How To Use Painter’s Tape To Catch Drill Dust

In the midst of hanging our bedroom curtains last week, I snapped some pics of a little trick I use to control the mess of drilling holes into our walls (in this case to make room for curtain rod anchors). Some of you probably already do this, but I figured I’d pass it along to those who might not be in the know since we only joined the tape trick club about a year ago. And not many people think cleaning up drywall or plaster dust scattered below their work area is a fun way to pass the time. Including me. Anyway, the trick is crazy simple and looks a little something like this:

It’s just a piece of painter’s tape folded in half and stuck like a tiny temporary shelf below my “drill here” marks on the wall (I recently heard someone recommend doing the same thing with a post-it note, in case those are handier in your house). Either way, when your drill spits out a pile of dust, it gets caught neatly on the little tape “shelf” below. Which is better than landing all over the floor and whatever objects you didn’t bother to move below. See?

I debated switching to the post-it technique for a larger “shelf” surface, but decided to stick with tape (pun intended) because its sticky-all-around surface holds onto the dust more tightly (I’m klutzy enough that I’d probably dump all of the dust sitting on the non-sticky part of a post-it right onto the floor while removing it- but tape holds onto that stuff pretty well).

Plus I’m not gonna lie. My favorite part is wrapping up all the tape-trapped dust into a little burrito so I’m confident that the mess is permanently contained until I toss the little packet o’ dust in the trash.

There ya have it. Easy, right? I’m sure I’m not the only one to use some deviation of this method when it comes to avoiding clean-up, so feel free to share any alternate techniques for dealing with drill dust. Or any other quick tricks that you’ve used to make your projects easier, faster, or less messy. Speaking of messy- Sherry took on quite an unusual project today. Details soon.

Pssst- Best spam comment to date (well, maybe besides this one) left by some jumbled url under the name BuyLinks: “Man if I ever saw two raccoons fighting over a blog it’d be this one. Nicely done my friend.” Awesome.


  1. Kana says

    That spam comment is definitely worth posting!! I would love to see two raccoons fighting over your blog.. ;) “nicely done my friend”

  2. says

    This reminds me way to much of the SNL skit “The Anal Retentive Chef” with Phil Hartman where all garbage and “refuse” gets put into a paper bag with the top folded over and stapled, then placed into the garbage.

    But, that’s a good thing. :)

  3. jen k says

    Great trick! Thanks for sharing, I didn’t know that one! Btw, I vote for a play area for Clara behind your new super cool couch that looks perfect in the space!

  4. Alicia says

    We have also done the same thing but with a tiny (think jewelry box sized) box. Tape it onto the wall, it catches everything and you dump the box out in the trash. We save the box in the tool drawer with the drill.

  5. says

    Nice, I’ll have to let my hubby know next time so I don’t have to spread the dust all over the floor so you don’t see it anymore, I mean vacuum up the dust! :)

  6. Katie says

    Hmm, I always learned to just put the tape right where you’re going to drill. I drill right through the tape into the wall and there’s almost no dust.

  7. Charlotte says

    Such a great idea! Never would have thought of it myself. Considering we are hanging curtains this weekend, it’s just in time! :)

  8. Tammy says

    Do you have any tips for measuring for placement of the rod brackets? Between drapery pins, the attachement rings on the rod rings, and the dimensions of the brackets, I often end up making 2 or 3 holes before I get it right.

    Love your blog, by the way. I’m so glad you keep on writing.

    • says

      John holds the rod up (by holding the brackets against the wall with the rod on top at different heights) and I step back and pick the height. Once I do he continues to hold those brackets and I mark the holes. Then he hangs it. Hope it helps!


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