Finish a Basement: A DIY remodeling adventure!
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Check here for information on the tasks you'll need to complete to finish your basement. Complete with the lessons we learned as we remodeled our basement, and tips to help you avoid some of the mistakes we made.
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>Home >Our progress >Drywall sanding

Drywall sanding

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How to sand drywall

A couple of days after the final coat of mud was dry, Dan came back to sand the drywall. I was amazed that he sanded the entire basement in about 4 hours! Like I said earlier, it pays to hire an expert- at least for some of this stuff!

Here's how my previous drywall finishing projects have gone:

1. Add too much mud
2. Sand off too much mud
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 several times.
4. Give up- it looks as good as it's ever going to look.
5. Prime and paint
6. Swear you'll never do it again.

This time it was much different, before Dan arrived on 'sanding day' I bought some large plastic drop cloths and used masking tape to cover all door openings, heat registers, and cold air returns. I left the one at the bottom of the stairs loose on three sides (to get in and out!)

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!

Dan used a mask with a ventilator and eye protection- believe me you don't want to breathe that dust or have it fill your eyes! Dan also asked that I shut off the furnace so it wouldn't kick on and circulate any floating dust throughout the house.

Using a sanding pole Dan quickly progressed around the basement and was done in about day!

I didn't get any photos of the work in progress (would YOU want to walk down there in all that mess?), but here's how it looked when the dust settled! (Click below to enlarge images.)

Sanded drywall view of kitchen and walk-up bar area. [Click to enlarge]Sanded drywall in the home theater area, ready to prime and paint. [Click to enlarge]

Drywall sanding: clean up

After waiting a day for the dust to settle, I was ready to tackle the cleanup. I bought a sweeping compound at Lowe's and spread it over the floor. This helped the dust coagulate as I slowly swept the floor. After getting as much of the dust as I could, I went over the walls with a slightly damp cloth to get rid of any loose dust. Then I vacuumed using a Shop Vac to get what was left.

IMPORTANT: If you vacuum with your Shop Vac, be sure to sweep first. ALSO be SURE to buy fine particle drywall filter bags for your Shop Vac. Otherwise the dust will flow right through and circulate around the room.

See more Shop Vacs at

Progress Topics

Getting electrical estimates - How much does an electrician charge?

Drywall estimates

Electrical rough-in

Soundproofing: Caulking the walls

Drywall, insulation, & hardware delivery

Insulating the walls

Hanging drywall

Hanging drywall: Day 2

More hanging drywall

Drywall finishing

Drywall sanding

See also...
Phase 1: Basement prep and framing

Phase 3: Priming, painting and finshing touches




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