Is this a film of paint or something evil?
June 30, 2011 1:09 PM   Subscribe

What do you think this white film covering everything might be?

The painter spray painted my popcorn ceiling white. Now I have a fine layer of white dust (paint?) over all kinds of surfaces, counters, built-in bookcase and baseboards etc. BUT it wipes up quite easily (which makes me think it might not be paint...) Is this what happens if plastic is not hung properly? (I found butcher's paper in the garbage instead of plastic.) Or is this something else?

If it's paint why is it dusty and easily wiped up? He said he didn't sand anything. On one (wood) wall I can see the outline of what appears to be the size of the butcher's paper.

Anyone ever make the mistake of not hanging enough plastic and can confirm this outcome?

I'm baffled. Is it possible that the popcorn ceiling compound went floating around or got sucked into the furnace?

Okay - I'm not just baffled -- I'm paranoid and freaked out. I can't stop thinking/worrying about it.
Thanks MeFites.
posted by Toto_tot to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
This is overspray/paint dust. It's fine paint that is such a small droplet that it dries before it lands on stuff. It's very common with automotive shops and they have extraction ducts and air filters to prevent it getting into the paint while it is wet and screwing the finish up.

If your heater wasn't running while this was being sprayed (which it shouldn't have been) then I don't think you have an issue.
posted by Brockles at 1:18 PM on June 30, 2011

Finely atomized paint can dry in the air and then settle dust on surfaces.
posted by contraption at 1:19 PM on June 30, 2011

or got sucked into the furnace

Not sure what it is specifically but your forced-air (I presume) furnace ought to have a good filter to keep this sort of thing out of its blower fans (which you should clean or change periodically).
posted by aught at 1:19 PM on June 30, 2011

Er, settle as dust. Like Brockles said.
posted by contraption at 1:20 PM on June 30, 2011

as long as you vacuum this stuff up and clean it down properly, it's no big deal, really. It was shoddy work on the plastic sealing/prep on the painters part, but it's not any major health or home disaster. No freaking out or paranoia required.
posted by Brockles at 1:20 PM on June 30, 2011

Thanks so much! "Dried before it landed" wouldn't have occured to me. I feel relieved.
posted by Toto_tot at 1:47 PM on June 30, 2011

If your HVAC system has been running through this, you might buy a couple of filters and at least check if not change them every 5 days for a couple of filters just to keep from getting one clogged with that paint dust.

If your HVAC system isn't running right now, do the same thing when you do first turn it on for the season.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:20 PM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

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