View Full Version : Which Is The Best Air Filter For Studios?

09-06-2010, 07:56 AM
Hi, I've started to notice that there's a lot of pastel dust covering everything in my studio and I'm also worried now that I'm breathing all that dust in.
I've been trying to find information about Hepa air filters. There are a few different types available on the market and they are not cheap. Are there many of you out there using these filters and can you recommend the best one to buy?

09-06-2010, 10:25 AM
I would definitely recommend a purifier with a HEPA filter, such as this one from Dick Blick:


It is more than likely that you will find similar air purifiers at a cheaper price at a hardware or home and garden type store. The price goes up as the power and amount of air flow goes up, so check to see what size room you need it for.

If you are looking for the best? Well, I have never seen it or tried it, but there is this model, made especially to fit on your easel:


Don't forget that many of us wear a dust mask to keep out the dust while working. That's a lot cheaper. Then you can just vacuum to clean the room after! I usually buy HEPA bags for the vacuum, but I'm not sure if a regular vacuum bag would be fine.


the drover's dog
09-06-2010, 10:41 AM
Julie, A dedicated air filtering machine would have to be parked under your easel to be effective. Pastel dust seems to be heavy and not airborne for long after being stirred up.

I used to paint in a room with a split system aircon/heating and the filters which I cleaned every month, had very little pastel dust in them. As you know, these split systems filter the air in a room constantly. I still had pastel dust on surfaces immediately surrounding my easel, but not all over the big room.

I have also noticed when a public hall was cleaned after a two day pastel workshop for 25 students, that the pastel dust was confined to the floor under where each easel had been, but was not on the admin tables which were laminate and not covered by a cloth. I ran my fingers along the unused portions of the table to check. I was in a bit of a panic about the mess people had made by failing to put a covering under their easels so I stood and watched to see how well or otherwise the cleanup went. When the floor was swept, the pastel residue was just smeared around. It didn't fly around as dust and it didn't want to go in a pile for the dust pan. We had to wash the floor before it was clear of the pastel residue. It was late afternoon and the sun was shining at an angle through high windows. Excessive dust motes from loose pastel would have been very obvious.

My point being, is that I doubt the efficacy of these air filters to clear pastel dust unless they are used in a very confined space immediately beside the easel. If left alone, I believe most of the dust hits the floor fast and is not hanging about to enter your lungs. I'm an asthmatic and using pastels doesn't worry me one iota. Others will probably have different views.

09-06-2010, 12:25 PM
Most of the dust is heavy, but some of it stays airborn for a short while. I got a used (with clean new filters) filtering machine really cheap, it is for asthmatics (I'm one) and has three levels of filters, the third being Hepa. It is very useful when brushing off sections from a painting, as it simply sucks the cloud right into the filter, and no dust comes out the other end where the air is blown out. I keep the filter on top of my desk, to the left of the table easel. Low power when painting, highest power when brushing off.

09-07-2010, 05:27 AM
Don, thanks for the links, the artistsair looks good but is very expensive. I hate wearing a mask, I wear glasses and they always steam up when I wear any type of face mask!

Dale, most of the dust in the room I paint in is on the floor around the easel and also on a shelf that runs around the wall immediately behind and to the side of the easel. I'm just worried that I might be inhaling even a small amount of dust, that can't be good for your lungs.

Charlie, that sounds really interesting. Did you get the used machine off the internet (E BAY) or from someone locally?

09-07-2010, 08:29 AM
Julie, I got it from an ebay type of thing, and was lucky that the seller lived in my county, so I could pick it up. I could check that the actual hepa filters were still available on the market, too, as one wants those fresh!

Glasses and masks... :-) what works for me is to let the mask ride high, so to speak, on my face, so I can put the glasses over it. And I see to it that the metal strip is molded to the bridge of my nose. That combo seems to stop the upward blow.

09-10-2010, 12:58 PM
I thoroughly love my Artists Air system. It has cut down on at least 75% of the dust in my studio. It may be expensive, but my lungs and eyes are worth it to my family. I don't mean to sound mean! ;-)

04-30-2014, 11:26 PM
I am looking for suggestions on which easels work well with the artistsair system. I have a best delux lobo, but the company is not sure how well it work on this easel.

Sarah Rose
05-06-2014, 03:17 PM
I have a small desktop HEPA air purifier. I do what Charlie does, I brush/tap off excess dust in front of the purifier and it sucks it in. I still feel that I breathe in too much dust, though. I have a dust mask but I hate wearing one for any extended period. I also keep my hair braided and wear a hat, otherwise my hair is full of dust after painting. I have old carpet in my studio and can't wait to get rid of it to help keep the room cleaner. I think this summer I may try to paint outdoors more often.

05-09-2014, 06:48 AM
What timing for this thread.
My puppy is always on my heals. She lays not quite right under my easel-but a couple feet over. A few months ago her eyes got all weepy and red. Her one lid was also red and swollen. Took her to the vet and got an ointment that cleared it up. Didn't realize till last week when it happened again, that the dust was the problem as I figured I captured the dust in a towel on my lap and in the tray of the easel. Will get a air filter and keep her away from now on. Boy do I feel bad I caused that!