Alright! It’s sanding day! Time to make some serious dust in the finished basement! This is where I tell folks that cry to much about construction dust that “you can’t bake a cake without dirtying the pan”! It’s a dusty dirty job drywall sanding! No and’s if’s or but’s about it your going to make dust.

OK…I beat that to death I know, but It’s better to know this before you begin so you can take precautions to limit the amount of dust that will try and reach your personal belonging! Purchase a big roll of painters plastic and cover everything in the vicinity of the sanding project to protect it from dust. Cover any return air grates in your basement so the furnace does not suck the dirt into the system and distribute it throughout the rest of your house!

OK, before you start sweating, and sanding this project you should have all of your Drywall finishing coats applied. Double check what you have applied making sure you do not need to add any more coats to the joints, inside corners or outside corners. Now is the time to make it right if you need more mud! Do not attempt to sand any joint that is not 100% rock-hard dry because you will destroy the finishing if it’s not sand-ready!  If all looks good, grab your sanding poles, sanding sponges, and hand sanders and begin the sanding!

The biggest secret to sanding the drywall compound is doing it evenly without sand off to much or to little. This is a “touch” thing! You have to “baby” the joints when sanding to get the edges “feathered” perfectly flat and smooth to the touch. Drywall sanding requires both a visual check and a physical check. Use your hand to “feel” if the joint has been sanded perfectly. The joints should have no rough edges at all that can be seen or felt. Be careful not to “scratch” the joints by using a sandpaper that is to course. You should be using a fine-grit paper like a 220 grit. I like “sanding screens” better than sandpaper, because they do not clog-up with joint compound dust, and last much longer.

Apply even constant pressure to each joint with your sanding devise. Inside corners and outside corners will get the same sanding treatment at the rest of the joints. It’s almost more about “feel” and touch than it about the visual inspection when sanding-out your project. Take your time and do a neat job. Remember, you can always add more joint compound if needed and you can always sand off a little more if that is needed. It’s only drywall, you are not performing brain surgery here, it can always be fixed if you don’t get it right the “first time at bat”!

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