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Old 03-19-2008, 08:49 PM   #1
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Drywall finishing advice please


Well I am nearing the completion of my 4 month 1/2 bath/laundry room renovation. I have all of the dry wall up and two coats of mud on it. This is my first time doing mud solo so it's been trying. What are the best tips, tricks, methods to finish the mud correctly so it's nice and smooth when I paint. I put a lot of time, effort, blood, money, etc and I want this to be perfect.

Thoughts?

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Old 03-20-2008, 05:39 PM   #2
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Drywall finishing advice please


I am an amateur taper, also. Although I have done hundreds of feet of taping. So, I hear and feel your concern. I wouldn't worry too much about perfection. Simply do the best job that you can and it will be fine.

Once you have two coats on the joints and nail/screw holes, you should have a fairly smooth surface. The joints should be at least 10" to 12" wide, that is if you used a 6" knife.

I was taught to use the least amount of mud possible; wipe it on, wipe it off. This lessens the necessity for so much sanding. However, you will no doubt want to sand slightly. Don't scuff the adjacent drywall surface too badly.

The final coat will depend on your final product; texture or smooth painted surface. Texturing the surface allows for more imperfections. It can't be sloppy, however. Serious imperfections will definitely show. A smooth finish requires much more patience.

Once I have applied two coats of mud, I usually prime the walls using primer made for new drywall. This will make the imperfections become more visible because the surface is all one color. (I know this will draw fire, but I know 30 year drywall tapers who do this and I do what helps me.) Now, you are ready to apply the final coat of mud.

I use a 12" knife. I attempt to get the joints at least 15" to 18" wide; butt joints especially. The wider the joints, the less likely they are to be noticeable. I use a topper mud. It is lighter and smooths the surface much better. Once this coat is applied, then, you are ready to sand slightly, if necessary. Because, as I said earlier, that I use as little mud as possible, I normally don't have to sand much. If you still have bad spots, simply give them another light coat; only on the spots.

Now, you are ready to texture/paint or paint.

Good luck!

p.s. Another tool that I us is a sponge. I use it to remove dry mud where it is not too thick. It alleviates allot of sanding. One caveat -- be careful not to rub the paper on the drywall. It is very difficult to cover during the finishing phase.


Last edited by Handyman50; 03-21-2008 at 04:38 PM. Reason: Added another thought.
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:50 PM   #3
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Drywall finishing advice please


The trick is to get it wide and smooth. The edges must be tapered. The finish coat is very thin. It is the thinnest coat applied, and it covers the earlier coats.
I know that you can't get it this smooth, but these pictures are to help you understand what it looks like when done professionally, so you have something to "go by".
Normally, there is very little sanding.
Tip: After sanding, go thru with a bright light and touch-up areas, as needed with a 6" taping knife and compound.

(First two pictures - Areas are finished coated, but not yet sanded)




These areas have been sanded:



Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 03-20-2008 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:39 PM   #4
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Drywall finishing advice please


Pretty good, but my tape joints only have about 4 inch wide strip of mud. I used to do wide, but I finally figured out how to use less mud. Takes much practice. Can not understand why people put 20 gallons of mud on a wall then sand off 15 gallons. I apply the mud, bed it in with a stiff 4" knife. Go back with watered down mud and re apply with large amount. Then with a 8" stiff blade I scrape the excess off holding the knife straight up and down (90 degrees to the drywall). After it dries all I have to when I sand is to just knock off the high bumbs so the next skin coat does not bounce around on the high spots. This dries and I do it a 3rd time watered down more. Never had to do joints as wide as the pix and you can not see the joints when I am done. Not even if you place a 4' level across it.
To the original poster, just mix small amount ow water with the mud so it wont dry out, spread on smooth as possible, when it dries just lightly sand, then apply a skin couat which will start filling in all the inperfections, sand lightly and do it a 3rd time.
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:20 PM   #5
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Gosh, AWBC, I guess I am a pro after all. This is exactly how my taping jobs look when I get done. LOL!

They say the way to tell if a pro did the taping or not is how the nail/screw holes are finished. If you can see every hole separately, it was done by an amateur. A pro does it like we see in your pictures. It helps hide them completely. This is good advice for you G_F.
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:01 PM   #6
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Drywall finishing advice please


For "ME",personally,,I over sand the seams and then end up doing 8 coats. What I am going to do from now on is to coat it,after it drys run over it with a dry knife to take off little marbles and humps,then coat it again once or twice more and ONLY sand seams'lightly the last time. Nail or screw holes the same or at least less sanding. LESS dust this way also. I stick a straight edge across the seams and IF I can see any bright light behind it it gets done again. I live in a house with BAD drywall taping and believe me it is ALOT harder to correct after painting than before. For me,,,half the job is getting enough light on the wall etc to SEE what's what!! Little imperfections dont show well before and stick out like a sore thumb AFTER painting!! My main nemosis is those darn air bubbles!!
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Old 03-21-2008, 05:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USP45 View Post
Pretty good, but my tape joints only have about 4 inch wide strip of mud. I used to do wide, but I finally figured out how to use less mud.....
In picture # 1: LEFT of the door. The compound is dry there (areas to the right are still wet).
The compound is primarily only in the 4" seam area of the horizontal sheets. Notice the more solid line of white.
The area over that 4" (of white compound) is very, very thin, and will be sanded off.
(FWIW: The taper who taped that has 22 years of professional taping experience)

When all the walls are sanded: the result is that the center of the seams are very lightly sanded, and the edges are blended out. The edges are what receive the most sanding, not the middle. After sanding, there is almost no compound extending over the 4" width. That is the process when you have factory seams edge-to-edge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by USP45 View Post
....Never had to do joints as wide as the pix...
Picture #2: Area is still wet. The seam on the ceiling is a cut area of the existing ceiling's drywall. That presented a non-factory-edge seam. Such a seam is thicker (no factory indentation), it requires a much wider coat than 4" to properly blend - into the new sheetrock's edge.

If there is a non factory edge-to-a-factory seam edge, it must be overcoated and blended more so. It is much wider than a normal seam. Otherwise, you will end up with a discernable hump/lump/ridge.

When there are two non-factory-edges meeting (Picture #1 - above the door), then it must be coated and blended even wider. The overall seam may be as wide as 24". When it is sanded down, it will probably be about 16" wide.

This is actually standard, industry-wide, practice with "butt-edge-seams" and "non-factory-seams".

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 03-21-2008 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 03-21-2008, 05:18 PM   #8
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Drywall finishing advice please


Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. View Post
In picture # 1: LEFT of the door. The compound is dry there (areas to the right are still wet).
The compound is primarily only in the 4" seam area of the horizontal sheets. Notice the more solid line of white.
The area over that 4" (of white compound) is very, very thin, and will be sanded off.
(FWIW: The taper who taped that has 22 years of professional taping experience)

When all the walls are sanded: the result is that the center of the seams are very lightly sanded, and the edges are blended out. The edges are what receive the most sanding, not the middle. After sanding, there is almost no compound extending over the 4" width. That is the process when you have factory seams edge-to-edge.



Picture #2: Area is still wet. The seam on the ceiling is a cut area of the existing ceiling's drywall. That presented a non-factory-edge seam. Such a seam is thicker (no factory indentation), it requires a much wider coat than 4" to properly blend - into the new sheetrock's edge.

If there is a non factory edge-to-a-factory seam edge, it must be overcoated and blended more so. It is much wider than a normal seam. Otherwise, you will end up with a discernable hump/lump/ridge.

When there are two non-factory-edges meeting (Picture #1 - above the door), then it must be coated and blended even wider. The overall seam may be as wide as 24". When it is sanded down, it will probably be about 16" wide.

This is actually standard, industry-wide, practice with "butt-edge-seams" and "non-factory-seams".
OK, I see it now. Thought it was like them 10 gallon per sheet finishers! Glad to see someone else knows how to get it done right!
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Old 03-22-2008, 12:10 AM   #9
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Drywall finishing advice please


I have found absolutely the best & easiest way to get a professional drywall/mud job every time. I go do a tile job so I can afford to pay the drywall guy I hired.

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