This is the second part of our Drywall installation for beginners series. Enjoy!
8. Finishing Joints And Fasteners
After hanging the ceiling and all the walls, the steps that follow are critical as far as the appearance of your drywall installation work is concerned. Your main requirements at this stage will be a joint compound, drywall paper tape and taping knives.
9. First Coat Of The Joint Compound
You will need the joint compound mixed to a creamy consistency, preferably a mold resistant joint compound that also lessens the amount of dust in the air. You apply the mud with your 4-inch knife to cover the joint and then embed the tape over it, pressing the tape into the mud using the knife. You also apply mud to the fasteners and wipe off any excess mud. After this you wait for 24 hours for the coat to dry. Some types of compounds dry as fast as within 45 – 90 minutes, but they are usually too hard to sand.
10. Finishing Inside Corners
Apply mud to any of the corners formed by any two adjacent panels. Then fold a tape to form a right angle before you place it over the corner between panels. Now using your taping knife press the tape firmly into the mud on both sides of the corner. Make sure there is enough mud under the tape to allow it to stick. Wipe off excess mud and leave it for another 24 hours, if it’s not the type that dries out in minutes.
11. Finishing Vertical Joints
You treat a vertical joint more or less like the other joints, but you have to be careful not to apply too much mud. A thin film just to stick the tape is basically all you need for the first coat. Don’t expect to smooth out every little bump at this stage. Feathering out the joint with a wider taping knife will help achieve better appearance.
12. Second Coat Of The Joint Compound
When the 1st coat is dry you apply the 2nd coat using an 8-inch taping knife and a smaller taping knife for the fasteners. You may want to feather this coat by about 2 inches beyond the edges of your first coat. Make sure to remove any excess mud for this coat to avoid too much sanding work later on. Let it dry for 24 hours.
13. Sanding The Second Coat
Sand joints and fasteners, but take care not to overdo it as that can tear the drywall paper. You shouldn’t sand to expose any tapes. The goal is to smooth any uneven dry mud. You can use a pole sander with a fine sanding screen. But greater sanding control is necessary around the corners, so for such areas you need a sander you can hold in your hand.
14. Third Coat Of The Joint Compound
This final coat of the joint compound is best applied with a 12 inch taping knife. Apply the joint compound over all joints and use a smaller taping knife for the fastener heads. Feather this 3rd coat 2 inches beyond the edges of the second coat. A thin layer of mud to feather out all fastener joints will be enough. With this final coat you need to be left with a smoother surface than what you achieved with previous coats. Remove all the excess mud and let the coat dry over the next 24 hours.
15. Sanding The Third Coat
This is the final step where you use the finest sanding paper with the goal of achieving the smoothest surfaces. All the dust should be removed with a dump sponge then the ceiling and walls are left to dry. After that they should be ready for priming and painting.