How To Finish Drywall: Tips from Experts

How to finish drywall

One of the most common repairs that you might have to do when a tenant moves out of your property is to fix the holes that they negligently (or purposefully) put in the walls. Even when you thoroughly screen your renters; it seems like there are always holes in the walls.

The installation of drywall is not tedious. However, finishing it can be a problem for non-experts. Proper finishing of drywall will make the walls appear perfectly smooth as if the joints weren’t even there! At this point, the wall is ready for a textured finish or painting that will allow your rental property to get an acceptable viewing condition for the next round of potential renters.

Although the process may seem strenuous for do-it-yourselfers, experts find it very easy because they’ve learned all the little tricks along the way. Since drywall finishing requires a high level of craftsmanship, professionals have put together some outlines and standards to simplify it. You can follow the steps below:

  1. Inspect your drywall
  2. Apply the first coat of compound
  3. Apply drywall tape to every joint
  4. Sand the first coat
  5. Apply the second coat of compound
  6. Sand the second coat of joint compound
  7. Apply the third coat of compound

1. Inspect your drywall

Drywall inspection is essential. Check for screws that are not at the same level as the surface. If you notice any, drive them in until they get to the proper fastened and level with the board. Also, inspect for loose or torn drywall outer paper layers and remove them from your drywall because they will prevent the surface from being smooth. If everything is perfect, that means your drywall is ready to be finished.

2. Apply the first coat of compound

Compounds or mud come in large buckets. Before applying the mud, you will need to check if there is water on the surface. Ensure that you stir the compound thoroughly, using a mixing paddle fixed on a drill to mix the water and mud. The mixing is not crucial if you do not see water appearing separately from the compound. We suggest pairing a Dewalt DW130V Spade Drill with your mixing paddle.

When applying the first coat, cover the screws and joints with the joint compound.  You can use a drywall knife to fill the gaps and screw heads. This stage requires delicate attention so that subsequent levels will be less stressful. Pass the knife over the area you cover with the joint compound to smoothen it.

3. Apply drywall tape to every joint

Unwrap the drywall tape to the required length and place it to cover the joints you just covered with the joint compound. Do this for all the joints until you reach each wall’s end. Pre-crease the drywall tape when applying it inside corners. After applying the tapes, press them gently into the joints. You can use your drywall knife to smooth the tape. To do this, place the drywall knife over the tape joint, press it gently into the compound, and move in one continuous motion.

It will help you remove the excess joint compound. Cover the outside corners with the joint compound since they do not require tapes and allow this to stand for 24 hours. During this time, the mud will dry off and appear patchy.

4. Sand the first coat

Extra care is necessary when doing this. That is because excessive sanding will wear away the compound and drywall tape. It is advisable to use medium-grit sandpaper and apply light pressure when sanding. Want to sand even faster? Try an electric drywall sander instead of a traditional pole sander.

5. Apply the second coat of compound

Before applying the second coat, you need to prepare the walls again. To do this, use a drywall knife to knock off residual burrs or drywall compounds that did not dry out totally. Concentrate on the beads and bottoms of walls because that is where you see more buildup and burrs. If you perform this stage properly, your drywall will appear professional.

Also, check for tapered edges and apply a thin piece of mud over the tapered joint. Do this using a 10″ or 12″ drywall knife. After working on the tapered joint, look for protruding edges. They may take more time to correct because you need to thin them out with your drywall knife. The next thing you need to do is finish inside the corners. You can do this using an inside corner tool or a 6-inch drywall knife.

6. Sand the second coat of joint compound

Sanding the second coat is essential because you have to remove some coarse mud. To do this, you need to use light-grit sandpaper and apply light pressure during the process.

7. Apply the third coat of compound

The third coat is the final coat you will apply to your drywall. So, before you do this, you need to have a thorough inspection and preparation. Check your drywall and use a small drywall knife to knock off burrs or buildup that you missed previously.

After this, use a ¾-inch nap roller to apply a lightweight compound all over the drywall. Start from the bottom and move up. Work on a small section at a time and avoid corners because you have worked on them before. As you are applying the compound, remove as much as you can using a drywall knife. Allow it to dry out for 24 hours and sand it for the last time in preparation for priming.

The bottom line

It is essential to note that the drying time may differ depending on the humidity level of your location. But you can tell if the drywall is dry from the appearance because it becomes uniformly lighter in appearance. Your drywall surface will now be ready to accept paint, wallpaper, or a texturizing treatment. Wipe the surfaces clean of dust before painting or texturizing the wall or ceiling surfaces.

Article sponsored by: Pillar Property Management Inc

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