Sanding your drywall should not be an intricate process despite it being tiring and dusty. The worst thing about it is that it’s not a job that is meant to be accomplished with the use of machines, so you’ll just have to use human labor most of the times. One thing you might like to note is that as you prepare your freshly taped wall for painting, you will be sanding the joint compound used for taping and not the drywall itself as many tend to think. The compound should sand quickly, but you will have to put in a lot of skill and care to get the taped seams to disappear under a coat of paint. Other than the care and skill, you’ll also have to get a medium-grit sandpaper, as you don’t want to go for a sandpaper that will clog.
Types of Sandpaper
Sandpaper usually comes in two grades, which are the industrial grades and the commercial grades, but you are less likely to find the former at your local hardware store. There are three types of sandpaper which you may expect to get at a regular store, and they include garnet paper which bears a tannish-brown color, silicon-carbide which is also known as wet/dry sandpaper and is black, and finally aluminum-oxide which is grey. Aluminum-oxide and garnet sandpapers are open-coat wallpapers, which won’t clog, and that makes them the most suitable for drywall. The best choice from the two, however, is aluminum-oxide since it wears slower when compared to its alternative, and can be used longer as a result. Other than it’s capability to last long, aluminum-oxide sandpaper will tear less quickly, since it’s substrate is thicker than that of garnet paper.
As you sandpaper a surface, the fineness of the abrasive action will be defined by the sandpaper grit. When the grit number is high, then the action will be more beautiful and vice-versa. When using sandpaper on drywall, ensure that the grit number is not below 100, because as much as such a sandpaper may work quickly, the resulting gouges on the joint compound might be so thick that they’ll still be visible under the paint. You don’t also want to go as high as 220 since as much as the scratches made with such a sandpaper are less visible, the sandpaper will clog almost immediately after you begin using it. The recommended grit number should be around 120 and 150, and the 120-grit sandpaper should be the most suitable for handling most of the sanding projects. You may also opt to use the 120-grit sandpaper first and then finalize with the 150-grit one for a smoother look.
Dry Sanding Tools
For drywalls, avoid using an oscillating or belt sander, since such may not help you accomplish your sanding goals. Resolve to use a hand sander, as it has a flat pad that will accommodate a half-sheet of sandpaper and a handle. Hand sanders are mostly suitable for walls you can reach without using a ladder, unlike the pole sander which is better when used on higher walls and ceilings as well. The handle, in this case, is replaced by an extension pole which is 4 feet long. The pad revolves around the pole and can allow you to sand wide and narrow seams by moving the pole back and forth. A sanding sponge is also a useful tool whose rough surface is similar to that of the 120-grit sandpaper and is usually easier to manipulate when compared to a hand sander.
When sanding, ensure that you have a dust mask, and plastic sheeting to cover things like your heating system so that the dust generated from the sanding may not be an issue afterward. Other than protecting yourself and the systems that need protection in your home, sufficient light is essential to help you detect problems such as unnecessary ridges on the wall, which will become visible once you have the paint on. Consider using a work light which should be shining at an angle on the wall or ceiling so that you detect any flaws easily.
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