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Old 07-05-2011, 09:29 AM   #1
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


I have been sanding and coating this drywall project for months now trying to get perfectly smooth walls before painting.
This weekend, I thought I had it done. I could run my fingers across it with no indication of a hump or irregularity.
So I went to Lowe's and bought the primer.
It was Valspar High Hiding primer. I bought that one because I thought it would help to cover imperfections.

This was my first "painting" attempt ever. I got a five gallon bucket and a grid, a roller on a poll and 3/4" nap rollers.

I did a final 150 grit sanding of the whole room. Then I vacuumed the walls and ceiling. then I used a tack cloth over the entire surface. Finally, I stirred 3 gallons of primer into the bucket and put down a coat of primer over the entire room. I couldn't tell you if I laid it on thick or thin, because I have no experience. I think if anything, it may be considered thin.

Hours later, it was essentially dry. the walls all looked fine, and even ready to paint.

But as the light comes in the window across the ceiling, I can see every last drywall joint plain as day! I can see exactly how wide they are and I can see the entire length of them with no exception. It's kinda like I'm still looking at the pre-primer ceiling, except that it's all white now.

Is this normal or am I in trouble? Do I need more coats of primer, or should I start sanding this down and go back to the sqaure one with these seams?

Also, if I do need more primer, what are the proper steps between coatings? I assume more sanding and wiping, but I noticed already that the primer goes on like latex, so I'm guessing sanding it will be trickier than sanding joint compound.

Thanks for all input.

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Old 07-05-2011, 08:20 PM   #2
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


Quote:
Originally Posted by wengang1 View Post
I have been sanding and coating this drywall project for months now trying to get perfectly smooth walls before painting.
This weekend, I thought I had it done. I could run my fingers across it with no indication of a hump or irregularity.
So I went to Lowe's and bought the primer.
It was Valspar High Hiding primer. I bought that one because I thought it would help to cover imperfections.

This was my first "painting" attempt ever. I got a five gallon bucket and a grid, a roller on a poll and 3/4" nap rollers.

I did a final 150 grit sanding of the whole room. Then I vacuumed the walls and ceiling. then I used a tack cloth over the entire surface. Finally, I stirred 3 gallons of primer into the bucket and put down a coat of primer over the entire room. I couldn't tell you if I laid it on thick or thin, because I have no experience. I think if anything, it may be considered thin.

Hours later, it was essentially dry. the walls all looked fine, and even ready to paint.

But as the light comes in the window across the ceiling, I can see every last drywall joint plain as day! I can see exactly how wide they are and I can see the entire length of them with no exception. It's kinda like I'm still looking at the pre-primer ceiling, except that it's all white now.

Is this normal or am I in trouble? Do I need more coats of primer, or should I start sanding this down and go back to the sqaure one with these seams?

Also, if I do need more primer, what are the proper steps between coatings? I assume more sanding and wiping, but I noticed already that the primer goes on like latex, so I'm guessing sanding it will be trickier than sanding joint compound.

Thanks for all input.

Not unusual to see the joints. The mud absorbs the primer at a different rate than the paper facing of the drywall. Some of the high end primers cover it all evenly........leaving you with solid coated walls of primer. Not to panic, 2 coats of finish paint will cover all of that "stuff" you are seeing now. P.S. Not sure you really need a 3/4 nap roller........3/8 to 1/2 inch will work just fine.

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Old 07-05-2011, 08:45 PM   #3
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


Primers do not work the same as paint they do not cover like paint. Sand the walls and put two coats of quality paint on them and you will be fine. If you are using flat finish a 3/4 nap will be fine if you are using satin, cashmere, eggshell or anything more than flat I would probably use a 1/2"

My primers of choice for new drywall are a pva or Gardz.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:34 PM   #4
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


unfortunately for me I'm a bad combination of inexperienced and perfectionist.

But I found that after a second coat of primer, the tapered seams nearly disappeared.

I went home last night and sanded all the butted seams down to the paper and retaped. I had so much trouble doing those butted seams the first time around and the main problem was that the tape was just too high. This time I think it's in there tight.

If anybody cares, I used a belt sander and 80 grit to get back down to the paper. That took about 15 mins per 4-foot section. I couldn't have done it in a week with the hand sander.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:43 PM   #5
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


Quote:
Originally Posted by wengang1
unfortunately for me I'm a bad combination of inexperienced and perfectionist.

But I found that after a second coat of primer, the tapered seams nearly disappeared.

I went home last night and sanded all the butted seams down to the paper and retaped. I had so much trouble doing those butted seams the first time around and the main problem was that the tape was just too high. This time I think it's in there tight.

If anybody cares, I used a belt sander and 80 grit to get back down to the paper. That took about 15 mins per 4-foot section. I couldn't have done it in a week with the hand sander.
Wow. Unless your butt joints were ridiculously bad this seems like a ton of work for something that won't even be noticed down the road. Practice makes perfect, but re-doing work already done
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:02 PM   #6
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


well, the way the light was coming in, they looked enormous, and I knew the tape was just under the surface. There's no way I could get them flattened out without gettin the tape closer to paper.

This was my first drywall job and I was following a book, but it just took some experience to realize hard I was supposed to press the tape in to get the joint compound out. In the end, the humps were probably a quarter inch high. I tried to dither them out really wide, but when the light it it, it was so obvious.

Anyway, it's done now. I'm not above taking a step backward if it pays off in the long run.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:30 PM   #7
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


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Originally Posted by wengang1 View Post
well, the way the light was coming in, they looked enormous, and I knew the tape was just under the surface. There's no way I could get them flattened out without gettin the tape closer to paper.

This was my first drywall job and I was following a book, but it just took some experience to realize hard I was supposed to press the tape in to get the joint compound out. In the end, the humps were probably a quarter inch high. I tried to dither them out really wide, but when the light it it, it was so obvious.

Anyway, it's done now. I'm not above taking a step backward if it pays off in the long run.
Now you see that the pros EARN their money........drywall is no easy job.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:29 PM   #8
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


Primers and underlays are two different things. You will be fine.

Hope you are not using Valspar or other box store paint for you finish coats though?
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:18 AM   #9
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


I've retaped all the joints,mudded, sanded, and put on a final coat of mud to smooth. I'll sand that this evening. It looks flatter than last time, but I'm afraid it still may have lumps.

I think the problem I have is with the sanding. I just realized the sanding has to be smooth and even in two dimensions. I've been sanding primarily in one direction, but that makes it easy to form grooves in the other direction (i.e. if I sand along the length of the joint, I get unevenness traversing the joint and vice versa). I'm using sanding sheets on a hand sander and they are about 3 inches by 9 inches. I don't see how I can get across a joint four feet long and 16 inches while maintaining uniform flatness with respect to the ceiling. There are always hills and valleys when I'm done. I can put on more mud, drag the blade tight across it, and have it pretty smooth, but once it dries, I'm bound to mess it up with the sanding.
Any thoughts?
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:37 PM   #10
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


I'm posting this thread to, perhaps, help others and/or others to help me. I am a DIY guy and intrigued with drywall mudding. I don't know why I am but I love the finished product. I have finished a few basements and, as of recently, a large dormer room (attic). Most of my learning has been talking with professionals, videos, these types of threads, and trial and error.

I helped finished my friend's dormer room which was a lot of work but a great experience. When I got done with all my fussing over the little imperfections (i.e. butt seams, bubbles, air pockets, sanding, round seams...), I finally said enough is a enough. Texture, prime it, paint it!

Well, I went over there just to check how the walls looked after the texture and primer. I was floored how great all my crown joints (butt seams) looked. The texture guy did a great job (except texture does crack in the corners due to no heat and the room being cold as it was. Fill it with it caulk I say). Which brings me to my point contrary what people say about texture. Well, knockdown texture for that matter:

1) Texture does not cover all the imperfections that you hope it does.

After all my gloating of the walls, I then looked to the ceiling. To my dismay, I can still see all the tapered joints telegraphed in the ceiling even after being textured and primed (I didn't even sand the ceiling). Sucks I know, but the only thing I can hope to alleviate this problem is to prime it again and again with a brush if need be. Like wengang1 said before, applying 2nd coat of primer appeared to make the tapered seams go away. Well, I'm hoping for just that.

Couple of things I know I must of have did wrong. I believe it's a combination of things. The most egregious is that there is not enough mud. However, I did coat everything 3 times, actually 4 or more in some places (butt seams require a lot of mud, get that other bucket of mud if you don't want to see humps in your walls). The crown joints (butt seams) weren't the problem. No bumps and they looked great. Luckily they ran parallel with the light direction from the windows.

In the tapered joints, I believe I pressed too tightly my 6" knife to get the damn tape (moistened in water) to really adhere to the mud since gravity is going to pull it down. In addition, you're looking up, it's uncomfortable and I probably didn't realize how much pressure I was doing with the angle of my knife. And I hate air pockets. No problems there. Then for a next coat I decided to do all purpose (premixed) heavy joint compound AGAIN instead of the lighter joint compound. Well, the heavier shrinks more than the lighter (it's stronger but too much of it will crack). I wanted to use it all up. Perhaps that may have also contributed to the taper joint being visible. I did use the lighter compound for a final coat. There was plenty of drying time between coats...several days in fact. Next time I'll use a 6" then a larger 8" knife, not press as hard, fan it out more and use more lighter joint compound on the ceiling tapered joints. Popcorn texture I think would have easily covered the tapered joints (but I like the look of knockdown). The tapered joints are tight, flush and no problems with the joists.

Well, most joints were tight. Some had a 1/4 inch gap. Be careful of these when taping. Mud in a gap will force itself against the tape creating a bulge. That will show later on when it is dry. I run my finger on it to depress it then add more mud. I notice this a lot on the ceiling since I figure gravity pulls the mud down. Sometimes I see a crease on the center of butt joints but can't feel it. No need to worry, leave it alone if you can't feel it. If it was something, texture will most likely hide it. I made the mistake of sanding the hell out of a seam and still saw the crease, then still went nuts sanding but couldn't feel it. It's the way the different coats of mud dried.

Keeping this in mind, be careful sanding the hell out the center of crown joints. The lighter compound coating outside the center will come off much faster than the heavy compound coating leaving discrepancies in your nice, wide, fanned out joint seam. Hence, the notorious "bulge, or hump" will be left behind on your wall. That's why I barely sand. Only on the last coat, to get obvious ridges out.

Also, I've heard of putting on tape backwards. Weird but true. The tape down the center has an indention. One side indents in, the other side, out. If you you do put it on backwards, the indention is out. I'm beginning to think that is what I see as a crease in some joints. Just cover it with enough mud that's all.

Would all this have fixed the problem? Perhaps, but I do know I concentrated like hell on those crown joints and believe the tapered joints needed just as much attention to detail. That is, I should have checked more regularly with the flat end of my knife to the seam and made sure of it being flush against the light. I took advantage of thinking the tapered joints were easy to conceal. Wrong. Not on ceilings!

I also think priming the walls before you texture is a safe bet. Then you can check you work, fix more problems if needed before applying texture. That too could have affected the joint seams from showing. I did notice the texture being a little different on the mud than the drywall paper itself due to the different absorption rates. Primer equalizes all that.

However, I had several things against me. 1) It's a ceiling. I don't have this problem with the walls. 2) There were two windows on the northeast side that shot up natural light across the ceiling and against the tapered seams that are perpendicular to it. 3) It's a dormer so when you walk up the stairs and poke your head up, unfortunately, first thing you see is the ceiling with that light hitting it. Thankfully, I do know when the ceiling fan and lights go up along with the curtains and other crap in that room, no one will notice.

I am very happy how the rest of the room turned out but the ceiling situation is a blemish to me. I did not expect that at all. Another thing that someone may want to chime in on, is that, eventually I would like to try mixing my own compound than buying premixed. I agree that premix compound is more stiff and heavy to work with. Not to mention my thumb, hands, and shoulders were about to fall off when I finished.

I totally give my up most respect to those that do this for a living. It is an art and does take a lot of talent and the know how. Please don't hesitate to respond, suggest, even criticize my posting. I always want to know how to get better at this.
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:39 PM   #11
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


^^^^^^Your post is too long. Most on here don't have that much time to read all of it, especially as an addition to a post that's 2 years old.

By the way, I understand your frustration with joint work telegraphing through the texture.
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:51 PM   #12
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


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^^^^^^Your post is too long. Most on here don't have that much time to read all of it, especially as an addition to a post that's 2 years old. By the way, I understand your frustration with joint work telegraphing through the texture.
Your post is too annoying!!!
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:21 PM   #13
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


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Your post is too annoying!!!
Merry Christmas to me, I guess? ^^^^^^^. Sorry about the annoyance. It's just an assumed rule around here not to add to a thread that is so old most have forgotten about it. Adding paragraph after long paragraph as an addition to an old post, well, the etiquette is poor.
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:37 PM   #14
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


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Merry Christmas to me, I guess? ^^^^^^^. Sorry about the annoyance. It's just an assumed rule around here not to add to a thread that is so old most have forgotten about it. Adding paragraph after long paragraph as an addition to an old post, well, the etiquette is poor.
I hear ya I just that your response was a little rude!! Sorry and merry Xmas
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Old 12-25-2013, 06:16 PM   #15
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first coat of primer is on the drywall, but it's not pretty


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I hear ya I just that your response was a little rude!!
He's just telling it like it is on internet forums, and suggesting how to do it if you want your stuff to be read more.

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