Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tricks of the Trade: Dustless Sanding

Did you know there is a way to patch holes in your wall and sand them without getting dust everywhere?  Happy day!  I hate all that dust and I think it's pretty toxic, so good riddance.
That's sandpaper in the X-ed out area (in case you couldn't tell)

What you'll need:
Spackle or joint compound
Wet rag or paper towel
Spackle knife (aka putty knife)
Old credit card

Yes, I really said credit card!  Plastic cards (like credit cards or gift cards) are the perfect tool to have on hand when you're painting.  They are flexible, they have a straight edge, and the best part is they fit into the spackle tub better than most spackle knives.  They can't handle big cracks or holes, but they're great for small imperfections in the wall and holes from where nails were.

In case you're wondering, this is my new favorite stuff for repairing walls.
Yes, it's really called "Crack Shot".  Awesome, right?  This stuff rocks though, especially for larger holes and cracks.  For smaller dents and holes, I love this stuff that starts out pink, then dries white
It's lightweight, easy to use and you know when it's ready... perfect for the DIYer.  So you have your choice ladies, the pretty purpley-pink stuff, or Crack Shot.  It's up to you.

If there are any raised areas, use your metal spackle knife to scrape them down.  Sometimes when there is a nail or a hook in the wall, it creates a little area around the hole that bows out... you just want to get it back to flat.

Dip your knife or plastic card into the spackle and smush a generous amount into the area to be filled.

Go back with the knife or the longer end of the card and smooth the spackle out.  Try to get it as flat to the wall as you can by scraping the wall as you even it out.

Let it dry.

Take your wet paper towel or rag and gently, in a circular motion, rub away any raised areas.  Voila!  You're done and ready to paint.  If it looks like you rubbed too much away or if the area is still a little concave, you can reapply some spackle and try again.  Sometimes it takes two applications to get it even with the wall; no big deal :)

I like to take my paint brush and paint just the spackled area after it's dry (but before you roll the entire wall). this keeps it from "flashing" or showing up when you apply your paint.

*I wouldn't recommend this technique for really big wall repairs... good old-fashioned fine grit sandpaper is still the best for large jobs*

What do you think?  Do you believe me that this will work?  When I tell clients I can fix their walls with a minimal amount of dust they get so excited!  Go ahead, give it a try.

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  1. Great post, Jamie! Thank you for sharing at Freshmen Friday.

  2. Thanks for this. I'm clueless and this helps so much!

  3. Great, great tip! I'm going to pin this on my Helpful Tips board.

  4. Great idea!!


  5. Great tutorial! Thanks for joining the Creative Bloggers Party - I'm co-hosting with SJ and new follower. Nice to meet you!

  6. Fab tip! I'm always filling holes around the place, I think the previous tenants had a million pictures! x

  7. I liked your FB page. Thanks for the tutorial. I am always so scared of doing something like this, but you make it look easy.

  8. This is great! When we first moved into our house I felt like I would never get out from under the white dust that had settled after all of our repairs! Thanks for the tip!

  9. Awesome tip! Love this!
    Found you at the POP paint party!
    Would love for you to share this awesome tip at my next Monday linky party if you get a chance. Love, Me

  10. I am going to save my credit cards from now on!

  11. This is an awesome tip! I am so glad I read it, because we are actually going to be fixing a few places around our house soon. Thank you so much for sharing this @ Show & Share, I appreciate your support!

  12. My perfectionist father taught me to patch drywall holes, and I was always supposed to sand AND feather the edges with a wet sponge once dry. The credit card is clever!

  13. Brilliant tips and techniques! My lungs thank you!

    I'm spotlighting your post over on my Facebook page today.

    Thank you so much for contributing so much creativity and know-how at Rook No. 17!


  14. Your skills inspire me a lot...can you guide me in designing plastic cards...

  15. thank you for this great read!!
    Get folding credit card knife for free !!!

  16. You have discussed an interesting topic that everybody should know. Very well explained with examples. i have found a similar website sunken floors and piers visit the site to know more about Buildfix Blog


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