Sheetrock Basics

If you are new to sheetrock, then there are a few basic tools and techniques that you need to acquaint yourself with. Here are a few things you ought to know to make your next sheetrock project undertaking as comfortable as possible.

The climate of your room can have an affect on your sheetrock task since both temperature and humidity can impact mud drying time and texture. Make certain that the area you’re doing work in is at least fifty-five degrees prior to beginning the project and two days after it’s completion. The dust that comes off of drywall can cause a lot of discomfort to your eyes and lungs so make certain to put on goggles and a mask for protection. The room you’re doing work in should also be as well vented as possible. If you have a shop vac, there is an attachment that can eliminate most of the dust by vacuuming while sanding. The attachment can be found at most name brand hardware stores.

The first tool you that will be required is a utility knife to cut the drywall. A T-square or straight-edge will also be of value when making cuts and a keyhole saw to make cuts for more small-scale obstacles like receptacles and light switches. For your straight edge a chalk line can work but you will have to free hand the cut. Hanging sheetrock on the ceiling is challenging so you may check into leasing a drywall lift which holds the sheetrock in place as it’s secured to the joists.

Hanging sheetrock necessitates an option of one of three tools. First of all, there’s a sheetrock hammer that’s constructed so that it causes a dimple around the nail without tearing the surface of the paper so the sheetrock mud can adhere to the wall inside the ‘dip’. Secondly, you can use a sheetrock screw gun which permits you to sink the screw without damaging the surface of the paper. Thirdly, you can use a regular cordless drill by buying a drywall phillips head bit designed not to allow the sheetrock screw to go too deep. Just put it in your drill like any screwdriver bit and go to work; the design of the bit will not allow for the breaking of the paper sheetrock surface. For mudding you’ll need taping knives of different sizes which will assist in getting a smooth joint. With each layer, you will want to utilize a taping knife that’s one or two inches longer than the last one you used. There are nails and screws created specifically designed for sheetrock installation that can be purchased at your local hardware store.

When making a cut, begin by scoring the sheetrock with the utility knife then snap the sheetrock back and break away at the cut while taking the utility knife and cutting the paper that is left attached. Make sure that all studs are firmly in position and are spaced out equally. Prior to sealing up the walls, be sure that you’ve put in the right insulation and vapor barriers.

When your sheetrock is in place, go on to taping and finishing but prior to taping see to it that all fasteners are sunk below the smooth surface of the sheetrock leaving a small dip. You as well want to make certain that corner beads are installed on all of the outside corners. When mudding the nailheads, all that is needed is to fill the ‘dip’ left when installing the nail or screw with mud. Do not leave any excess mud outside of the ‘dip’ because this only adds to the sanding required for a smooth surface. Allow the first coat to dry before adding a second; usually only two coats are required for nail heads.

The taping process is a several step process that ought to take several days. If you want to speed it up you can purchase a quick drying sheetrock mud but you have to hurry because it dries in about 30 minutes. Begin with the tape coat, which is when you apply the mudding compound to the seams and insert paper joint tape. That first tape coat is to set the tape in place and secure it over the sheetrock seams. The succeeding two layers should build up and smooth the surfaces using a slightly wider taping knife for each coating. On the final coat make certain to feather the ouside edge as much as possible by applying pressure on the outside of the knife as you make your smoothing sweep. This will ensure less sanding and give a more desired look.

Now that the sheetrock is up, sand the joints and nail heads, texture, prime, and paint. Do not neglect the sanding process because you want to devote as much attention to this stage as possible to get a professional looking job. To get a professional sand job, first remember to sand the actual joint lightly because you don’t want to expose the sheet rock joint tape. Secondly, feather the outside edge of the dried mud into the existing wall. If you leave a ridge where the mud meets the existing wall it will be very noticeable once it is painted. If you are not so good at spreading sheetrock mud don’t worry about it because if you take the time to do a good sand job it will look great and be something you can be proud of.

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