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Sanding Drywall

Sanding Drywall
Sanding drywall can be a messy job, if you do not know the proper technique. Read this article to gather some valuable drywall sanding tips that can help you avoid some common mistakes.
Bidisha Mukherjee
Sanding is an important part of drywall finishing, and is often needed after installing drywall, repairing it, and prior to painting it. You have to sand all those areas where you applied drywall joint compound or mud. It includes the seams where two drywall boards meet, the inside and outside corners, and the nail holes. These areas tend to have rough and uneven patches post the application of joint compound. If you sand these areas properly, they take on a smooth surface that blends well with the rest of the drywall.
Sanding Drywall Tips
Before sanding drywall, you need two simple tools―medium and fine grit sandpapers, and a hand sander. If the area of drywall is large, then a pole sander is more convenient. Attach the sandpaper to the sander and you are ready for the job. Here are a few simple tips which have to be kept in mind while performing this task:
  • You should start sanding drywall mud only after it completely dries. Usually, it takes 24 hours to dry up but you must refer to the manufacturer's instructions about the drying time, and follow the same.
  • While the dry drywall compound is being sanded, a lot of dust will get released into the air. To protect yourself from the airborne dust, you must wear goggles and a protective mask.
  • Identify the rough spots on the drywall surface first. You can simply move your hand or a putty knife over the drywall to detect problem areas. Otherwise, you can flash a hand-held light on the drywall where you will find dark, shadowed areas which are nothing but minor depressions. Mark all those spots which require sanding with the help of a chalk.
  • You should not apply too much pressure while sanding drywall surfaces; it can remove large amounts of joint compound.
  • While sanding over joint tapes lining the seams, you may come across some small ridges of joint compound. Such bumps cannot be removed with sandpaper. To get rid of them, you have to apply slight pressure on them with a drywall knife. Once you knock them off, sand these spots.
  • Try to avoid excessive sanding on the areas near the small screw holes or depressions. This is because you may end up sanding more compound from the holes. If you accidentally do that, then make sure you fill it up properly with three coats of compound. Each coat of compound should be applied when the previous one dries up.
  • Sanding corners is the toughest part of the entire process. Here, the layer of the joint compound is expansive and spreads in two different directions. If you apply too much pressure, the alignment of the boards may get affected. Therefore, you have to ensure that the adjoining boards form a firm, straight line with each other and then sand them with a gentle hand.
  • After the previous steps are completed, the task of sanding a painted drywall should be carried out with great caution. You have to make sure that you do not move the sandpaper on the surrounding painted surface, chipping it in the process.
  • When you finish sanding, you must wipe away the leftover dust from the exposed drywall section. Otherwise, the paint is not going to adhere properly. For this purpose, you can rub a slightly damp piece of cloth or sponge over the entire surface first, wait for it to dry, and then apply paint.
The disadvantage of dry sanding is that it releases a large amount of dust. Therefore, if you are allergic to this, you should opt for wet sanding. Here, a special sanding sponge is first dampened with water before rubbing it across the drywall compound, greatly minimizing the amount of dust that is released; wearing a face mask is highly recommended, to avoid any respiratory issues.
Roller Painting