Whether you are refurbishing an existing room or creating an addition, adding drywall is a great do-it-yourself project. Proper drywall techniques can make the difference in how a room looks, but with a few tips you’ll be able to make your room look great. Most materials and supplies can be found at your local home improvement center or hardware store. You will be able to save a lot of money by doing the project yourself plus you’ll have the satisfaction of accomplishing your home improvement project.
Materials and Supplies
The first part of starting a drywall project is to ensure you have all the materials and supplies needed. Supplies and materials should be purchased based on the amount needed. Calculate this by determining the total square footage of the room plus ten percent to allow for waste. Divide this total by thirty to in order to use 4′ x 8′ drywall sheets, and round up to the closest number. You will then need joint tape, joint compound, screws and nails. For each 1,000 square feet purchase 370 feet of joint tape, 140 pounds of joint compound, 700 screws and 700 nails. This will provide all the supplies and materials needed to complete your project.
Having the proper tools is also necessary in successfully completing a drywall project. You will need a utility knife for cutting the drywall plus a T-square for making properly aligned cuts. A saw is also handy for cutting out places for electrical outlets or other obstacles. A rasp can be used for shaving slightly over cut pieces but it is not necessary. Fastening screws and nails will require a hammer and screwdriver. It is recommended a power screwdriver be used. A taping knife is essential for finish work and helps spread joint compound. You will also need a sander to smooth all the seams.
Hanging and Fastening
Hang sheets from the top to the bottom, perpendicular to the framing. Check your local building codes for fastening requirements as these may vary. Use screws every sixteen inches along the frame and fill in with nails so fasteners are found every seven inches. Countersink both screws and nails for a more secure fit. Make sure to position joints properly. Hand cut joints should meet other hand cut joints and natural edges should meet natural edges.
Once all the sheets are in place, you will start applying joint compound to the seams. Don’t be concerned about using too much. Run the knife along the seam, pressing it into the space. Next, use tape, lightly pressing it from one edge to the end, centered over the seam. Working from the center to the end, press and smooth the tape out. Apply a thin layer of compound over the tape so you can still see it. Fill in all the countersunk nails and screws with compound also at this point. Allow this to dry at least twenty four hours before starting the next process. The next process involves more compound to smooth out all the edges from the previous step including the nails and screws. Allow this to dry another twenty four hours. The final coat will take some patience as here is where you want to make the edges completely smooth. Take care to ensure all edges are smooth and filled. Finally, you will sand the walls. Make sure to wear protective masks as there will be a lot of dust generated and vacuum often to remove particles.
Once you are finished with the drywall project you will be ready to prime the walls. Priming will help hide any imperfections and will give you an even surface for your final product. You may now choose to paint or wallpaper the walls to your taste. The entire process will take several days including drying time and labor.