A Railroad with Relevance

The Amazing Traveling Ability of Plaster Dust

Written By: Alan - Jun• 21•10

Why is it that when you sand a small area of drywall plaster in the far corner of the basement you can later find plaster dust in your bedroom closet which is on the opposite side of the house and a story up? It is amazing how far plaster dust carries regardless of how you try to contain it. There must be magical plaster dust gremlins that carry it in miniature bucket loads to all corners of the house during the night. In my last post I said I would be covered in plaster dust when I write the next. Well, here I am and yes I am covered in plaster dust. But that’s not all bad, unless you ask my wife who has to constantly clean up the work of the gremlins. 🙂 Plaster dust means I am nearing paint and following paint is railroad building!!!

The basement finishing has progressed nicely as of late. The whole center section of the basement has drywall and 1st round of plaster. The bathroom has drywall awaiting tape and plaster. And the train room is fully insulated and has roughly 50% of the drywall hung. Yes, I am making real progress and it feels great! A few pictures of the work thus far. I wish I could somehow get the camera far enough back to show the whole train room. It is really large and is going to work just swell. In the next post I hopefully will be able to show rooms ready for paint.

It has been a lot of work going from a completely empty (room division-wise) basement to what is starting to look like just another floor of the house. But it is all worth it. Not only will it make the basement so much nicer (read that as not feel like a basement) but it should also increase the resale value of the house and lower our energy costs. At least that is my story and I’m sticking to it. 🙂 Besides the insulation is all tax deductible again this year so the timing is right. I am well on my way to having one very nice place in which to host a model railroad.

train room today

train room today

center room

looking into bathroom


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  1. Paul Ristuccia says:

    Drywall and plaster dust can travel amazing distances and settle on just about anything, including, of course, model railroad track!

    If you are truly using plaster, what I describe below will not work since plaster is not water-soluble once dry.

    However, if using drywall mud, try buying some cheap sponges, dampening them, and using the damp sponge to smooth drywall mud. This also works if using mud for model RR scenery.

  2. Alan says:

    Terminology error on my part. Yes, I am using drywall mud. The bucket says Lightweight Joint Compound.

    Great suggestion with the sponge. I read something similar some time back but had never given it a try. Glad you jogged my memory. There is plenty of drywall work ahead so I’m going to give it a whirl. Or should I say a wipe 🙂


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