Drywall Sanding Sponge vs. Sandpaper: What’s Best?

Joint compound spread over the surface, hides drywall repairs and seams once it dries. However, it leaves a bumpy and noticeable surface finish especially those ridges created by the knife or trowel movement.

To eliminate the imperfections, you can smooth out the mud with one of the 2 methods; using a sanding sponge or sandpaper. Every method has its benefits and demerits.

However, the best method for finishing your drywall is dependent on certain factors. These include; the amount of time, size of the task, and condition of the used adhesive compound.

So, let the battle begin between sandpaper vs. sanding sponge –

Drywall Sanding Sponge vs. Sandpaper

Both sponge and sandpapers are available in various girts and types. The main objective of these two types is the same. However, they’re still not the same thing and have application restrictions and benefits for several reasons.

Let’s see how!

1. Using Sanding Sponges

So, what is a sanding sponge used for?

First, these are made from foam abrasives. For that, they can be used both on flat and contour drywall surfaces. They also can be used for both wet and dry sanding. You just make a circular motion on the dried mud layer until the uneven areas are smooth and soft.

Once the surface softens, scrap the area gently with a knife.

This method is considered to be the most effective when you’re working on a relatively smooth surface. However, it does not work effectively on joint compounds that set quickly. One of the great advantages of wet sanding is that it prevents drywall dust.

Some parts of the joint compounds might fall beneath the work areas. However, they’re easy and quick to clean-up as compared to using sandpapers. Overall, it’s great for small tasks like installing one sheet or patching damaged drywall.


  • Produces fewer dust particles
  • Allows both wet and dry sanding
  • Doesn’t require extra PEE (goggles, dust-mask, etch)
  • Can be used on contour surfaces as well
  • Wet sanding doesn’t scratch a lot
  • Easy cleanup process
  • Less labor-intensive


  • Not effective for a large application area
  • Requires more time and patience

2. Using Sandpapers

Sandpapers are made from coated abrasives and are used to sand flat surfaces mostly. They can be used for wet and dry sanding provided the right one.

Using sandpaper on the drywall surface is more labor-intensive.

However, it brings you that expected outlook you desire. This method involves using a medium-coarse grit to smooth the joint compound on drywall patches and seams. The main objective is to flatten the mud layer to ensure that it resembles the rest of the surface.

Sandpapers are ideal for producing smooth finishes if the surface has several grooves and bumps. Consequently, they’re perfect for large tasks like smoothening seams during the installation of new drywall.

The main demerit of using sandpapers is that it creates a mess with the fine dust that tends to cover everything. The dust can spread in your home. Such dust should be vacuumed and cleaned properly before painting the drywall.


  • The quickest and most effective option
  • Both wet and dry sandpapers are available
  • Effective on both small and large areas
  • Requires less time to finish


  • More labor-intensive
  • Produces huge dust particles
  • Dust cleaning requires a huge effort
  • Can’t be used on contour surfaces easily
  • Requires extra PEE (goggles, dust-mask, etc.)
  • Requires heavy tools like – sander, vacuum, etc.


1. How do you clean a sanding sponge?

Answer: First, you should use your hand and clean or, remove the dust as much as possible. Then wet it into warm soapy water or, detergent and wash it. Finally, squeeze it and dry it in the sunshine.

2. What is better, wet or dry sanding?

Answer: Both are beneficial but come in handy in certain separated cases. As such, wet sanding is more preferred for small patchworks or, tight areas. As opposed to that, dry sanding is more powerful and provides a faster finish for large jobs.

3. Can you reuse Sanding sponges?

Answer: Yes, you can! You’d require cleaning the dust properly from the sponge.

4. How do you smooth out spackle?

Answer: Finishing wallboard spackle should be the same as muds. Just run over a few squeezes to flatten the surface. You should sand between spackle coats to achieve a greater finish.

5. Is sandpaper washable?

Answer: Wet sandpapers might be allowed for that. But, for a dry version, we recommend that you flick it hard to get rid of the clogged dust particles from the abrasives.

Note – This compact information is in-depth internet research based. We try to help you sort out the difficulties by putting it up all together. We certainly acknowledge the validity and authenticity of the information. Subject matter experts are highly welcome for their valuable suggestions.

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