WET SANDING DRYWALL: Tips On Wet Sanding

wet sanding drywall

Painting your walls may turn a drab space into something spectacular! Preparing the walls till they’re a smooth canvas for your new color is the greatest approach to assure a flawless paint job. Are you ready to start sanding once you’ve filled in the gaps and cracks? When you think of drywall sanding, you generally see a huge cloud of dust. And there are layers of fine stuff all over your surroundings, even in places you can’t see! This can be excruciating if you have dust allergies. This does not have to be the case; by doing things differently, you can sand drywall with less dust. There will be no dust in your house, clothes, or hair. In this post, I’ll show you how to use the sponge wet sanding approach to avoid drywall dust.

What Is Wet-Sanding?

Wet-sanding is the process of smoothing out and removing excess tapering compound after it has dried with a damp sponge. When drywall compound is soaked with a sponge, it begins to dissolve and loosen, allowing it to be smoothed out. Normally, wet sanding drywall is done with a very thick, stiff sponge.

Drywall sanding sponges are designed specifically for smoothing out joint compounds. Most can be used for wet or dry sanding, and they’re fantastic for getting into tight spaces like corners and ceilings.

Wet sanding is frequently the most effective way when using a sponge. To keep sanding dust under control, this procedure softens the compound, or mud, and dampens it.

How to Prevent Dust on a Drywall by Wet Sanding It

Materials:

  • Wet sanding sponge or sandpaper for drywall
  • bucket
  • water
  • scrubbing (optional but does help)

TIP: Any stiff sponge can do, but a drywall sponge or sandpaper meant for wet sanding will give you superior results.

Step #1. Get the Sanding Sponge Wet

  • Half to three-quarters of the way full, fill the bucket with warm water.
  • Wring out the excess water after dipping the sanding tool in it.

TIP: Make sure the sponge isn’t too dry. It should be sufficiently wet to loosen and dissolve the joint compound.

Step #2. Sand the Bump Spots

Tip: If you use a sponge, you will notice that one side is gritty (rougher). This site is utilized to assist in the sanding of high places.

For your first pass, concentrate on the bumpiest spots.

Over the high points, sand the drywall with the sanding sponge in a circular motion.

When sanding in one spot, don’t sand too hard or you’ll end up with a crater, valley, or holes. Avoid the desire to scrub vigorously to speed up the procedure because it will just result in extra work.

TIP: Rather of relying on your hand’s strength, let the sponge and water do the work!

Sand the area gradually until it softens to a uniform surface.

If the sanding sponge begins to dry out or becomes clogged with compound, rinse it out and sand with a new wet sponge.

TIP: To remove the built-up compound on the sandpaper, scrape it off with a scouring brush in the water.

Also, remember to replenish your bucket with fresh water as needed.

Step #3. Smoothing It Out

Concentrate on smoothing out the edges once the lumps have been removed. The seams are less visible after painting as a result of this.

Side Note: To smooth off the edges using the drywall sponge, swap to the smooth side.

Smoothing the edges is a second pass that you should complete because you don’t want the drywall paper to get too wet.

Step #4: Allow For Drying on the Wall

Allow time for the area to dry completely before adding another coat of compound or paint.

TIP: Never apply more than two coats of compound before allowing it to dry, or you risk removing the joint tape.

If you need to sand again after the two passes, I recommend applying another coat of joint compound, but this time watering it down to assist you to create a smoother finish. In this tutorial on how to patch a hole in the drywall, you can see how I do it.

Tips ForWet Sanding Drywall

#1. Do take your time.

Wet sanding takes time, so if you’re in a rush to finish prepping drywall for paint, dry sanding is the way to go. Keep in mind that as you dry sand, you’ll need to spend some time cleaning up the dust. Because wet sanding drywall requires little cleanup, the two procedures take about the same amount of time.

#2. Do not expect to be perfect

Because of the flexible nature of the drywall sponge, wet sanding drywall usually results in extremely gentle waves on the completed surface. If you’re patching a textured wall, this can work in your favor; it’s a lot easier to match the texture with a damp sponge than it is with sandpaper. Simply dab, wiggle, and pat the drywall mud (which is intended to disguise the adhesive that ties sheets of drywall together) until it matches the texture you want to replicate with your sponge.

#3. Don’t save water

Wet sanding necessitates a large amount of water, so fill five-gallon bucket three-quarters full of warm water to soften the drywall mud. You won’t have to stop and refill your bucket as often this way.

#4. Use the Appropriate Sponge.

While any stiff sponge would suffice, a drywall sponge specifically intended for wet sanding will get the finest results (like this one, available on Amazon). These drywall mud smoothing sponges are thick and stiff, with one side mildly abrasive for the first pass of sanding and the other side soft and fluffy for the second pass.

Soak the sponge completely in water, then squeeze away the excess water to keep the sponge damp but not dripping. If you’re sanding an entire wall, have two or three sponges on hand in case one runs out or tears. One drywall sponge should do for small mending operations.

#5. Remember Not to Rub Too Hard

Although wet sanding drywall is time-consuming, resist the urge to speed things up by scraping abrasively at bumps and rough places in the drywall mud. This can result in craters and holes that you’ll have to fill later. An aggressive technique might also cause the drywall joint tape beneath the mud to loosen or rip.

#6. Do concentrate on the bumpiest spots.

Begin by softening the entire length of drywall mud with wide, easy strokes, and then concentrate on the uneven or ridged sections, smudging out the irregularities with circular motions. Allow the sponge and the water to do the work, rather than your own strength. Attempt to eliminate flaws without producing valleys or holes.

#7. Remember to rinse and rewet.

Your sponge will absorb drywall and mud as you work, diminishing its capacity to smooth out flaws. When your sponge becomes too dirty, remember to rinse it fully in the water bucket and squeeze off the excess water before resuming your task.

#8. Change the Water Once in a While

After multiple sponge rinses, the water in your bucket will become milky and thick. To make it easier to clean your sponge, dump the murky water and refill the bucket with new water. If you’re pouring water down your sink drain, flush it with hot water to prevent clogging.

#9. Do not go through the motions more than twice.

Using the abrasive side of the drywall sponge, eliminate the worst of the ridges and imperfections during your initial pass. Using the fluffy side of the sponge, designed to minimize small defects, focus on smoothing the edges of the drywall mud and producing the most flawless surface possible during the second pass.

If two passes aren’t enough, you’ll need to let the drywall dry before finishing with sandpaper. Wet sanding in excess of two passes soaks the drywall, resulting in craters, valleys, and melted patches.

Drywall Sanding With Sandpaper

Sandpaper is necessary for achieving a smooth and even surface in drywall portions where the mud has dried.

The majority of drywall work requires the use of sanding tools. Lower and middle drywall regions require the use of a hand sander or sanding block. For higher wall and ceiling regions, use a pole sander with an extended handle.

Sanding screens containing sandpaper are used by hand sanders and pole sanders. When using a hand sander or pole sander, use a push-pull action to apply uniform pressure inside seams and along with nail and screw patterns. To sand down the rough sections or dried compound, start with 100 or 120 grit semi-coarse sandpaper and work your way up to 150 grit.

Finish drywall sanding in areas that require a gentle touch, such as inside corners and around electrical outlets, then feather out compound into the drywall using sheets of sandpaper. Sand the areas with a light and simple touch using 220-grit sandpaper. Sandpaper with a coarser grit than 100 grit may damage the drywall.

Electric Sanding of Drywall

For a large drywall project, an orbital sander is a viable solution. Although this tool is lightweight and may complete the operation in less time, it must be used with caution as a power tool to avoid injuring the drywall surface.

To get the desired results, use fine-grit sandpaper between 150 and 180 grit. A vacuum attachment is included with some drywall sanders to gather dust and debris. For assembly instructions, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions that came with your equipment.

  • Turn on the sander and lightly press the sanding screen against the drywall surface once all of the pieces are attached.
  • Apply just enough pressure to keep the pad flat against the surface while helping the screen work into the irregular regions.
  • Smooth the drywall compound as desired by moving it back and forth in an overlapping pattern.
  • While the sanding screen is in contact with the drywall, keep the sander moving. Avoid exerting too much pressure and use a smooth, sweeping motion.
  • Allow no sharp protrusions, such as nails or screws, to come into contact with the sanding screens while using the sander. These can cause significant damage to the pad.
  • Swirl marks and uneven regions on the surface can be caused by abruptly stopping the sander on the surface or rotating the device irregularly.

Wet Sanding vs. Dry Sanding

Because it’s easier to work a sanding sponge into small patches and tight corners, wet sanding with a sponge is great.

Wet sanding also produces less dust, making cleanup easier once the operation is over. However, compared to dry sanding, this approach produces a less smooth finish.

Dry sanding produces a smoother, more even finish. This is an excellent choice for covering huge surfaces and entire walls in larger rooms.

Unfortunately, this can leave a lot of dust on the newly patched drywall’s surface, as well as on neighboring floors and furniture. Before going on to the next step of your renovation project, always wipe out the area.

Sanding Techniques for Drywall

Sanding drywall throws microscopic dust particles into the air. The dust can irritate the lungs and eyes if inhaled. Unprotected clothing and furniture can also collect dust. Follow these guidelines before beginning a drywall sanding project, whether it’s tiny or large:

  • Wear a dust mask or respirator to protect your face and avoid inhaling drywall dust in the air. Safeguard your eyes, by putting on safety glasses. To avoid dust getting into your hair, wear a head covering.
  • To catch falling drywall dust, use a drop cloth on the floor and cover furniture with plastic or a tarp.
  • Enclose the area and prevent drywall dust from leaking into the rest of the house, place plastic sheeting at the doorway.
  • To prepare your interior walls for painting, follow the steps for sanding drywall.

Wet Sanding Drywall FAQs

Why is wet sanding better than dry sanding?

Wet sanding, which involves sanding with water as a lubricant, is less abrasive and produces a smoother finish than dry sanding. It’s ideal to wet-sand a project’s final finish. Dry sanding removes more material and quickly smooths uneven surfaces.

Is wet sanding worth it?

Wetsanding lets you eliminate scratches made by dry sandpaper without removing too much of the underlying material. It can also be used to rectify any faults or imperfections caused by an uneven paint job, as well as to remove any debris that has become lodged in the paint finish.

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