HOW TO WET SAND DRYWALL
When learning how to wet sand drywall be sure to consider both the advantages and the disadvantages of the wet sanding process.
For those who are sensitive to drywall dust and have a very small number (and size) of repairs to do, wet sanding is the way to go.
If on the other-hand you're dealing with new drywall or have a number of drywall fixes and patches then wet sanding, in my opinion, is not recommended.
Wet sanding new drywall would of course cause issues with the drywalls paper.
Lifting of the paper from the gypsum (inner core) would be one concern
while mold and mildew build up would be another.
Having a large number of repairs when wet sanding is also quite time consuming
as your bucket of water needs to be changed on a regular bases.
Wet sanding also takes longer
than dry sanding as the sponge requires frequent wringing out and rinsing of the sponge.
WET SANDING DRYWALL TOOLS
Learning how to wet sand drywall is not a difficult process just as long as you have the proper tools to start with.
Wet sanding requires a special type of sanding sponge that can be purchased from your local home improvement center. The sponge itself is a little larger than a kitchen sponge and like a regular sanding sponge (or block) can be either coarse medium or fine in texture.
A good sized bucket of water will also be needed. Your local home improvement center sales rep should be able to help you decide on the tools required for the jobs at hand.
WET SANDING DRYWALL PROCESS
OK! lets learn how to wet sand drywall. With your bucket of water beside you and using firm even pressure, sand your dried drywall repair in light circular motions. The damp sanding sponge should be doing the work not the pressure from your hand. The sponge needs to be damp but not so damp that water runs from the sponge when you press on it.
Keep dipping your sponge in the water. Thoroughly wring out the sponge then sand the repair again. You will know when to wring out the sponge because it becomes harder to move the sponge and the mud starts to get a smeared look to it.
You're done when you feel that the patched area looks flat and smooth to the wall. Keep in mind the more cured or dry your mud is the longer it will take to smooth it out.
With that said, don't over water the wall as it can cause the paper on the drywall to lift or bubble. Let the area dry, (about an hour or so) then apply more mud if needed then let the new mud dry.
Change the grit of your wet sanding sponge on the second sanding (medium) then sand the patched area again. Let that dry and do the process one more time with your fine grit sponge.
If you were counting that's three different coats of mud along with three different grits of sponge.
HOW TO WET SAND DRYWALL
Wet sanding can be done using just a medium grit sponge with good results. You might consider just the one wet sponge if you're doing a single small surface area or repair.
For those who have never wet sanded before and are considering doing more than a couple very visible mud patches, it might be best to use the graduated grit system (course, medium, then fine) for each layer of mud.
The process isn't hard though, so its up to you to decide what works best for your specific situation. Be sure to keep changing the water in your bucket as it becomes murky.
Once your repairs are dry and looking good, roll on some primer. After the primer is dry you may need to apply a little more mud to touch up groves or air bubble holes.
After doing mud touch ups I would use a regular dry sponge to sand out my dried touch ups then re-prime and throw on two coats of good quality paint.
Remember to sand between each coat of primer or paint that was applied.
Wet sanding drywall is definitely less messy than regular drywall sanding as long as one doesn't mind spending the extra time or labor to get the job done.
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