How to Wet Sand Drywall

What You'll Need
Drywall Sponge

Drywall is notorious for producing large amounts of dust. During the sanding process it is advisable to wear a heavy-duty face mask to ensure that you don’t inhale dust. It is also a good idea to tape off the room in which you are working with a large sheet of plastic. Putting the plastic up will contain most of the dust and save the rest of your home from being covered in a white film. However, to eliminate the need for all of that hassle, you can wet sand the drywall. With a few items from your local home improvement store you can get beautiful, smooth finish on your drywall without all the dust. 

Step 1—Fill the Bucket with Water

A 5 gallon bucket will work best for this project. Before you begin, fill the bucket with warm water. The water will help keep your sponge clean during the sanding process. The more water you put in the bucket, the better. The water is going to get full of drywall scraps and will become rather milky. With more water in the bucket, it will take longer to need changing and will cause you to stop your work less. 

Step 2—Wet the Sponge

Using the drywall sponge is similar to using a sponge when washing dishes. The rough, abrasive side of the sponge is for heavy-duty work, sanding the wall, and the soft, fluffy side is for applying water. Submerge the sponge in water. The sponge is new, so you may need to leave it under water for a while to absorb enough water. Do a good job of wringing out the sponge. The sponge should be damp, but not dripping water. 

Step 3—Sand the Wall

With the soft side of the sponge, apply water to the area you are going to sand. Turn the sponge over and begin to sand the drywall wherever you notice uneven edges. It is best to sand the drywall over large areas. Make sure to use large strokes as well. This will allow for a more even sanding. Don’t be tempted to sand forcefully in a small area. This will likely lead to a scar or dents and grooves left in the wall. The first few minutes may be a bit discouraging. Don’t fret. It takes a few minutes for the drywall to soften under the moisture of the water.

As you continue the process, the abrasive side of the sponge will become covered in wet drywall particles and will begin to perform poorly. As this happens, rinse the sponge out in the water bucket and continue.

Step 4—Check the Water and Continue

After a while, the water will become murky. The sponge won’t clean as well either. At this point replace the water with fresh, clean water and continue.

With just a few tools and a little time you can sand your drywall to a smooth finish. No more coughing or sneezing from drywall dust.