What is a Sanding Sponge?
A Sanding sponge is a special kind of sponge used for the replacement of blocks and traditional sanding screens used in drywalls. This process is called wet sanding and is much cleaner compared to conventional drywall sanding. Typically, a sanding sponge is utilized in a slightly damp condition and needs to be rinsed and wrung during the wet sanding process.
Compared to conventional sanding, wet sanding is a better option when there has been repair on damaged plaster or drywall. It is also used in the case of remodeling in specific home areas. The sanding sponge needs to be just sufficiently damp to reduce sanding dust that settles in the air. Hence, sanding sponge are best used in homes where people have allergies as the airborne dust can trigger allergies. In baths or kitchens that tend be used most often, usage of a sanding sponge can reduce mess associated with drywall repair.
The process of wet sanding will not change the amount of coats or drywall mud needed. However, it is a lengthier process compared to conventional sanding using dry blocks. The sanding sponge has to be rinsed as well as wrung thoroughly at regular intervals. If the wall area is large, you would need to change the water frequently as well. Typically, it is possible to sand an area of 3 foot square prior to rinsing or wringing the sanding sponge.
Keeping Water Handy
It is recommended that you keep a bucket filled with water handy. However, as soon as you see the water getting murky, you need to change it with fresh water. Various kinds of sanding sponge versions with different grains can be used in wet sanding. These grains can be fine or coarse and it all depends on the mud coat being sanded. The average sanding sponge is larger than conventional kitchen sponges and can be obtained at any home improvement store. Make sure to use circular motions with steady pressure when using a sanding sponge. If you find water dripping while applying pressure, you need to rinse out the sanding sponge to make it just damp enough to prevent sanding dust from becoming air borne.
Once you have used the sanding sponge on a specific mud coat, you should let the area dry out for at least an hour before you start with the second coat comprising compound. If you plan to prime or paint and if the last coat is sanded, then too you should follow this process of drying. For some projects of home repair, you could combine using sanding sponge or wet sanding along with the traditional sanding methods. The first coat could be sanded with a block or screen sander to hasten the process. However, you can use the sanding sponge on the last coat to clean up the dust faster. While the entire process using sanding sponge is longer, it results in a cleaning sanding process.
Using a larger sized bucket helps to reduce the number of times you will need to change the water and thereby hasten the sanding process.