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LanceM 02-24-2008 03:30 PM

Soffit Drywall Repair
A number of years ago I installed a soffit(frame and drywall covering) to box around the ductwork in our basement. The boxout/soffit itself is about 6 feet across the bottom, 20 feet long, and has 12" tall sides. Being an amateur it took me quite awhile but the largest and most difficult piece of drywall covering the bottom of the ducts turned out pretty well. The smaller side drywall pieces of the ductwork boxout didn't turn out out as well. There are a fair amount of waves and screw popouts.

If possible, I'd like to remove the side drywall pieces only and redo those. Since the bottom was the hardest to do and turned out well I'd like to preserve that if possible. At the point where the sides of the boxout meet the bottom I installed a plastic corner strip and feathered it in with drywall mud.

What is the best method of removing the side drywall pieces so as to minimize the damage to the surrounding drywall. Or, is this going to be so involved I'm just better off removing the good work along with the bad? Thanks in advance. LanceM

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MinConst 02-24-2008 06:45 PM

You can try slicing down the edge of the corner bead with a knife then remove the screws and side sections. You will have a harder time finishing the new corner bead as there is already mud and paint on the bottom section. It never comes out as nice as fresh. But saving hanging 5 sheets of rock over head might be worth it to you.

glennjanie 02-24-2008 07:46 PM

Welcome Lance:
It looks like you are in for some very careful cutting with the ol' utility knife. New sides shouldn't be too difficult to finish off. Just make sure your screws are not splitting the wood frame causing the back-outs; and I would only screw the side pieces at top and bottom. Be sure you use the fiberglass tape and work it into the top corner well. A corner trowell is a big helper in this case too.

OtbHunter 02-25-2008 05:11 AM

Hi Lance:
Couple of suggestions for you.
(1st) I would remove the entire "Plastic" corner strip and replace it with "Metal". I have used the plastic a couple times and ended up with the wavy look you mention. The plastic tends to bow out when drywall screws are installed. The main hardware store in our area has ceased to sell the plastic due to all the consumer complaints!
(2nd) Add 2 teaspoons of liquid diswasher soap to your joint compound per gallon... it is tough to mix in and you may need to mix in a larger container... but this will make the compound Much easier to spread and give you a Smoother surface.
Last thought... you mentioned screw pop outs... this is odd, you should not have any screw pop outs if the screws are set into the drywall at least a 1/16 of an inch. Be certain that the screws at set into the drywell well before starting any finishing. Take your time... when working on corners...just do one side at at time, let it dry, sand, then do the opposite corner.
Hope this helps and let us know how it turns out.

handyguys 02-25-2008 05:45 AM

If I can add. I see a lot of people recommend the fiberglass mesh seam tape. For the life of me I canon understand why. As an avid DIYer I have done a LOT of drywall. Not like a pro bt I certainly have a few hundred sheets under my belt. I have used both paper and fiberglass and a few other variants. the plane old paper tape is by far the easiest to work with. You never see a pro use fiberglass tape. (At least I haven't). The paper tape helps you get a crisp inside corner, doesn't require as much mud, is more forgiving of aggressive sanding and is cheaper too!

I second the recommendation for metal corner bead.

I have never heard of dish soap. I just use a little water and mix. Ready mix, when not worked a little with a mixer, or in your working pan, is harder to use.

LanceM 02-25-2008 06:44 PM

Soffit Drywall repair
Thanks to all for the excellent suggestions. I had a lot of problems with the plastic corner pieces on this job. I thought it was solely because I was first timer with the stuff. I'm sure that was part of it but you all have convinced me to go with metal after the repair.

guyod 02-26-2008 07:35 AM

If it was me i would try and skim a coat of spackling over the whole section. I am having some trouble picturing your box but if its only a 12'' wide section Thats what i would do. It will save your alot of time and frustration.

Get an inside, outside corner tool and a screen sander and will turn out perfect.

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