Drywall sanding for beginners - Gyproc Tools Blog

Required equipment

  • Sanding block
  • Sanding pole
  • Pack of 150-grit drywall sanding paper that’s pre-cut to fit your sander
  • Sanding sponge for corners
  • Drywall knife
  • Double-strap dust mask (FFP2 dust mask would be a minimum. FFP3 is ideal for the best protection) and goggles.

Our quick guide to sanding drywall for a smooth surface ready for decoration.

No one wants to look at unsightly lumps, bumps, and imperfections on their walls. Sanding drywall is a necessary, tedious task in any home renovation project but it’s well worth it. After hanging drywall sheets and covering gaps and nail gouges with tape and joint compound you can commence the sanding process to create a flawless finish ready for primer and paint application.

What is drywall and why do you need to sand it?
Drywall is a popular material in the construction of walls and ceilings in homes and buildings. It is sometimes known as gypsum board, plasterboard, and sheetrock.

Dry sanding
This is a common way to finish drywalls and drywall joints for the smoothest finish and perfect if you intend to paint the drywall. There’s no getting away from the inevitable dusty mess but here’s a few tips to avoid this.

1/ Be prepared
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail, so the saying goes. Open windows for ventilation and don’t forget to have goggles or a dust mask at the ready. It’s a good idea to tape sheeting across the furniture, floors in the room and across doors to prevent dust circulating to other areas of the home or building.

2/ Get a grip
Now it’s time for some elbow grease! Use a drywall sander or block sander to smoothen the surface. Smaller jobs may require a general-purpose plastic hand sander like Gyproc’s block sander, or Gyproc Timber Handle Sander.

Apply an even pressure, push-pull motion to work a hand sander inside the flat seams and along the narrow vertical nail/screw patterns. To reach high ceilings or the top edges of walls try using a pole sander like the Gyproc Universal Sander.

Select fine sandpaper (150 grit paper) for the best results. To load the sandpaper onto your sanding block or handheld sander, ensure it’s tight by anchoring each end under the clamps.

For larger jobs, flex sanders like the Flex GE5 Round Edged 110V are light and robust, easy-to-use, and comfortable to handle, making short work of drywall finishing.

3/ Gently does it on joints and seams
When it comes to sanding joints, seams, and around screws you’ll need to take great care. Avoid sanding in a line or repeatedly working the same area in the same direction. Move the sander in a curved motion and apply a light pressure. Tackle elaborate cornicing or corners with a sanding sponge or a folded piece of drywall sanding paper.

4/ A ‘hole’ new look
Examine your drywall to see if there are any grooves or holes. If you do find some, fill them in by using Gyproc ready-mix or powder products.

5/ Prime time
Add primer to the walls and when it’s dry you can lightly sand to remove any lumps and bumps. You might be sick of sanding at this point but it’s super important!

6/ The clean-up
Finally, it’s time to clean up the drywall dust. Flex vacuums offer efficient wet or dry dust extraction. The Flex Class M safety vacuum cleaner, which can be found on Gyproc Tools, has a high-performance turbine that ensures both a high suction capacity and a high vacuum for top class extraction. You can also find replacement sanding discs, vacuum bags, and filters for these sanders and vacuums.