How to Sand Drywall – Step by Step Guide

sanding drywall

Sanding the Wall with a Manual Sander

Drywall sanding is a crucial step in both new drywall installation and repair works. So, if you are planning to build a house or have one, you need to know the tips and tricks to sand the drywall.

In this guide, we have shared my own experience and knowledge with you on drywall sanding. Stay with us!

1. Gather Essential Tools

As soon as you start planning the sanding job, you should start with the tools you’ll need. As you may need to buy some new tools or rent from somewhere else, it will take a day or two at least to deliver at your doorstep. So, plan early about the sourcing of the essential tools. Here is a list of the tools that you’ll need when sanding drywall-

  1. Respirator
  2. Polythene/Plastic Sheet (for repair only)
  3. Gloves
  4. Protective Goggles
  5. Headcover
  6. Marker (Pencil or pen)
  7. Putty Knife
  8. Light with Stand
  9. Sanding Sponge
  10. Pole Sander
  11. Sandpaper

2. Take Precautions

Drywall dust is dangerous for the human respiratory system and exposed skin. So, you have to take proper personal protections to be safe when working. Use eye protective goggles, respirator, hand gloves, and head cover to be safe against the drywall dust.

People often skip headcover but I feel this as an important element for comfortable sanding work. Skipping this will make your hair dirty and you’ll end up an hour in the shower to get rid of the dust from your scalp.

3. Protect Furniture & Appliances

Skip this section if you have installed drywall in a newly built house that has not been furnished yet.

Drywall dust will reach every corner of your house unless you protect your furniture and collect the dust at its source. Use polythene or plastic sheets to cover all your electric appliances and furniture. This will relieve you from a lot of unnecessary cleaning task.

If you use dustless drywall sander to polish the wall, that too will leave some dusts in air and make your house dirty.

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4. Ventilate the Area

Ventilating the room where you’ll be sanding is an important step before turning the sander on. Air will pass through the room when you ventilate it. So, the dust won’t make the environment suffocating and hazy.

If the workspace does not have enough windows to ventilate it perfectly, you may need to change the respirator often to work without interruption.

5. Mark the Wall

Here we start working with the drywall finally. Use a putty knife and bright light to find the high, low, and even spots on the drywall surface.
Mark the surfaces with a pencil categorizing them as high, low, and even. This will allow you to sand the drywall as much as it needs. No more, no less.

Hold the knife against the surface and put light on it. You’ll easily find out whether the surface is even or not by seeing the shadow.

6. Start from Corners

Now that you have completed marking the wall with appropriate signs, start with the inner corner of the drywall. Use a sanding sponge to sand the corners. When starting out, make sure to check the grit of the sponge so that you don’t end up scratching the surface.

For eliminating risk, start from low grit and increase the grit to see if that is safe or not.

After you finish sanding the corners, sand the edges and cut outs where electric outlets will be in place.

7. Sand with an Automatic Pole Sander

If you are building a house, we recommend getting an automatic drywall sander so that you can eliminate the dust at its source. Eliminating the dust at the source is important as drywall dust spreads all over the area if not properly contained.

And you’ll feel more comfortable sanding the drywall with electric sanders than the manual ones. However, you can do the job with manual pole sanders but be very cautious about the dust.

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