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Old 08-30-2009, 12:55 PM   #1
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How many coats of mud does it take?


I just moved into my first house and would like to paint the garage walls. The builder already hung sheetrock and did the first coat/taping.

Can someone explain the procedure of taking a wall from this point to ready for paint (ie. how many coats, what size knife, etc.).

Also, since I've never done this big an area before (I've only ever done patches), How do I know if/when it's flat enough to paint and not show. Do I need to get it perfectly flat like doing body work on a car, or can I get away with minor imperfections?

Sorry for all the questions. I'm a gearhead, and haven't done much of this type of work before.

THANKS!!!!!

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Old 08-30-2009, 06:03 PM   #2
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How many coats of mud does it take?


To really see the condition of the finish go in the room with no lights on and shine a flashlight across the joint. All imperfections will show. The key to a smooth finish after the first coat is to use larger knifes. 6-8" then 10-12"

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Old 08-30-2009, 10:03 PM   #3
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How many coats of mud does it take?


I've got a 6", 10", and 12" knife. Since it's taped already, should I just jump straight into a 10" and finish with the 12"?

Thanks for the flashlight tip.

What order to I work in? Should I work from the top down? Cielings first?

Thanks for the help!!! I appreciate tit.
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:20 PM   #4
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How many coats of mud does it take?


When I did my basement taping I used a 4 inch knife to put the tape on, and afterwards I used a 10 inch for all the other coats.
I did 4 coats in total.

I did all the horizontal seams first and then I did the vertical ones. I am not sure if this is the order that you should do it in but it worked for me.
Also, get yourself a standing light and shine it on an angle against the wall and you will be able to see all the imperfections and it will show you where you should correct.

Remember to do thin coats, as opposed to doing heavy coats. The normal amount of coats is 3 but I did 4 because I had never done this before, so I needed the extra coat just to make sure it was going to be smooth.

Yes, you need to get it perfectly smooth and flat or everything will show.
Trust me, I tried to get away with things, but they will show. So take your time, and remember to lightly sand, very lightly or you will see the sanding streaks.

Good luck.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:26 AM   #5
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How many coats of mud does it take?


Depends on how perfect you want the job to look. If you are only going to use the garage to hang your tools, then you can probably get away with a couple. As others have said start with a smaller knife, and work up to a bigger one.

But this might be a good time to practice your finishing. I just did my bathroom, and i wished i had a place to practice first. Finishing dry-wall is an artform. It takes time and practice.

I always start from the top down. And don't worry about the # of coats. If it takes you 5 or even 10. Just remember, keep the coats small, and sand in between. Your going to notice all the imperfections an average person won't see.

One last thing, make sure you get a good primer. It has to be a primer/sealer. Good luck.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:14 PM   #6
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How many coats of mud does it take?


Do the corners typically take 3-4 coats as well? Or just the joints.

I ask that because the corners look pretty good after the one coat the pros put on.

Lastly, where do you put pressure on your knife when mudding a corner? Do you use a large knife on them like you do a normal joint?
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:22 PM   #7
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How many coats of mud does it take?


3 coats, then plaster
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:22 PM   #8
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How many coats of mud does it take?


I did 4 coats for everything.

I used a small knife, 4 inch when I put the tape on, and large knife for the rest of the coats.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:47 PM   #9
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How many coats of mud does it take?


How thoroughly do ya'll sand after your coats?
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:24 AM   #10
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How many coats of mud does it take?


I have never seen a drywall professional do more than 3 coats except for some touch up here and there. Some I have seen do only to on the screw/nail holes, I prefer 3. As for the flashlight I have always used a drop light, it gives more even light.

The first coat should be done for you, mud just to hold the tape. Second don’t worry about perfection just cover the tape. The third coat is when I try for smooth. Pros wont sand between the second and third coats but since you haven't done this before you may find the third coat easier if you just knock off any bumps. Even if you use your knife not sandpaper. Then on the third coat apply the mud and then smooth it with a wide knife. I find that a larger knife is harder to wield you may stick with a smaller one and make a few more passes, but that’s just me.

As for the corners: when you do your second coat do one side (usualy with a 4" or 6" knife) and once it is completely dry do the other side, usually during your third coat. One coat for each side.

Now for a pro they would be done and sand. I like to take a light at this point and double check, it saves on sanding. If you find a place that isn’t quite right apply a little mud and scrape it back off with the knife at almost a 90 degree angle, this will fill any void and not leave any extra mud that will have to be sanded off.

As for sanding RENT A POWER SANDER with its own vacuum. It makes it so much easier its worth every penny! Just get a pretty fine grit sanding pad so that you don’t gouge. Keep the sander on a lower speed so it bogs out before it gouges until you get a feel for it. Use a sanding sponge for the corners and touch up.

Remember when painting the flatter the paint the less imperfection will show. Definitely do your ceiling flat and depending on your use paint the walls with a very low sheen paint. Glossy is easier to clean so try and strike a balance.

Sorry to be long winded but that’s how I do it. I am not a finishing pro but have hung and finished enough drywall to know that I am glad I stick to carpentry for the most part. Good luck

Kris
www.plansshed.com

Last edited by kschmandt; 09-02-2009 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 09-05-2009, 04:50 AM   #11
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How many coats of mud does it take?


you can also use a damp sponge in some areas instead of sanding. my brother is a drywall pro (very good and in demand) uses a damp sponge instead of sanding. also, do not use the "quick" tape with the square perforations. buy the paper tape. when you do sand don't damage the tape. your tape will get "hairy" and you will have to remove those parts and start again. don't use a power sander, use the sheets made for sanding mud. take your time and do it right and you won't need to do it over again. remember the "pros" don't ever get it as perfect as you will (if you take your time) because they won't have to look at it everyday. They do it just good enough to pass inspection. If you really looked, you will find several imperfections in the "pro's" work. Seen enough of it while i trim out electrical. good luck
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:51 PM   #12
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How many coats of mud does it take?


You are absolutely correct matt. My basement drywall taping is better than my upstairs that was done by professionals.

I do see in many places where they are not as perfect as I would think it should be.

I never sanded inbetween coats. I just knocked the high spots down with my knife, and I sanded, mostly wet sanding, on the final coat.

If you do wet sanding, be careful, as you don't want to sand to the point where you remove too much of the mud and then there is a little valley left behind.

Once you start and get a lot of practice, it will start to come really easy for you.

Yes, as the other post said, do use sandpaper that is specifically for sanding drywall mud.

Good luck. It all depends on how perfect you want it to look. But trust me, paint will not hide anything. If it is not perfect before you paint, paint will not hide it. But lighting helps a lot.

Just get very dim lights....

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