New answers tagged primer
If you want the boards to look brand spanking new again, you will want to go with method one. I'd use a heat gun to do it, and not the harsh chemical strippers. Either method takes about as long as the other and the heat gun method is less toxic, and, you either already have a heat gun and don't need to spend money, or you'll buy one and have it for a long ...
It is fairly unusual for bare steel (with paint) to peel, it rather will develop rust spots and blister off. The typical scenario is that your posts are galvanized and the galvanizing on the post is "rusting" which means its forming a zinc oxide layer (which is powdery) and pushing the paint off. The fact that you have not mentioned rust will also confirm ...
I've heard from professional drywallers/painters that they don't even try and take all the dust from sanding off, just a quick sweep of the walls to get the majority off. The really fine drywall dust will add itself to the primer coat and help smooth it out. I tried this approach when I remodeled my living room and the results were great.
You didnt have to use a mop, for next time all you have to do is take a broom to it and sweep the dust off, put some primer on, wait for it to dry and then take a pole sander to it, and dust clumps left on the wall is forever gone.
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