Sander that attaches to a vacuum? Not a lot of options!

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Forum topic by Nel posted 09-30-2014 03:36 AM 1175 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Nel's profile


8 posts in 2808 days

09-30-2014 03:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sanding painting

Recently purchased a house built in 1927 which had old gutters which caused paint failure on the siding below where it got wet.
I followed the EPA guide for wet scraping with plastic sheeting to remove the loose paint. I assumed there was some lead paint without testing it.

I think I have 2 options for the next step: “feather” out the rough scraped edges or leave it alone.
But it seems there are not many affordable options for a sander/vacuum that deals effectively with lead paint dust…

Seems like the EPA’s RRP requirements would have created a strong demand for something like this for house painters, maybe a backpack style HEPA vacuum that you could walk around with?

Leave it alone? Too much to wet sand by hand probably.

8 replies so far

View Redoak49's profile


3664 posts in 2190 days

#1 posted 09-30-2014 12:08 PM

I think that I would test for lead to start with. You can buy a home test kit for $10-15.

Yes, you need a HEPA rated special vacuum for lead paint sanding and they are not cheap. I am not certain that I would tackle sanding something that had lead paint on it. The dust goes everywhere and contaminates clothing and everything around it.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5286 posts in 1922 days

#2 posted 09-30-2014 12:54 PM

+1 to testing, it’s not worth not knowing with how cheap the kits are. In the event that you don’t have lead paint you options are wide open, if you do, that will certainly be more complicated and expensive.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View BigMig's profile


470 posts in 2815 days

#3 posted 09-30-2014 01:29 PM

I’m no expert on lead paint, but I bought a HEPA filter for my shop vac for around $40 – it’s made by WL Gore (Gore-Tex company). Works very well, but again, I’m not sure of the complications of vacuuming lead paint – if that’s what you have.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View dhazelton's profile


2793 posts in 2498 days

#4 posted 09-30-2014 01:39 PM

I don’t get the question – you have galvanized gutters with failing paint? Yankee gutters that leaked and the soffits and walls are peeling? If your house has been repainted at all in the last forty years there is probably little to no lead paint left on it. And it’s really only an issue if you have a baby gnawing on it or you breath tons of the dust in, which a good mask will prevent.

View ohtimberwolf's profile


871 posts in 2554 days

#5 posted 09-30-2014 01:58 PM

How bad is the area and how large is it? A picture would help. There are options I have used but I would like to see what you are talking about first.

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View Nel's profile


8 posts in 2808 days

#6 posted 09-30-2014 02:21 PM

Thanks for the replies.
RedOak49 – Yes, this is my gripe…following the rules will cost me about $1000 in equipment for the vacuum and sander.
Bigblockyeti – Yes, you’re right – I’m assuming lead, but on the slim chance it isn’t, that would certainly gove me more options.
BigMig – I’ve read that a HEPA filter for a ShopVac is not suitable for lead abatement.
dhazleton – Sorry for the confusion, I edited the orignal post. I meant that the paint on the siding (cedar shingles) had failed. It was bubbled and blistered and cracked. It came off easily with a putty knife. But there are some spots of the original paint beneath which is very hard, thus my assumption that it is lead.
Ohtimberwolf – Under the gutters almost all the paint failed, about 10 feet by 10 feet. I would guess about 75% came off. It’s the last 25% that will look pretty bad if I don’t feather the edges. I’ll try to get a picture up this week.

View dhazelton's profile


2793 posts in 2498 days

#7 posted 09-30-2014 07:33 PM

At this point I doubt you have much if any lead based paint left on your building. It just sounds like water saturated that wall. You need to address that before you repaint, make sure you don’t have a moisture problem inside the wall, too. If it’s rough cedar I wouldn’t use a power sander on it, just feather with some 60 grit sandpaper by hand.

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3272 days

#8 posted 09-30-2014 07:44 PM

I did find supposedly EPA-certified lead abatement vacuums by searching for “lead abatement containment” but they seem to be geared toward specialized contractors, not DIYers.

As others mentioned, you might as well test for lead if you haven’t already. Maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I’ve seen some contractors claim that they bought their Festool sanders and vacs for compliance with EPA lead abatement requirements, but I’ve also noticed that Festool specifically states their “dust-free” tools are not certified for lead paint removal.

Usually the cheapest and most practical way to deal with lead, asbestos, etc., is to simply contain it.

Thinking outside the box, what about using putty or epoxy filler to smooth out the rough edges instead of sanding them?

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

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