Finishing Drywall is a job that most people hire out. And for good reason. It does take practice to successfully finish drywall without needing to do a massive amount of sanding. And let’s be honest. Sanding drywall is a miserable, messy, frustrating experience. I try to avoid it as much as possible. But, maybe you, like many, can’t afford to pay someone to finish your drywall and you just have to get it done yourself. Here are some tips that I hope will make your experience less frustrating.
1- Drywall is much easier to finish if it is hung well.
Do not be scrappy with your drywall. You may think you are saving money by using up every little piece of drywall, but in the end you will create several more hours of work finishing all the extra seams and butt joints you have created. Use as many large pieces as you can. Do not railroad your drywall! You should never put a butt joint from top to bottom. Do not hang your drywall vertically, it is harder to climb up and down on a step ladder to finish the long seams rather than walking back and forth to finish one in the middle of your wall. Make your seams and butt joints are as tight as possible. Measure and cut carefully.
2- I prefer to use self-adhesive mesh tape, not paper tape.
Paper tape bubbles and is harder to apply. Grid tape is self-adhesive and you just stick it on and mud right over the top of it. I find for me, it fits into angles and is easy to use. Some feel that paper tape is easier in angles, so go with whatever your preference may be. This tape is also great to use for patching holes in your walls.
3- Spend the money to get a good metal pan.
DO NOT USE A PLASTIC ONE! It may be cheaper, but it is much harder to clean out, which means you will end up with little dried up chunks of mud in your fresh mud that will leave lines in all your new coats and it will drive you MAD. Good metal knives are also a must. NO PLASTIC! No plastic is invited to your mudding party. Got it? None. Great. Let’s move on.
4- I have found of all the corner bead out there, metal corner bead that you nail on is the hardest to work with.
It bends if you don’t nail it just right and it is really hard to fix warped areas with mud. The white plastic kind that you put on with a spray adhesive is really the only option if you are doing arches, so use it for those, but for normal corners, sometimes the adhesive doesn’t stick well and it is difficult to deal with as well. I use tape-on cornerbead. It is metal on the inside and paper on the edges. With this kind, you put mud on the drywall edge of your outside corners before you stick the corner bead on. You do have to wipe the mud carefully to ensure it doesn’t bubble or have any areas where there is not any mud under the paper but, over all, it is easier to work with.
5- Speaking of corners…
a common mistake people make when hanging their Sheetrock is overlapping the Sheetrock on the corners. This is a NO NO and will make finishing your corners miserable. You want to make sure the edge of your sheet rock matches the edge of your stud on both sides of the corner leaving an empty triangle of space right on your corner. Doing this allows your corner bead to sit flush on your wall and it keeps it from rocking back and forth and looking uneven. If you have already made this mistake hanging, use a key hole saw or Sheetrock knife and cut a the corner flat before you put on your corner bead.
6- Do your seams first and then “feather” in your butt joints.
Butt joints don’t give you the luxury of tapered edges like the seam joint does, so they have to be coated wider in order to hide the bump where they meet. The first coat you can just do one coat down the middle. But, for your second and third coats, you want to coat both sides of the seam and overlap your mud in the middle. Always increase your knife size with each coat so you can smooth out the middle without leaving lines. As you do your second and third coats, move your knife down and then curve it into the seam on the one side and then the other (almost like drawing a J and a backwards J with your knife) so that it flow into the outside edge of your seam instead of cutting straight down into it. Then, taper the edges just like you did with your seam and do a final soft, smoothing, swipe down the middle.
7- Coating your inside corners can be tricky. :
Use a six-inch knife to put a layer of mud on each side of the corner and then use the corner knife to smooth it out. Then taper your edges with the six-inch knife. This will be the most difficult part of your project to do without a lot of practice. Just do your best and let your sanding sponge do the rest.
By Uplifting Mayhem.com