There are a limited number of instances in which a homeowner will encounter drywall. It is used to build new walls during construction, and it is also used during renovations or during wall repairs. However, no matter when you use drywall, there is one thing it is difficult to avoid: the dust.

The dust from drywall can be very pervasive. If you don’t make sure to create a plan to control it before you start work, you’ll find yourself vacuuming drywall dust for what seems like forever. After all, drywall dust is extremely fine and powdery, with a consistency almost like flour, and even a slight breeze can send it flying everywhere.

So what should you do? Sure, you could vacuum drywall dust. Below you’ll find several tips on controlling and cleaning it up. However, one of the best ways reduce the work involved in drywall dust cleaning is to prevent airborne dust in the first place by using a dustless drywall finishing tool. Tools like the DrywalPro shave the joint compound off of the wall prior to painting, which eliminates the need for sanding, which is the greatest cause of airborne dust.

First let’s cover the basics.

Where Does Drywall Dust Come From?

When building a room from scratch, walls are built using 4′ x 8′ sheets of drywall. The sheets are usually attached to wooden frames. However, because every room in a home is unique in some way, the 4′ x 8′ sheets of drywall will need to first be cut to size so they can be securely fastened to the frames.

Once all of the walls in a new room have been cut and attached to the frames, they need to be painted. However, there is an important step that occurs before painting: plastering and sanding. Post-plaster sanding is the origin of airborne drywall dust.

Most often the plaster is sanded, but as mentioned above, certain dustless drywall finishing tools like the DrywalPro can eliminate the sanding stage, leading to a much more efficient and clean building process. That said, if you don’t have a tool like that, the following steps will help you keep your home or work area as dust-free as possible, meaning you’ll have less on the floor, less to sweep up, and less of a reason to use a dust mask or a wet dry vacuum.

Keeping Things Clean: Prep Work

To start, you’ll definitely want to prepare your work area by doing a few key things:

  • Block and tape up any air vents
  • Cover the floor, and move the furniture out (or cover it with plastic sheeting)
  • Turn off your central air or central heating system to prevent spreading dust throughout your home
  • Isolate the room by blocking doorways with plastic sheeting
  • Open a window, and even install a small box fan to help suck any dust out of the room

You’ll also want to make sure that you get a dust mask and gloves. Breathing in the dust can be dangerous.

The Cleanup Itself

Once you’re prepared, you should limit the access to the area in which you’re working as much as possible. Anyone moving throughout the home will track that dust everywhere, on every floor, so to avoid a date with the vacuum, ensure that anyone not working does not enter the area.

Next, once the sanding has been done, use a cloth to wipe down the walls and ceiling first. Ideally you’ll have access to a wet dry vac like a Shop Vac as well, which is more effective than a cloth at removing the dust stuck on the walls and ceiling. Finally, you’ll want to sweep the floor or use a vacuum.

Depending on the size of the area you’re working in, you can also add sweeping compound, which looks like sawdust and helps you sweep up the dust and prevents it from becoming airborne. Another tip: carefully dump the dust into garbage bags, and close them up when you’re done working with them.

Once you have wiped, swept and used a vacuum, it’s time to wipe everything down one final time with a clean cloth – microfiber cloths are usually very effective. Simply dip them in water (not too much) and work your way from ceiling to the floor, making sure to clean the drywall dust off of everything – each light switch, door frame and windowsill.

Now you’re ready to paint!

Need Any More Tips?

Keeping the dust to a minimum after sanding your plaster is important. But have you ever been curious about how to repair drywall, especially for small holes? Click the link to find out more.

Small holes in drywall occur in every home at one time or another. You may have a hole in your wall as a result of an errant door handle, or you may have accidentally created some unsightly wear and tear due to furniture rubbing up against the wall over time. Whatever the case may be, if you need to fix it, we can help you do it.

And don’t forget – whether you’re a contractor or a do-it-yourselfer – using the DrywalPro tool is a fantastic dustless drywall finishing tool, and way to avoid all of the sanding issues mentioned above. Using it will make your cleanup a much easier process. It is highly recommended.

How to Repair Drywall

Understanding drywall repair is essential for any do-it-yourselfer. Whether you own an old house or even a recent construction, you can probably identify more than a few damaged areas on the walls and ceilings.

There are multiple repair techniques that will yield a decent result, but that’s only half the battle. The key to perfect drywall patches is making sure that the repair area blends in seamlessly with its surroundings before you prime and paint.

In order to make that happen, you need the right drywall finishing tool for the job.

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Get Great Results With the Right Equipment

Regardless of how it got there, a large hole in a wall is an eye sore that sticks out like a sore thumb. Large wall damage is the first thing the eye is drawn to when entering a room, which is why most homeowners feel an urgent need to repair them.

This walkthrough will go beyond fixing small nicks and scratches to focus on getting the best results when repairing large holes.

To patch a large hole, you will need:

  • A piece of drywall slightly larger than the hole you want to fix
  • Furring strips (small, thin pieces of wood)
  • A utility knife or drywall saw
  • Drywall screws
  • Drywall compound (also known as joint compound)
  • Drywall tape (also known as mesh tape)
  • A plastering trowel
  • A drywall finishing tool
  • A pencil

Prepare the Area

Start by taking a piece of new drywall and cut it into a rectangular shape that is slightly larger than the area you want to repair.

Place the new piece of drywall over the damaged area and trace its outline on the wall. Using your drywall saw, cut along the line you just traced and removed the old drywall and debris. At this point, make sure that the new piece of drywall that you cut fits inside the hole with a little bit of room to spare on each side.

Install the Drywall Patch

Next, take the furring strips – ones wider than the hole itself – and screw through the wall on either side of the hole using drywall screws. The existing hole will now have furring strips fastened inside of it, spanning the length of the hole. Once those pieces have been secured, you are ready to install the patch, as they will

Now, take the new piece of drywall, place it in the hole and screw it to the furring strips with drywall screws. Make sure to sink all the screws beneath the surface of the drywall patch, and ensure that the patch is flush with the surrounding wall surface. Place joint tape around the borders of the patch to give it added strength and help it hold the drywall compound.

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Plaster, Finish and Paint

Next, using your plastering trowel, cover the patch with drywall compound as evenly as possible.

After allowing the drywall compound to dry fully, you are ready for the final, and most important, step. Many people waste their time and effort using pieces of sandpaper or sanding blocks at this stage, which can lead to a variety of issues, like gouges and scratches, all while causing a dusty mess. However, there is a better way.

With a high-quality drywall finishing tool, this part of the process can be completed quickly and easily. Using your drywall finishing tool, remove the excess plaster and smooth out the patch so it is consistent with the surrounding area. Your drywall patch is now ready to be primed and painted!

In most cases, after a second coat of paint, the repaired area will be indistinguishable from the rest of the wall.

Following these steps will make repairing drywall a hassle-free experience. With the right tools for the job and a bit of attention to detail, the end result will look as good as new!