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>Home >Basement_construction >How to sand drywall

How to sand drywall

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If you've checked out my section on finishing drywall in the Our Progress, you know I decided to play it smart and leave the drywall finishing to a pro; I can only offer drywall sanding advice secondhand. If you've decided to do it yourself, without much experience, the only thing I can say to you is GOOD LUCK!

An important thing to remember when sanding drywall is that you should only do it one time- AFTER the 3rd coat of mud. You should NOT sand after each coat! You'll make a huge mess and end up reapplying mud after you've sanded off too much. BELIEVE me- I've done it more than once on other remodeling projects.

Drywall sanding tools

Here are a few of the most critical drywall sanding tools:

Drywall sanding tools: Safety goggles
Drywall sanding tools: Mask with ventilator
Drywall sanding tools: Sanding pole

Safety goggles

Mask with ventilator

Drywall sanding pole

Buy your drywall sanding tools NOW!


You'll need a good sanding pole to do the job. It has a 12" wide pad for the sandpaper or drywall sanding mesh that will save your back in addition to saving tons of time. You'll also need an ample supply of medium and fine grit paper or mesh.

Make sure you use safety goggles and a mask with a ventilator too. Dust will get all over you and you don't want to breathe it or get it in your eyes!

Drywall sanding tips

  • Only sand after the 3rd coat of mud, and make sure the mud is thoroughly dry before you sand. If you do it right, you'll only sand one time. You'll save a lot of time and reduce the mess if you do it right the first time!
  • Be sure to wear eye protection when you sand drywall, and use a mask- with a ventilator. Otherwise you'll be coughing up that fine dust for weeks which may permanently damage your lungs, and may damage your eyesight!
  • Use large plastic drop cloths to cover all doors and ventilation ducts (both heat and cold air return). This will help keep the dust from spreading throughout the house.
Drywall sanding doesn't have to be impossible. If you don't think you can do it, hire a pro! [Click to enlarge]

  • Avoid the wet sponge method of sanding. While it might be OK for small patching jobs, it won't work well for a big project like a finished basement.
  • You may be tempted to open a window for air circulation. DON'T! The breeze will just keep the dust blowing, and will spread it throughout the house. You're much better off with no air movement. This will allow the dust to settle quicker so you can clean it up.
  • Buy a sweeping compound for cleanup. After the drywall dust settles (overnight) sprinkle it on the floor prior to sweeping. This will help the dust coagulate, making it easier to clean up.
  • Use your shop vacuum for cleanup ONLY after you've used sweeping compound. BE SURE to buy fine filters for the vacuum- those designated for drywall dust and other fine particles.


Construction Topics

Tools you'll need

The 3-4-5 rule

How to frame a wall

How to attach walls

How to install insulation

Drywall estimating

How to hang drywall: Step-by-step

How to cut drywall

How to cut around outlets and openings

Drywall installation tips

How to frame a door

How to trim a door to fit

How to finish a door

How to frame around poles

How to finish drywall

How to sand drywall

Tips for buying, finishing, & installing baseboard molding

How to fix squeaky floors

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