Drywall finish and Sheetrock Basics

This is the part of the site that teaches about sheetrock hanging and drywall finish techniques. Sheetrock is really inexpensive, so you can learn how to do the tape and texture thing really well without breaking the bank.

First things first, we need to prepare the walls. Sometimes, the walls are distorted and uneven. In this case you just need to use furring strips to even things out.

You may even need to cut some of the wall studs so that they are all nice and even.

You will also need to nail in some furring strips in corners and places like that so there is something to nail to. Remember, all the sheetrock needs to have framing behind it.
furring strips
You may also need furring where the sheetrock doesn’t quite line up on the wall stud. By the way, furring strips are just strips of wood usually sold in bundles. They are 1X2-inches and 8 feet long.

Once you have all the walls prepped for the sheetrock, you can put up the first sheet. There are several ways of doing this, but I’ll be brief and show you just one way.

Now, we’ll need either a drywall hammer and nails or a drill and screws. It’s important to not hammer the nails or sink the screws in too far. You just want to sink them slightly below the surface of the paper. The nails holes are easier to cover that way.

I like to put the sheets on horizontally. This makes a horizontal seam four feet up the wall which is a perfect height for the drywall finish jobs.

how to hang drywall

The ceiling panels are done the same way. You may need some help with those. Many drywallers use twelve foot sheets for the ceilings. I don’t because it’s too hard to keep them in place.

You will need to thin down the joint compound or the “mud”. I like it at the consistency of thick cake batter, but everyone is a little different that way.

Now, the mudding part or the taping is really tricky. It takes practice. Don’t get discouraged, just get a range of trowel sizes starting with a 4,5, or 6-inch taping knife.

Some people use a taping tool called a banjo. It applies the mud to the paper as you pull it out.

I just use a roll of tape on my belt. You need to dip the knife in the mud and coat the seam. Then you apply the paper and run the knife over it gently to squeeze out excess mud and air bubbles.

how to tape drywall

The trick to drywall finishing techniques is to create the appearance that the joint isn’t there by making a wide mound over it with mud. Once the first coat is dry, you can sand any bumps that need it, then get a wider trowel.

This time a 7 or 8-inch trowel is perfect. Scoop up the mud and apply an even layer along the seam the width of the trowel.

Don’t put the mud on too thick or it will crack when it dries. That means more sanding and sanding isn’t fun at all. Once that layer is dry, grab a wider trowel.

You should let the mud dry at least 12 hours. Apply the last coat with a finishing trowel. It’s about 12-inches wide and does a good job covering things up.

nailing drywall

You can texture your walls by using a hopper and an air compressor. This is really popular right now. Try to get an even coat of mud on the walls.

You will need to thin down the mud a lot thinner than you use for taping. It’s good to get a mixer that hooks on to your drill to mix the mud.

drywall hopper

You can run a long trowel down the walls to flatten the mud. It’s a popular design. You can also take a brush and make designs in the mud. This is perfect for ceilings but making designs on walls isn’t so hot because making designs in the mud can sometimes leave sharp edges.

Drywall-finish top of page

How much does drywall cost?

Wall preparation before drywall

Basics for hanging drywall

Making corners with drywall

Taping and mudding drywall

Filling nail holes with compound

Texturing walls with compound

Drywall tools

Repairing drywall

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