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How to Finish Drywall Without Sanding [5 Easy Steps]

Sanding drywall is really annoying.

Because dust goes everywhere and your hands can also cramp while sanding. For this reason, sanding a big surface might get really messy. 

Tensed? Don’t be, because there are ways to finish it without sanding.

How to finish drywall without sanding?

The best is to use a sponge and water on the jointing compound. Firstly, apply tape where you don’t want the compound to spread. Secondly, mix and apply the compound. Let it dry a bit. Lastly, take a sponge to smooth the surface. Then let them all dry for 24 hours. 

This way you can make sure the drywall is completely smooth without using sandpapers. But it’s not all you need to learn. There is more to every step of the process. 

Make yourself comfortable and read along!

The Method to Finish Drywall Without Sanding

When you have drywall at your place, often you need to fill the gaps to make it smooth. And sanding afterward is one way to make sure it’s smooth.

Well, sanding is not the only way to make your drywall smooth. It is actually quite a messy job. Also, it can make your hands cramp. That’s why you can make your drywall smooth in other ways. 

To make your drywall smooth you’ll need a few simple things. Let’s check these out first.

Necessary Tools

  • Rubber float or a drywall knife. 
  • Tape
  • Sponge

Step 1: Prepare the Drywall

It is important to prepare the drywall before you put your hands on the joint compound.

To prepare the drywall you need to apply tape. Start from the top and pull the tape until you reach the bottom. You must remain careful about air getting under the tape. The air will cause air bubbles and tamper the smoothness.

Air bubbles will make the surface uneven. Put even pressure throughout the application of the tape. 

Step 2: Mix, Spread and Dry the Jointing Compound

Now that the wall is ready to apply the jointing compound, you need to mix it. Not all the jointing compounds are the same. Following the package instructions is the best thing to do. 

But normally to mix the jointing compound, you need to mix the powder with water. The powder to water ratio is 2:1. 

Use a drywall knife to apply the mixture. The compound should cover the drywall along with the tape. It should extend 2 inches beyond each side of the drywall tape. 

After applying the compound you need to leave it for a while. It takes 8-24 hours for the compound to dry properly.  

Step 3: Wet the Compound with a Sponge

When the compound is a bit wet, that is the time to smooth it out. Get a sponge and soak it into water. Keep the sponge slightly wet. 

Don’t let the sponge soak in water. It’s best not to keep drywall wet. That’s why avoid having drywall in the shower

Now swipe over the compound with the sponge. It will make the compound wet again. 

Step 4: Smooth out the Joint Compound

Now, you can smooth out the compound. You need to use a sponge to smooth the drywall.

Using the sponge you clean your dishes with can do the job. But it doesn’t perform the best. 

We suggest you use the right tool to do the job. So, if you are thinking of buying sponges to smooth out drywall, give these sponges a shot:


These sponges soak up water really well and are easy to grab on to. You can also use them on home projects in your house. 

Hold the knife or the float at a 90-degree angle and glide it across the compound. You need to do this motion in 1 seam. So start from the top and end at the bottom. 

Apply even pressure throughout the scraping motion to make it absolutely smooth. 

Step 5: Let the Wall Dry

Now that you have smoothed out the compound on the drywall. You have to let it dry completely. Covering the wall with a thin plastic sheet will make sure dust won’t destroy the smoothness of the wall. After all, you did all these things so as not to sand. 

If you are thinking of putting tiles on drywall, do it after the wall is completely dried.

By doing all the above steps, you will be able to smooth out your drywall without sanding. It’s not that hard to do. 

Is Sanding Drywall Better?

Other than sanding your drywall, there are other ways you can make your drywall smooth. Sanding the drywall is the most common way to make it smooth. Sandpapers are the only thing you need when you are smoothing out the joint compounds after applying.

You don’t need any special tool or technique to smooth out the drywall. Just get the sandpaper and rub it on the uneven surface with even pressure. 

But there are downsides to using sandpaper as well. When you are sanding the drywall, the dust particles will ruin your interior. It is also harmful to breathe in dust particles. 

Your hands might cramp will sand the wall. Wearing a mask and eye protection is the smart thing to do. 

But if you are thinking of cutting costs, you can use shiplap over drywall


How to mix joint compounds?

Answers: Take 2 parts powder and 1 part powder and mix it up. Use an electrical beater to mix the compound properly. 

How to make sure 90-degree with the knife when smoothing out?

Answer: A 90-degree angle is formed when the knife is standing straight on the surface. You can use a scale if you are unsure of it. 

How to get rid of air bubbles from under the tape?

Answer: Take the tape off where the air bubbles are. Re-apply the tape with even pressure on all sides of the tape. 


That’s everything you need to know about, how to finish drywall without sanding. It might seem like a hard task but actually, it isn’t

Take tips from the professionals if you are still confused.

Good luck with your home project!