Sanding Drywall Sanding Drywall

What You'll Need
Dust mask
Pre-cut sandpaper
Pole sander
Hand sander
Sanding sponge

Before you begin painting a newly installed drywall sheet, you should be aware that sanding drywall is a key factor in making your wall look as if it was painted by a professional.

Step 1 – Preparing to Sand

Fit a piece of 120-grit sandpaper into your sander. If you don't have sandpaper pre-fit to match the size of your pole sander and hand sander, save yourself a lot of frustration and wasted time by making a trip to your home improvement store or hardware store and buying a package of this pre-cut sandpaper. You will need to take the measurements of your sanders with you to the store. With the proper sandpaper attached to your sander and with your dust mask and goggles in place, begin sanding. For small places such as edges near door jambs and windows, your hand sander will be more maneuverable and will usually work better.

Step 2 – Using the Right Amount of Pressure

You'll find that certain areas to be sanded require different degrees of pressure that you should put on your sander. To sand seam centers, for example, where you will more likely find edges and lumps of dried drywall compound (mud), you will need to exert more pressure than when sanding seam edges and drywall screws. You can also save sanding time by removing dried mud edges and lumps with the edge of your drywall knife, or putty knife.

Step 3 – Sanding the Total Area

It's not always easy to see and recognize areas needing to be sanded, especially in dim light. Don't assume, without checking, that you have sanded all areas that have had drywall mud applied, such as seams and screw holes. Carefully examine each wall before moving on to the next one. If you find an area still needing sanding, mark it with a pencil. Use a flashlight to spot problem areas. The flashlight, when held against the wall with the beam flashing across the surface, will illuminate shadows where areas still need to be sanded.

Step 4 – Sanding Ceilings and Higher Surfaces

When sanding ceiling surfaces, you won't be able to reach all of the places you need to sand. In order to reach these you will need to use a pole sander or an extension on your hand sander. Avoid standing directly under the surface you're sanding. Not only will you avoid dust falling in your face, but you'll find it easier if you hold your sander at an angle while pushing it across the surface.

Step 5 – Sanding without Creating Dust

To sand without creating dust, use your taping knife to remove the higher ridges created by drywall mud. Once the higher edges of mud ridges have been removed, it will be easier to remove the more shallow ridges with a damp sponge.

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