How can I paint over coal dust?

Marylou Foster
by Marylou Foster

I acquired a house that had a coal furnace. There is coal soot all over the house including the closets. Can I paint over it or do I have to clean it and with what?

  3 answers
  • Em Em on Mar 03, 2019

    Coal dust has an oily base. Wash your walls with a good degreaser like Awesome spray from the Dollar store. Dilute it a little or use full strength. The paint will be a mess if you don't get it off first.

  • Janice Janice on Mar 03, 2019

    Hi Marylou, you need to clean the walls first. Otherwise, when you start painting the dust will work into your paint and not turn out well. Good preparation work prior to painting always results in a nicer finish, so do the prep work and it'll pay off in the long run. Clean with TSP, rinse well and let dry then prepare to paint as usual. Filling holes, sanding a bit so they fill doesn't show and use the best paint you can afford.

  • Hi Marylou, perhaps this article will give you some tips. I would also pop into your local paint store and ask them about it.