How do you keep dust off a drying painting? Is there a way to keep dust out of a room? Is this a problem unique to Maui?

by Michael James

How do you keep dust off a drying painting? Is there a way to keep dust out of a room? Is this a problem unique to Maui?
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Editors Note:

This is a great question!

No, dust is everywhere, unless you live near an active volcanoe, or large brush fires. Then the problem can be much worse.

Dust, most of it, comes off of you! Your clothes, your skin, your hair, your furnitures fabric, your carpet. Any thing that has fibers, will break down as you move and this collects in the air. Some of it is from outside sources like pollen, and pollution (soot from older factories, new factories have smoke stack sweepers which are mostly water sprayed down on the smoke to capture particles and help prevent air pollution).

Try this test, in the morning, or whenever you have some direct sunlight shining through a room, particularly your bedroom, and watch the sunbeam through the window. You will be able to see the particles floating in the air by the window.

Then, jump on your bed and watch the explosion of particles that pass through the sunbeam. You can even shake your arm or hair and see a significant increase in particles within the sunbeam.

Keeping them off paintings? Small paintings, try putting them in a dresser drawer, especially an older dresser with dovetail drawer fitment, and dust panels between drawers.

I usually just lean them against a wall facing inwards. Most dust floats to the floor. Removing carpet from my studio helped a great deal too.

You can always get elaborate and build a cardboard box, put your painting in, seal it, and pull a slight vacuum with a vacuum cleaner in a small hole that you create then reseal.

Framers have a similar machine when framing large peices under glass. The vacuum pulls all the loose material, dust, hair, from inside the picture glass.

It is really a never ending battle, and unless you have a closet that isn't near alot of foot traffic (seems at my house to collect the least amount of dust), it just something you live with.

Hope this answers your question.
Best wishes, and happy painting.

Maybe other folks can chime in with suggestions, I'd love to hear some of your ideas on how to keep dust off your paintings!

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