Do it yourself!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How To Finish Sheetrock

Unless you have had some experience with this, it’s probably best to grab the yellow pages or call a paint store and find someone to do it for you. Your entire job could hinge on the outcome of your sheetrock work. But if you insist on doing it yourself here are a few tips

Tools needed:

Some of the optional tools can be done without but if you have a lot to do they can sure speed things up.Look for a drywall rental store in your town. You can rent the expensive items.
Steps To Take

  1. If you have a lot to do, buy your mud in boxes. Pour the mud in the bucket and mix it to the consistency that you need. For taping it needs to be thinner than for finish coating. Kind of like runny mashed potatoes and thick mashed potatoes. Both require some thinning just not a lot for finish coating.
  2. The first thing to do is cover all of the joints with tape which is done using the 6” knife. Spread a layer on top of the joint maybe and 1/8” thick being sure to fill in all of the cracks and holes. Then attach the tape all along the joint, pulling it tight. With a little mud on the knife ( so the knife will slide and not pull the tape),start in the middle of the joint and work outwards pressing the excess mud out from under the tape. There should be very little left under the tape but enough to stick. Do all of the flat joints first, usually the end joints and then the long joints. Then do the corners in the same manner. Spread the mud with the corner of the knife. Take the tape, fold it in the center while pulling it through your fingers creasing the entire piece. It will fit nicely in the corner. Then run your knife down both sides smoothing out the excess. Let dry overnight.
  3. Now your ready for the hard part. Thin the mud just slightly and using the 6” knife fill your pan with mud. Switch to the 12” knife. Start with the butt joints or ends and with a full knife (mud all across the edge) spread a thin coat. Using the side of the knife smooth the edges, tapering towards the center. Then clean the knife on the edge of the pan.( always keep your knife clean) Start at the end of the joint with the knife at about a 30 degree angle and smooth all along the joint. If some goes outside the knife just go back and forth with these two steps until you get a nice smooth coating that just barely covers the tape. You don’t want to build it up too much or you will never get it to look flat. With no experience, it’s probably best to let those joints dry before doing the long joints. Then do the long joints in the same manner. Because the end joints aren’t recessed they stick out a little, so you will probably have to put a coat on each side of the tape to get a taper from the tape out. The long joints usually take two coats and the butt or end joints may take some extra work to fill in the low side, but at least two coats. Do the same thing with the corners letting each side dry before doing the other.
  4. After it is all dry, use the sanding pole to get it really smooth. If it looks pretty rough use the 80 grit paper first and then use 100 grit or higher and you should be able to get it smooth as a baby’s behind and ready for primer and paint.
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