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Old 08-02-2015, 04:46 PM   #1
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Drywall knife skill problem


Hi group, trying another area of my GF's condo and having some issues with my knife skills. I realize being a diy I won't have the skill of a professional. I'm trying to understand if I have a depression of say 1/32 or 1/16 about 6" wide I'm noticing that I'm taking too much material off and if I try to go back then I'm seeing little spots where the mud is lifting off, if I try to fix that, i'll get a line from a piece of dirt or whatever, then it's "miller time"...

I did a test, and my 12" knife takes very little pressure to flex so I'm assuming that's the problem but how does one feather and not take off too much in the center. I did have my fingers on the feather side but this type of simple repair is new to me.

Thanks again in advance, if you can offer an idea or tip. Best DF

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Old 08-02-2015, 05:55 PM   #2
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I'm by no means a pro, but I just finished my workshop and am very pleased with the results. That said, I cannot give you any tips other than to watch this guys videos like I did. Even though I am done with drywall work until my garage project, I still tune in and watch his mastery. He has several about drywall patching.

https://www.youtube.com/user/drywallgall/videos

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Old 08-02-2015, 05:59 PM   #3
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Check your 12" knife some have curve if yours does hold it so when you put pressure on it it's flat. And you may be putting too much pressure on the feather side.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:04 PM   #4
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A knife with the handle 90 degrees to the surface is full vertical. A knife with the handle as close to the surface as you can get is somewhere around 22.5 degrees.

The more vertical the handle the more mud you remove. You apply, you want till its dry or sets if you are using setting mud. If you have sanded between coats wipe down the wall with a frequently rinsed sponge.

The wider the knife (12") the harder it is to control. For the most I use an 8" knife for everything except taping. If I bring out the 12, I have a major problem to correct.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:13 PM   #5
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Thank you


Hi guys's thanks so much for your tips, I will check my knife angle, I know it's about 45 so I will try the lower and reduce the pressure. I will also check the website but I'm thinking this really a doing is learning thing.

I did my own condo and it turned out fine, but not sure why this particular setting is harder but it's a window area where you get sun bouncing off a building then direct sun so it is a bit hard plus a lot of corners and angles to deal with.

Thanks again, Dave
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:23 PM   #6
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DFPhoto:

If you're using your fingers to stiffen up the drywall knife you're using, then the problem is that the mud you're using is way too thick. If you're using a drywall joint compound that comes in a box or pail, it's especially thick because neither the manufacturer nor the customer want to pay the freight for transporting water. So, they make it especially thick knowing the customer can thin it to the desired viscosity with his own water.

The one time I used a drywall joint compound that came in a box, I was convinced you had to have the arms and wrists of a mountain gorilla to use the stuff straight out of the box. I had to mix some water into it before it was comfortable to use.

Regarding the angle at which you hold the knife, that should not be an issue if the drywall mud is properly thinned. You should hold your knife at a comfortable angle to the wall as you work; nothing more technical than that. And, as you thin your mud, the blade will be stiff enough to take the mud off FLUSH with the surrounding drywall.

But, be aware that joint compound shrinks as it dries, so you normally need to put on multiple coats to fill in the shrinkage.
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:04 PM   #7
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Hi I am using USG blue label out of the box but I am thinning it with water, I have had good success at doing this at my condo about 700 sq ft of work when my buddy split on me. I learned the roller technique to apply and really like that. I had good success but my friend used my knifes and ruined them by leaving them in a bucket. (He came back to do a closet).

I did one room as per my other posts, and this room is not working well. However, I have not had a lot of experience repairing areas and then mudding.

Something is off for me at least this weekend yesterday I was applying too much pressure and not leaving mud, today I tried to be lighter but it's not feathering... Plus I made 3-4 passes and I know that's a no no.

I'll give it a go fresh end of this week and see what happens...

btw. I make my mud about pancake batter consistency and I did some small repair with fix it all which I think is close to 20 min. and that was pretty nice I didn't have an issue mixing it with water to the correct consistency.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:49 AM   #8
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Yes the angle of the knife does matter it affects how much mud you pull off. And be careful about how much you thin the mud. Too much water and like hot mud it becomes brittle when it dries. Around a pint of water to a 5 gal. bucket should be about max.
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:29 PM   #9
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Hi Mr. Toolseeker,

I only use a small amount at a time for this job, so I thin as I go but it's about 2 oz for 1/2 pan or so....

Yesterday I tried a couple of times and I looked last night and I was building up the outside corner which was lower than say 1/2 from the corner and the rest of the wall thickness this kind of a repair is hard for an amateur at least for me, nothing is flowing. I'm trying to get it down but I wish I had time this week to practice on a scrap piece to get my technique down. But my GF's place has a lot of angles and areas I'm running into plus being left handed is odd doing this. Anyway, next Sat I will get back to it and give it a go by filling in the areas and doing one final smooth coat and hope for the best. thanks Dave
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:31 PM   #10
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@dfphoto , You got some great advice from the other members. One thing I will add that helps me when mudding and feathering. It's the placement of the mud on the knife when it's loaded from the mud pan or hawk. That way you can control exactly where the mud will go right off the bat.And it's easier to feather this way too. Kind of hard to explain but you can see it pretty good in this video.

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Old 08-03-2015, 08:41 PM   #11
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THANKS PAUL, YOU'RE DEFINITELY A COOL GUY... IT'S A PRIDE THING NOW... one thing I haven't seen much of on youtub is showing my type of issue a lumpy starting point and making it smooth, I see a lot of tear out and fix or final coats which I guess are easy at least it was in my condo but this type of repair the (2nd room) is 180 degrees from the first room which was hard but not like this.... I'm stuck for 5 days but I'll hit it next Sunday and report back....
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:12 PM   #12
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SFPhoto:

I think you can figure out what's going wrong here by holding a bright light at arms length from the area you're trying to repair, but keep the light close to the wall.

Doing that will shine (what I call) "critical" lighting on the area, which will exagerate all the bumps and valleys so that you can get a good mental image of the contour of the wall. Knowing the "lay of the land" (so to speak) is a big hunk of the battle in doing drywall repairs because it allows you to know how to spread your joint compound so that it fills the depression you're wanting to fill.

I use a mechanic's trouble light when doing plaster and drywall work, but even a flashlight will do. You just need to shine a light at a sharp angle to the wall over the area you're working on to see the contour(s) of the wall, and that will help you understand how to apply your joint compound to properly effect a repair.
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfphoto View Post
one thing I haven't seen much of on youtub is showing my type of issue a lumpy starting point and making it smooth, I see a lot of tear out and fix or final coats which I guess are easy at least it was in my condo but this type of repair the (2nd room) is 180 degrees from the first room which was hard but not like this....
Maybe this video could help.
The area in the video had some wood paneling that was removed but the wall had plenty of lumps and bumps from the liquid nail and such before I skim coated it.


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