How Long to Wait After Wet Sanding Drywall

Wet sanding drywall is an important step in achieving a smooth and flawless finish. It helps to remove imperfections, such as ridges and bumps, and creates a surface that is ready for painting or wallpapering. However, one common question that arises is how long to wait after wet sanding before proceeding with the next steps.

Drying Time

The drying time after wet sanding drywall can vary depending on several factors, including the humidity level, temperature, and the type of joint compound used. In general, it is recommended to wait at least 24 hours before moving on to the next stage.

Factors Affecting Drying Time

Humidity Level: High humidity can prolong the drying time of joint compound. If you live in a humid climate, it may take longer for the compound to fully dry. It is important to have good ventilation in the room to help expedite the drying process.

Temperature: Higher temperatures can speed up the drying time, while lower temperatures can slow it down. Ideally, the room temperature should be around 70°F (21°C) for optimal drying conditions.

Type of Joint Compound: Different types of joint compounds have different drying times. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the compound you are using to get a better idea of the expected drying time.

Signs of Dryness

Before proceeding with the next steps, it is important to ensure that the joint compound is completely dry. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • The surface should appear dull and matte, rather than shiny.
  • There should be no visible moisture or dampness on the surface.
  • When you run your hand over the surface, it should feel dry and smooth, with no tackiness.

Additional Tips

While waiting for the joint compound to dry, here are a few additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to have proper ventilation in the room to help facilitate drying.
  • Avoid applying excessive pressure when wet sanding, as it can remove too much joint compound and compromise the integrity of the surface.
  • Consider using a sanding sponge or sanding block for better control and precision.


Patience is key when it comes to wet sanding drywall. Waiting for the joint compound to dry thoroughly before moving on to the next steps will ensure a professional and long-lasting finish. By following the recommended drying time and looking out for signs of dryness, you can achieve excellent results in your drywall project.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top