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How to sand drywall without making a huge mess?

I need to sand a patch that made in the ceiling. A pretty big section. I have been putting it off since it's going to make a huge mess if I sand it. How can I do this without creating a major mess?
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Old 04-27-2008, 08:53 AM
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A damp sponge works well.

DO NOT USE A PALM SANDER!!!!
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Old 04-27-2008, 08:56 AM
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I have a Rigid wet/dry vac. I got one of those small particulate filters for it and used while I sanded by hand.
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:00 AM
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I use something like this...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005A1K8?ie=UTF8&tag=sandkleencom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00005A1K8
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:02 AM
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(The question is double posted; so I'll give a doubled answer.)

Vacuum sander. You don't even need to wear a dust mask.

A simple one like this one works fine:
http://www.acehardware.com/sm-fibatape-and-reg-vacuum-drywall-sander-sv303u--pi-1289091.html

You need to clean the vacuum filter very regularly, with any extended use, but it is so much better -- and faster -- than sealing off the repair area and cleaning up the dust afterward.

You also should need very little sanding if you've applied multiple coats of drywall mud and feathered it out properly with a wide trowel.
Old 04-27-2008, 09:05 AM
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Like peppy said, use a damp sponge to knock down as much as you can. Unfornuately, the secret to avoiding sanding mess is laying in just enough material. Its an art. One I have not been able to master in 20 years.
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:29 AM
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As others have posted. Use the proper (minimal) amount of drywall compound to start with. before the material is completely, use a wet rag or sponge to "sand" the area. You should be able to get it almost perfect...and the finally touch it up a bit after it is completely dry.
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Old 04-27-2008, 10:10 AM
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There is low dust compound as well that supposedly falls directly to the floor and doesnt go airbourne. I had intended to use this when finishing my basement but chickened out and hired a pro.
Old 04-27-2008, 10:35 AM
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Hop in the car, Steve. 10 minutes later you can have some expert drywallers at your service! All you have to do is know where to look.

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Old 04-27-2008, 11:13 AM
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My early techniques bordered on toking white powder. Building up excess dry wall compound to produce fine mounds of powder below each patch is a lesson in acquiring dry waller's lung, if there is such an affliction.

I've found the following technique useful after watching a pro do this while waiting for an appt. and quized him afterwards. Build the dry wall level up slowly. You don't ever want to end up above the surrounding surface. Wait for it to dry, then use a broad putty or dry wall knife and scrape off the chingaderas (the little blobs of mummified dry wall compound). However, he was probably a union worker, thus the leisurely work schedule.

Then repeat as needed until the patch is level. Use the sponge technique at the end of this process. The contract pros can't afford the above wait time between applications; they resort to other techniques, but that's why they're pros and we suck dry wall dust.

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Old 04-27-2008, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardDrive View Post
Like peppy said, use a damp sponge to knock down as much as you can. Unfornuately, the secret to avoiding sanding mess is laying in just enough material. Its an art. One I have not been able to master in 20 years.
+1

I tell people that I use a belt sander with 80 grit sand paper! ha, ha.
A good taper will create very little dust.
Me, not a good taper!

Ha, ha! Renovater Rob at work:
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:12 PM
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The secret is a nice smooth tape knife and to use as little material as possible so that you don't have to do more than knock down a few minor ridges.

I'm getting ready to do a few patches myself...someday...I think it looks like good patina.
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:39 PM
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Yeah, I wish this was a job I started myself. The outdoor hose froze and they had to cut a hole in the finished basement ceiling to get to the pipe. The plumber savagely cut some bizzare holes that wouldn't easily patch. I had some electricians cut holes last summer. I simply reused the pieces. I had to cobble together some pieces to repair the hole I had to cut bigger. Ah well, the lighting is poor down there. It won't be too noticeable.
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:33 PM
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take visquine (clear plastic) tape to ceiling floor wall etc. and become the "boy in the bubble"!

bring wet dry vac in bubble and extra filters. seal yourself in with a case of beer and go like hell.

dont drink water........ask me how i know!
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Old 04-27-2008, 07:01 PM
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wet sponge.
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Old 04-27-2008, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masraum View Post
wet sponge.
AND - the warmer the water, the quicker it goes. Trust us on this one...
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Old 04-27-2008, 08:18 PM
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After it drys(20 min mud) scrape with 12 or 16" knife. That will get all the high spots flat then follow with top coat. Once dry, you scrape, then you gotta sand, but just very little. With a sponge, all the high and low spots will stay the same. when you scrape, you actuall knock off the high spots. I do that 2 hour after 20 min sets up.
Old 04-27-2008, 10:31 PM
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