How to Wet Sand a Wall

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If you have a home project that requires sanding, wet sanding is a viable alternative in many circumstances. When you wet sand a surface in your home, such as a wall, you get results comparable to dry sanding, but the sanding dust sticks to the wet surface instead of floating around the room. Wet sanding offers a safer solution for everyone, and can be especially beneficial to those with allergy or respiratory issues.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Tape
  • Medium-grit sanding sponge
  • Bucket of water
  • Fine-grit sanding sponge
  • Ladder
  • Use sanding sponges instead of a traditional sanding block and sandpaper to sand the wall. Sanding sponges work much like traditional sponges, holding water in the absorbent center that comes out as you sand, keeping the surface of the sanding sponge wet at all times.

  • Cover the floor beneath the wall with plastic sheeting. Tape the sheeting along the bottom of the wall to catch drips.

  • Fill a bucket with warm water so that the water isn't too cold for comfort. Dip the medium-grit sanding sponge into the water and wring out enough water so the sponge doesn't drip.

  • Start at the top of the wall, using a light, circular motion to sand out any imperfections in the wall or spots on the wall that stand out higher than the rest of the wall's surface. Dip the sanding sponge into the water again when the surface of the sponge gets sticky with sanding dust or when the sponge begins to run dry. Continue sanding with the medium-grit sanding sponge until all the wall's imperfections have been removed.

  • Go over the surface of the wall again with a fine-grit sanding sponge. Begin at the top, sanding in a circular motion until you have sanded the entire wall to a smooth, even finish.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not have a sanding sponge, it does not mean that you cannot wet sand a wall. If you use a traditional sanding block and sandpaper, you must continuously wet the sandpaper to keep it moist. Traditional sandpaper gums up when wet sanding dust gets on it, so you must change the sandpaper every few feet of wall. A sanding sponge, on the other hand, can be rinsed when it gets covered in dust.

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