How to Sand and Prime Drywall for Painting or Wallpapering

If you’ve gotten your drywall ready for sanding and priming, you’ve already discovered that working with drywall is a messy job! But, sanding it is where it gets even messier!

It is also one part of the drywall process that you will definitely want to wear safety goggles and a mask! The fine powder will be flying everywhere and you don’t want to get an eye full or breathe it into your lungs!

If your drywall project is a remodeling job that was done in an existing home, you’ll need to protect the other rooms from the dust. You can hang plastic over any doors to keep the mess contained to the room that you’re working on.

Doing any ceiling work can be a back and neck breaking job! If you’re working on the ceiling you really should invest in a pole sander. With a pole sander you can stand on the floor and do all of the over head work!

Most pole sanders also come with swivel heads that make it much easier to maneuver. They also help the job go much quicker since you’re not having to climb up and down a ladder to reposition it each time you finish an area.

If you’re going to use sandpaper to finish the drywall you should choose one that has between 120 to 150 grit. Open screen can also be used and is probably the best choice as the dust will fall through instead of building up like it will on sandpaper.

If you’ve taken your time and gotten all of the joint compound really smooth, you might want to just use the wet sanding method! Using a sponge that’s just damp, you can easily smooth all of the joints.

The wet method is great because it won’t create all of the messy dust that using sandpaper will cause. Just make sure that you keep the sponge clean by rinsing it out frequently, the moistened joint compound will quickly build up.

Whether using regular sand paper or a wet sponge you have to be very careful not to remove too much of the joint compound. Patience is definitely the key word, if you remove too much you’ll undo all of the hard work you did in preparing the drywall joints and will end up having to redo them!

Priming the walls is a step that many people want to skip, but it’s not advisable! There will be a visible difference between the paper covered drywall and the joint compound on the seams.

Although the difference isn’t just in the way it looks. The different textures can cause paint to soak in more in some areas than others. Just as the bare joint compound becomes soft when water is applied, the paint will also soften it and it will soak it up.

Using a good primer will help to hide any imperfections and texture differences on your walls. It will also provide a smooth, even finish when applying paint.

There are several types of primers available and the type you need will depend a lot on what you plan to do to your walls. If you’ve decided to paint your walls use a primer that is made specifically for paint.

If you’re going to be applying wallpaper to the walls, you should choose a primer that contains sizing. Sizing will help the wallpaper adhere better and also make it easier to remove later if you need to.

You will need to apply the primer according to the manufacturers instructions for the type you purchase. After the recommended drying time you’ll finally be ready to either apply paint or wallpaper!