Reader Question: Popcorn and Point Up

Written by on March 30, 2014 in Ask the Topcoat Team! with 2 Comments

Terry from Specified Coatings in North Carolina asks:

Hi Scott! First of all, thank you for the very informative information you provide us in the painting industry. It has been most helpful to me. I took the plunge today and purchased a Festool planex ct 36 dust extractor. We are primarily a high end repaint company. We do a fair amount of drywall point up when she do a project in preparation for painting. We also do popcorn ceiling removal from time to time. My questions are as follows: 1- what abrasive do you recommend on the planex for unpainted popcorn texture removal. The dealer I purchased the package from was not exactly sure what may be best for removal. From following you I assumed you would probably know. 2- what accessory do you recommend for sanding point ups on walls when a planex is not needed? For instance, say we have 15-20 point ups on the walls that need sanding and we want to sand with dust extraction? The dealer recommend the dts 400 eq. I am not so sure about that one. Thank you for any advice you could offer.

Scott’s Response:

Terry, Thanks for writing. Congrats on your new gear. You will enjoy doing this type of work with less mess.

To your questions:

1. I would start at 80 grit on the Planex. Experiment with your settings to find the tool speed and extraction rate that works best. Let me know if you have questions as you dial it in. The Planex is very powerful. We were just at the JLC Live Remodeling show recently, and we had a textured wall set up for the Planex. It was eating it up at 220 all day long.

drywall sanding

Three points for corners, and beveled edges so it doesn’t scuff adjacent surfaces.

2. We do a lot of point up, patch and skim sanding with the regular, small orbital sanders. As your dealer suggested, the DTS400 is really good in that area. We do this type of sanding at 180 or 220 grit, using the Festool Granat abrasive.

The ETS sanders (125 and 150), as well as the RTS400 are also very good choices. The DTS400 is a handy tool to have because in addition to patch sanding, it is also very competent on wood. We use it for cabinet grade finishing sanding.

You can attach any of these sanders to your CT36AC or you can use the regular HEPA CT extractors for small scale drywall as well, just be sure to always use the Planex on the 36AC because of the sheer amount of dust and debris it is capable of generating. The AutoClean feature keeps the filter from overloading.

With the smaller sanders, regardless of which extractor you attach to, keep the motor speed up on the sander, and the extraction rate turned all the way down at the extractor. This creates the smoothest floating action on the wall, with plenty of extraction. Happy sanding!

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About the Author

About the Author: Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you! Scott's Google Profile .

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  1. Reader Question: Popcorn and Point Up | Bloggin... | March 30, 2014
  1. Richard Kocher says:

    Please test popcorn ceilings for the presence of asbestos. Popcorn ceilings prior to the late 70′s can have and asbestos content.

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