drywall

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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Hedyg
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:35 am
Location: San Francisco

drywall

Post by Hedyg » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:19 am

ok so we are closing on our house on tuesday and the only room that doesnt have drywall https://mechanicguides.com/sanders-for-drywall/ is the master bedroom. we want to pull out the cheap-o wood panelling and put sheetrock up and paint it. we have some heavy ass bedroom stuff so id like to get all the replacing of the walls done before we move that stuff in. there are 2 other rooms so we will stay in one of them until its done so we arent in a massive rush. ive hung sheetrock, but never taped and floated it. it seems pretty straight foward as ive been reading lots of info online, but my buddy that is helping me keeps saying thats its way harder than it looks and his buddy had alot of problems doing it. im wanting to do it myself so i can save some money. would a novice like me be able to do it? what are the hard parts that i should really take my time with? any tips or anything i should be aware of? we will be replacing the trim and crown modling too. thanks in advance for any help.
Last edited by Hedyg on Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

ffj
Posts: 1979
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: drywall

Post by ffj » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:25 am

Finishing drywall is a skill-based endeavor, and sort of like learning to play golf, your first attempts will not be pretty, haha. The process is fairly straight forward but translating book knowledge to actual decent results has a steep learning curve. Unless you like to sand a lot. :D

Go for it though. Watch this guy as he is a really good instructor: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... +carpenter

Practice your flat work before you attempt corners and make sure your mud is at the right consistency (very important). Learn to feather edges; you might want to take some scrap drywall and just practice. And remember, never, ever, just assume you'll just sand away your mistakes. It's the fastest way to turn your life into a living hell. Take your time and get the mud on correctly the first time, even if it involves multiple attempts. Just scrape it and do it again. You'll thank yourself later when it comes time to sand and plus each time you attempt something it just makes you better.

Good luck.

OTCW
Posts: 402
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:55 am

Re: drywall

Post by OTCW » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:21 am

It's one of my least favorite home improvement taks, but it is readily doable if you take your time. Good luck.

cmonkey
Posts: 1788
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: drywall

Post by cmonkey » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:32 am

See - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XST44kZ ... Y-LTFJ7BNx

I drywalled my whole house using his method and it turned out better than a pro job. Currently just finished my basement the same way.

Zero sanding!

The key to zero sanding is to scrape as much of the mud off as possible. Don't let any excess build up. The final coats of mud are super runny and will make a glass-smooth surface if you scrape it all off.

Keep your tools clean. Don't let crusty bits build up.

Campitor
Posts: 884
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: drywall

Post by Campitor » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:14 am

Drywall mud (joint compound) can be purchased pre-made or in powder form which you prepare by adding water. The pre-made mud can be a bit dry which affects the adhesion of the paper tape; add a bit of water to the mud and mix it in. The consistency should resemble a thick chocolate pudding but remain wet enough to ensure good paper tape adhesion. The powdered versions can be fast drying and dry harder which means you can put on 2 or 3 coats on the drywall seams in a single day - you'll finish you're drywall job faster. You will need a good drill and a drywall mixer blade.

Paper tape is stronger than fiberglass tape but fiberglass tape can be applied to joints before mudding. Fiberglass tape is flexible which can lead to cracks between drywall seams. I prefer paper tape.

Buy a 6", 8", and 12" blade for applying drywall mud. You apply the mud with the 6" blade for the 1st coat and then feather out the mud on the next coat with the next largest blade. The 3rd coat will be applied with the 12" blade. This process feathers out the mud on the joint which does a better job of hiding the joint when observed with the naked eye. I often skim coat the entire wall with a 4th coat - makes the walls look incredibly smooth and straight despite neither being the case. And less is more - better to apply thinner coats than thicker coats. Apply too much mud in a single pass will result in a ton of swirls which you will only need to sand out later - and too much mud build up will make the seams too conspicuous.

Prepare to sand a lot if you're a beginner - there will be blemishes in your cured mud because you don't have the finesse yet to applying it smoothly. The pros can sling mud so smooth that they only need to do a cursory sanding - this is something you'll only get good at if you've done a ton of drywall. Don't be intimidated by drywall. If you're final coat looks like crap, just sand and feather in some more mud. And under no circumstances be fooled into using drywall nails - they will eventually pop. Drywall screws are the way to go. I have a drywall gun which allows me to dial in the screw depth - it's important to not blow through the paper of the drywall because it reduces the holding power of the screw and/or nail. You can get a drywall screw attachment for a regular drill but I find they don't work as well as a dedicated drywall gun.

And drywall screws come in coarse and fine thread. The coarse thread is for the newer pine/fir 2x4 construction which has less holding power than old growth lumber and is easier to drill. The fine thread screws are meant for hard/old growth woods found in older homes; using a coarse thread in hard wood will result in snapped screw heads or shafts.

Drywall comes in 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 thicknesses. I use 1/2 mostly but I will use 3/4 if the walls are exposed to lots of abuse or if there is a fire concern. The thicker the drywall, the better the fire rating. I've never used 1/4 drywall because I think it's too weak. I would only use 1/4 if I was going to layer it on a curved wall - you dampen the drywall with water which makes it flexible so you can apply it to a curved wall/ceiling.

I always screw in the drywall to the ceiling 1st so that the drywall on the vertical walls help support the ceiling drywall edges. And then there is the debate on weather to screw the wall panels in vertically or horizontally - an endless argument between professional drywallers. I prefer hanging the panels horizontally because it produces less long seams - most rooms are between 8' to 12' high which means 1 to 3 long seams (per wall) if the drywall is placed horizontally. If you place the drywall vertically, there are more long seams to tape. And if you don't do a good job, those vertical seams will be more visible to the naked eye - vertical layout is less forgiving for novices imho.

I've done hundreds of hours of drywall in my lifetime - I've been doing it since I was a teen. And despite my full time profession, I remain passionate about carpentry/building/remodeling and practice it frequently. Good luck!

ffj
Posts: 1979
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: drywall

Post by ffj » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:10 am

@Campitor

Good points. However, maybe 5/8 drywall? I remember some long days hanging 5/8 drywall on 10 foot ceilings. I think 3/4 would have killed me.

Campitor
Posts: 884
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: drywall

Post by Campitor » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:04 pm

@ffj

I rarely used anything beyond 1/2” drywall and most home applications with fire rating requirements allow 5/8” drywall. 3/4” is for industrial applications that require heavy duty fire ratings (2 hrs?).

I use a lift for anything thicker than 1/2” or get 2 more guys to help out.

PS - If I’m replacing plaster, I use a flat shovel to separate the plaster from the wood lathe and then remove the wood lathe. It’s faster and makes waste disposal easier.

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