"Can you sand spackle with a random orbital sander?" a common question that has probably been crossed every Do-It-Yourselfer's mind. The answer is Yes; you can sand spackle with a random orbital sander. But you don't need to. Confused?
Let me explain myself.
First, let me tell you the Basics of Spackle and what it is used for:
The Spackling compound is like a soft, malleable paste. This compound has high plasticity. The texture of it is like a lump of clay or dough. Spackling compound is usually used for repairing holes, small cracks, and other minor defects. It can be used on a wood surface, drywall, and plaster.
Spackle vs Joint Compounds
To the average person, there is no difference between the joint compound and the spackle. But trust me, there is. Joint compound and spackling compounds are not made for the same purposes.
As the name suggests joint compounds are used for joining drywall boards. It is made to apply in large holes, joints, etc. it dries slower than that of the spackling compound and suitable for a large project.
On the other hand, the spackling compound dries much faster than the joint compound. As I have mentioned before, it is suitable for repairing small holes and patches.
Can You Sand Spackle with a Random Orbital Sander?
By now, I am sure you have got the answer to your question. You don't need a random orbital sander to sand spackle. Spackling compound can handle at most 6x6 inches' holes. To sand those that kind of area you are better off with a Sandpaper and a Sanding Sponges. In a situation like this, using random orbital sander will not do you any good.
A random orbital sander is a powerful electrical sanding machine. It is designed to handle big projects. Projects like those need buckets of joint compounds and a lot of time (maybe 2-3 days) to get those joint compounds completely dry. There you need to sand a large area in very little time. Random orbital sander comes handy in time like that.
But in small cases, it is needless. Spackling compound dry really fast. It takes only 1-2 hours to get dry. It only takes a couple of minutes to sand 6x6 inches' area with sandpaper.
Thinks you will need to sand spackle:
Our first choice is the sanding sponges. Those are small, lightweight, and easy to handle. Using sanding sponges is very convenient for some light sanding. They are made of synthetic material and comes in various sizes. Usually sanding sponges come into the size of a block. Though it's called sponges, it has some rigidity. It has a grit built on the surface and stays flat during sanding. Makes it perfect sanding material to be used in small angular shaped areas.
Sanding sponges are washable, reusable, and durable. It gives you the flexibility to use it dry or with water. See, when you use dry sanding sponges, it creates sanding dust. It's not a big deal when you are sanding a small area. But when are sanding a lot of spackle you may want to do it with a dump sanding sponge. It's a method called wet sanding. Wet sanding is popular with repairman since it does not create sand Dust. At the end of this article, we have discussed wet sanding in details.
You can use sandpaper for sand spackling as well. Just make sure, you select the correct grit sandpaper for the job. For sanding spackle, you may want to stick with 100 grit -150 grit sandpapers.
A little advice, be cautious while choosing the grit of the sandpaper. If the grit us too rough, it will make a scratch mark on the spackling patch. Those scratches will show later through the paint. And if the paper is too smooth. It will take unnecessary time during sanding.
While sanding, make sure you apply even pressure on the sandpaper. Uneven pressure from your finger on the sandpaper will create pressure points. It will result in a "wave-shaped surface" on your wall.
A sanding block is another tool that can be used for sanding spackles. Usually, sanding blocks are made of plastic or woods. They are widely available and cheap to buy. The average price of sanding block 6-7 bucks in amazon.
Do you recall, I have mentioned a problem of pressure points using sandpaper with hands? That kind of problem will not happen with sanding blocks. When you are using a sanding block, you put pressure on the handle of the sanding block. The plastic or wooden made block will evenly apply the pressure on the sanding paper. So, there's no chance of creating pressure points.
Hold the sanding block firmly, rub the spackle with a rotating motion, and you will get the smooth surface you want.
Now that you are familiar with sanding materials, let tell you How to Sand Spackle [Pro Guide]:
Repairing damaged drywall may seem an easy job for the professionals but not to the beginners. There are tons of stories online of struggling with spackling compound by beginners. Sometimes they put too much spackling compound on the repairing area, and sometimes they put too little. And then when they try to sand it, they create more mess rather than solving it. We are sure our Pro guide on How to Sand spackle will help You.
Step 1: Try to identify the problem as early as possible. Take a closer work at your work. If you think you have put excessive spackling compound, wipe it off with a soft cloth. Redo the whole process of applying spackling compound on the repairing area. The Spackling compound is very soft when it is wet. It takes about 3-4 hours to get fully dry and hard.
Step 2: let's assume you have missed the lump of spackling compound it steps 1. A couple of hours have passed, and the compound is now dry and hard. This means you have no other option than sanding it.
Takes a sanding sponge or a sanding paper. Gently rub on the extra spackle with a rotating motion.Use your figures, slowly slide our figures over the repairing area. You will feel whether the excess spackle has been sand away or not. If not, rub it with a sanding paper again. Do it until the repairing area is as smooth as the surface area surrounding it.
Don't rush. Remember if you sand away too much spackle you have to start for the beginning.
Step 3: Now that you have a nice fixed smooth surface, all is left to do is painting.
When you are dealing with drywall related products, a dust cloud is inevitable. Though spackling dust is not poisonous, it tends to create respiratory hazards. So, while you are sanding, make sure you wear an N95 mask. The mask will keep the dust out of your lungs. You can use any regular vacuum cleaner to remove the dust from your house.
How to Sand Spackle without Dust?
But there is a way to sand spackle without dust. It involves a wet dusting method. The wet dusting method is far from perfect. It is not recommended to be used in a wide area. Since it requires water, the wet sanding technique can only be performed on a water resistance drywall.
How to Wet Sand Spackle?
- Take a bucket and fill it with Luke-warm water. Dip the sanding sponges into the water and wring it. Sanding sponges do not absorb as much water as regular sponges. So, don't wring it too hard. Let some water stay in the sponge.
- Start with the abrasive side of the sanding sponge. Sand away noticeable high spots. Don't press too hard with the sanding sponge. Gentle circulation motion moves should do the job.
- At this step, you should see some spackling compound on the sponge. Rinse it away with water and sand it again. Keep doing it until you get a smooth surface.
- The final step is letting the wall dry. Try to be patient in this step. Wait at least 24 hours for the wall to get fully dry.
Sanding, Painting, Repairing, and working with drywall related products is something that everyone should be familiar with. Yes, you will face some difficulties in doing it. But don't let these minor problems discourage you. Start today, and you will become a respectable handyman tomorrow.