On every job, there is always a dusting brush. Even the smallest touch-up job requires a tool to properly dust and prepare a surface. This is a visually thankless step of the professional painter, but absolutely crucial. I demand that my entire crew understands the importance of dusting immediately prior to any wet application.
We start dusting from the top and work our way down – allowing gravity to settle dust to the lower areas. Walls are dusted with a large dusting brush in an energetic, sweeping, downward motion. The surrounding millwork is also dusted aggressively. As we reach the baseboard and floor, additional care is made to remove the dust from any horizontal surface – maybe even dusted twice. The floor is also dusted out at least 2 feet since painting tools, glaze, and knees are often rested on the floor. Ideally, the floor should be vacuum often, but sometimes a quick dusting of the floor is far easier than hooking up the vacuum.
Even if you didn’t just sand the surface, you must dust off the job site dust prior to beginning a wet application. You may not see the dust, but as soon as your wet brush is sliding across the surface, it will appear and it’s too late to fix the problem. When applying a wet application on a baseboard, I often have my assistant dust the surface and floor one last time as I’m applying my glaze. Dusting is that important!
We have brushes that are ONLY for the purpose of dusting. Never use a base coating brush as a duster and then paint with it. I have a wide array of dusters at my shop, but the favorite is the big fan duster that looks like a stippler. (Available in bristle or nylon)
It can dust huge walls very efficiently and relieve heavily profiled millwork of pesky dust in seconds. A duster should be made of a fairly coarse hair (bristle or splayed-tip nylon) and loosely packed in the ferrule. If you retire just any brush to become a duster, you may be wasting valuable time using a brush isn’t right for the job.
Invest in your craft – buy a duster (and use it)!