipe to remove dust from your work surface and prevent it settling there.
  3. Establish good ventilation with a fan, but don’t have the fan blowing on your work area. Instead, have it blow away from you to carry fumes and dust away.
  4. Use an air cleaning dust filtration/containment system of the sort used for woodworking shops. The kind that has an electrostatic filter will literally pull dust and particulate matter from the air.
  5. Unless you are working on a wooden item that might be warped by moisture in the air, wet down the floor after you’ve eliminated dust and before you begin painting. If you are working with moisture sensitive items, you can simply damp mop the floor before you begin. This will help control the dust a bit.
  6. Hang plastic sheeting over and around your work area to prevent dust blowing in. This is especially helpful if you are working on a painting project that will take several days.

Build A Paint Booth

If you do a lot of painting in your garage, you may wish to purchase or build a painting booth. There are inflatable painting booths you can buy online, or you could construct a room-within-a-room in your garage. Frame it up as you would any room and then cover it with plastic sheeting, which you can replace as needed.

Install a good air filtration system with an extractor fan in your paint booth. It should have a high quality, replaceable filter designed to attract and hold tiny airborne particles.

Keep in mind that, even with a designated painting booth, you should still perform the dust control steps we’ve described. Dust is stubborn stuff, and it will make its way into your paint booth if you let it.

Treat your paint booth like a science lab. Keep it closed and keep everybody out while you are painting. Limit traffic in and out at other times. Keep dust out by keeping it closed up when you aren’t painting.

7 Tips For Dust-Free Painting In Your Garage

  1. After your initial cleaning, whenever you have the choice between sweeping and vacuuming, choose to vacuum. It doesn’t kick up dust the way a broom will. If you are able to use a good, fine particle filter in your vacuum, it will do an even better job of controlling dust and particulate matter.
  2. Be sure that your clothes and shoes are dust free before you begin painting. It’s best to use disposable paper pants suits and shoe covers for painting. Wear a fresh set every time you return to your painting project.
  3. If your garage has a heating and cooling system, keep the filters fresh and clean.
  4. Use a wet sanding technique whenever you can. Be sure to choose wet/dry sandpaper. Wet it down, along with your project, before you begin sanding.
  5. Be sure that your garage door seals are effective. Old, cracked, damaged seals will not keep dust out. Replace them as needed.
  6. When you bring items into the garage for storage, be sure to clean them first. Your garden tools, lawn care equipment and lawn furniture can bring in an awful lot of dust. Clean them off before putting them away.
  7. Keep loose items in plastic totes, bins or tubs with lids. This will keep your items dust free and safe from insects, spiders and rodents. It’s a lot easier to wipe the dust off the lid of a sealed container than it is to clean it from a stack of random items.

How To Keep Dust Out Of Wet Paint

If you’re looking for more garage painting tips, here is our guide on how to paint your car there.

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