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Can You Use an Orbital Sander on Drywall?

By: Daniel Smith




An orbital sander is a useful piece of equipment for folks who prefer to personally perform minor drywall work.

Orbital sanders are quiet, light, and compact. They are usually used for sanding baseboards, drywall, and other flat surfaces. The sanding pad is square, and various-sized sanding heads are available.

Nevertheless, considering the numerous alternatives for sanding drywall accessible, with each type built for a particular purpose, it’s critical to understand the many kinds of drywall sanders, as well as how to even operate an orbital sander.

What type of sander is best for drywall?

1. Random Orbital Sander:

A multipurpose power instrument with good finishing capabilities and high removal rates of material. Random orbital sanders, similar to orbital sanders, utilize a sanding pad to polish drywall, but instead of a square sanding head, they use a circular sanding disc. The sandpaper spins with the head, removing many of the indents observed in a conventional orbital sander.

2. Belt Sanders:

A belt sander is helpful when you have to sand big amounts of drywall (horizontally in particular). Belt sanders are great for getting rid of stains, varnish, and old paint. It is accessible in many sizes, including portable ones that are ideal for drywall.

3. Hand Sander:

While hand sanding is a time-consuming and labor-intensive job, utilizing a pole sander or sanding blocks provides a cost-effective way to sand drywall alone. If you are low on cash and have little work to do, hand sanding is the way to go. These instruments are user-friendly and provide the greatest control in a sanding task.

4. Electric Drywall Sanders:

Purchase this if there is a great deal of drywall work to be done, such as sanding ceilings and high walls. This sander has a vacuum-shaped tube with a circular sanding pad which can change for various lengths and can be easily run over the wall surface to sand as well as remove dust simultaneously.

Many electric drywall sanding devices have a dust collecting container and may include a brush skirt to help in eliminating unwanted sanding markings.

5. Portable Cable Sanders:

This is for specialists who want a dependable and strong drywall sander. These devices are the costliest and heaviest. With its elongated extension boom, you are quickly able to reach high ceilings and walls.

How to sand drywall using an orbital sander? 

To use an orbital sander, follow the steps below:

To use an orbital sander on drywall, follow these simple steps

Prepare your drywall surface a day before sanding.

If short on time, add a thicker layer of joint compound and allow it to dry. Otherwise, add a thinner coat of compound, then level that out, after which add another coat and repeat, finishing with a third coat and letting it dry prior to sanding.

Choose the grit of the sandpaper you wish to use

The finer the granular particles, the higher the grit value. Smaller grit numbers mean rougher sandpaper. Pick a finer grit (anywhere from 150 to 180) for drywall sanding to thoroughly refinish the dry areas. This grit should assist you in reducing the harm to the drywall.

Put the sandpaper on the orbital sander

Many sanders employ a hook and look mechanism to change fresh sandpaper pads. Check that every new component is set properly as per the base of the orbital sander.

Employ mild pressure while rotating the sander in randomized, round strokes

Remember that staying in one place as you use the sander risks burning out the sandpaper and harming the area.

Complete with hand sanding after employing the orbital sander, specifically on coarser parts

This should help the drywall surface to become uniform, devoid of swirls, and smooth. When you’re done, do not brush off the dust from the surface. When you will be painting the drywall, the dust will assist in cementing the paint to the materials in the drywall. This will aid in concealing any sanding marks or breakage.


Final Thoughts:

In brief, using an orbital sander to sand down a single wall or an entire room is possible if used carefully.

Now that you’ve learned about the many types of drywall sanders and you still prefer to use an orbital sander then make sure to follow the instructions mentioned above.

The Author
Daniel Smith
My passion for power tools and work clothing started when I was a kid. My father and I used to build tree houses together, he taught me all the tricks of the trade! Meanwhile, I'm a 28-year-old with more than 7 years of experience on various job sites.
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