Sanding Drywall for Beginners

Sanding is a necessary step when it comes to drywall. To get that smooth finish we're all looking for, edges and bumps in the compound are feathered and sanded out once they dry. Are you new to drywall or sanding? Here’s an overview of sanding tools available and their applications to help you get started! 

After the compound has dried, you’ll want to sand away any rough edges. That can be done either by dry or wet sanding. First, let’s look at dry sanding:


This is the best way to get a smooth finish and is the most common. It’s called dry sanding because there is no water involved in the process. Simply use a sanding sponge, sandpaper a power sander and apply light, even pressure to smooth out any imperfections. 

Trim-Tex Sanding Sponges - Dual Angle Block

Sanding Sponges

Sanding sponges are great for getting into corners and small areas within reach. Use an angled sanding sponge for inside corners and never worry about damaging the opposing wall while you sand! 

For tips on how to choose the right grit read our blog post Sanding: What Grit Do I Need?

Marshalltown DuraSoft Hand Sander and Circle Brand Express Sander

Hand Sanders and Sanding Poles

Attach sandpaper to a hand sander for walls within your reach, and to a pole sander for ceilings and higher parts of walls. 

DeWalt DCE800B 20V Max Cordless Drywall Sander (Tool Only)

Electric Sanders

Electric sanders are power tools - they’ll help you work faster with less force. Electric sanders are great if you are working on multiple rooms. 

Richard Vac-Pole Professional Vacuum Sander

Dust-Free Sanders

Dust-free sanders can be attached to a hose and shop vac or a dust extractor to lessen the amount of drywall dust going into the air. Dust extractors can be a great investment but for smaller projects around the house a vacuum sander with a shop vac is ideal.

Another, more cost efficient way to get less drywall dust in the air is wet sanding:


This method gets its name from the inclusion of water in the sanding process. Although it has been criticized for producing finishes that aren’t as smooth as dry sanding, it is used to lessen the amount of drywall dust that is produced. For wet sanding you’ll need a bucket and a sanding sponge.

Richard 3 Layer Wet Drywall Sanding Sponge and CSR and Columbia 15 Year Anniversary 5 Gallon Bucket

Simply wet your sponge with water from the bucket, squeeze the excess out, and sand as usual. 

Always remember your personal protective equipment as drywall dust can be harmful if it’s inhaled or comes into contact with eyes. To protect yourself check out our safety glasses and our collection of dust masks and respirators. To protect the rest of the house from dust, consider putting up plastic barriers in the doorway to contain the dust to your workspace. 


 CSR Sanding Products

We now have our own brand of sanding products! Check out CSR Sanding Discs and CSR Sponge Back Sandpaper today!

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