What is the best way to use a sponge and water to finish mudding (compound
in a gallon container), rather than using sand paper?
- Best type of sponge, size, etc.
- Motion to use
- How damp the sponge
- anything else
I'm filling many small nail holes, and some dents about 2-3" in area and
about 1/8" deep, in drywall on a wall, prep to painting.
I can see wet sponging being able to smooth out bumps and lumps in bad
drywall mud jobs but I fail to see how it would flatten the mud so that it
has a slight taper to the paper surface and create a level surface that will
not show through the paint finish. Basically, I don't see a wet sponge
having the control of a large flat sanding pad when finishing a drywall seam
or screw dimples. This is my personal opinion, others may differ.
I would have agreed with you, till I saw it done, in the office I was
working in at the time. They added insulation board and rock to uninsulated
outside walls. They rocked and mudded without putting a layer of dust
everywhere, with sponge guy coming around about a half hour after the
mud-knife guy. I was damn impressed and told them so. (My drywall skills
suck, even having grown up in construction business. I've seen acres of rock
go up and get mudded, step by step. The mind knows the process, but the
hands stayed dumb.) These guys claimed the mud was nothing special, but they
obviously had a LOT of practice. They were fast.
They are cheap. Get a few. Often one side one grit and the other another.
Be sure to get one that has a 45 angle on one edge.
All kinds including very light pressure. Circles work good too.
I never wet it to tell you the truth. Maybe I should.
PRIME all fixed areas! If you don't you will have dull spots where the
mud is underneath - guaranteed.
Keep the sponge flat on it's face.
Let the mud fully dry. It will shrink and you have to redo the dimples.
I usually sponge joint compound as it has no dust that fly's around
customers homes. I use the same big sponge that is used for tile grout. I
use at least a one gallon bucket half filled with water. I rinse and
squeeze the sponge frequently. You just want it damp, not wet. I do light
passes as it is possible to take off too much in a stroke. I go in straight
lines and the surface is quite smooth when I am done. You should not plan
to sponge to make up for a bad spackling job. If the surface is really
rough I use a hand sander with the mesh sandpaper to bring it down.
If you are putting compound over a painted surface you should sand lightly
first to get better adhesion.
Thank you all for your suggestions!
From this group's responses, and from 'net research, it seems that
"sanding" with a sponge is possible and preferable by some. It is also the
most difficult way to go, so needs practice and a light hand.
Elimination of sanding dust is enough reason to wet sponge. Drywall
dust is the biggest pain in the ass in the whole process. If it's a
smaller job, bathroom or kitchen, I don't sand. I'd rather do an
abbreviated fourth coat (rarely required) than sand. The final
polishing coats are quick to do anyway. Put less on the walls, don't
plan on using sanding as a back up, and pay attention to the little
nibs. If you do that sanding is rarely required.
I also find doing the polish coat with a spray bottle of water handy
works wonders. A little spritz keeps the thin coat of compound from
having the moisture sucked out of it while you're still tweaking it.
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