DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Walls and Ceilings > Finish drywall basement

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Old 01-05-2010, 11:29 AM  
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Default Finish drywall basement

We bought a home that has drywall installed in the basement. I had planned to learn to finish the drywall but have been told that there are so many butt joints and that the drywall was both screwed in and nailed that it would be very time consuming. I was wondering if anyone knows of another way to finish the walls...I'm interested in other products that may go over the drywall or any other ideas for the walls.

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Old 01-06-2010, 08:54 PM  
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A lot of butt-joints can be a huge issue if you are not an experienced drywall finisher.

There are a couple of things you could do. One is to go ahead and finish the drywall seams and hope for the best then texture the walls to help hide any errors.

Another thing that can be done is to finish the seams and then use a heavy commercial grade textured wallpaper.

Then there is always panelling.

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Old 01-06-2010, 09:10 PM  
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Default Drywall basement

Thanks Bud
I have been looking into some different types of panelling since posting my question. I had always pictured 1950's era cheap panels but have found some very nice alternatives. I had not thought of commercial grade wallpaper...another possibility. Thanks for your reply!
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:31 PM  
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Someone's been screwing you around. It is NOT hard to finish drywall once it's up, even for a beginner DIY'er.

Here are some tips:

1. The butt joints:
There is a tool on the market called a "curved trowel" made specifically for doing butt joints:

Take a close look at that trowel and notice how it has a very subtle curvature to it. If you sight along the edge of that trowel, you'll notice it arches up about 1/8 of an inch in the middle. Since you hold that trowel at a comfortable angle to the wall when using it, that curve allows a rank amateur to spread a perfectly smooth and symmetrical "mound" of joint compound over a butt joint about 5/64 to 3/32 inch thick in the middle. That's too shallow a mount to "stick out" from the wall even with wall mounted light fixtures, but it's more than thick enough to bury drywall joint tape under.

(My sister did ALL of the drywall finishing in her basement after a flood using exactly the tools and procedures that I'm suggesting here. She had never even held a trowel before in her life. I was too busy with my business at the time to do it for her or help her do the work, so I just showed her what to do and how, and she did it all herself. And, she has wall mounted light fixtures in her basement, and it looks like her basement was never flooded to begin with.)

#2: The drywall tape:

Most newbies have no end of trouble trying to use paper tape. I own a small apartment block, and I have done more than my share of drywall and plaster repairs, and I've been using fiberglass mesh tape for well over 20 years without any problems at all. Pros poo-poo fiberglass mesh drywall tape because they say it's not as strong as paper tape. I say that if there's enough movement in your walls for the fiberglass mesh tape to tear, then the paper tape will tear too. None of them can point to a situation where using paper tape prevented drywall joint problems, but I've seen hundreds of posts on these DIY forums where newbies were wanting to redo their taped joints because of the mess they made using paper tape.

If you use the self adhesive fiberglass mesh drywall tape, you should have no troubles at all applying it to your drywall joints and then mudding over it with either a 3 inch knife for the contoured joints or with a curved trowel for the butt joints.

3. The most important tool in drywall and plastering:

Always, always, always, when repairing plaster or drywall walls, work with a bright light shining light at a sharp angle to the wall. The sharp angle at which the light hits the wall exagerates the roughness of the wall, but it also gives you a much better idea of where you need to add joint compound and where you need to remove it in order to get the wall smooth. When the wall looks OK under critical lighting, it'll look absolutely perfect under normal lighting.

4. Finally, you should know that there are different kinds of drywall joint compound:

A. "REGULAR" or "TAPING" compound: This is the joint compound with the most glue in it. It sticks best to the drywall, but it also drys the hardest, and is therefore the hardest to sand smooth.

B. "FINISH" or "TOPPING" compound: This is the joint compound with the least glue in it. It doesn't stick to the drywall as tenaciously, but it dries the softest and easiest to sand smooth.

C. "ALL PURPOSE" compound: This is just a compromise between A and B so that drywallers can just carry one pail in their truck rather than two. It doesn't stick as well and it doesn't sand smooth as easily, but it saves a lot of space in the truck.

Normally, you would use Regular joint compound for the first coat you apply over your fiberglass mesh. Then, working with a bright light illuminating the wall at a sharp angle, you'd use a paint scraper to scrape off any ridges or blobs of dried drywall joint compound.

(Drywall joint compound is relatively soft stuff, and you can remove it quickly and easily with a paint scraper. Anyone who tells you to sand down each coat of joint compound hasn't done enough of this work to have taken the time to think of an easier way to do it. It's much easier scraping any lumps and bumps off your dry joint compound with a paint scraper than sanding the whole business down. Save the sanding for the final coat.)

Drywall joint compound shrinks as it dries, so you'd fill in the shrinkage with a second coat, this time using Finish drywall joint compound. And, typically, you'd go over that second coat with a paint scraper and apply a third coat of Finish drywall joint compound. Finally, when that third coat is dry, you simply sand smooth, and it won't be hard to sand what you have to a smooth surface.

Then prime the whole wall and paint.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 01-06-2010 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:47 PM  
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Default Drywall Ceiling Texture finish

Hi Bones

Finishing drywall with a texture is ideal as you can apply what ever consistency to hide any imperfections to cover, there are videos & guides on the market aimed specifically for the diy enthusiast to attempt themselves without much experience so long as you seal your areas to prevent your fresh drywall texture drying too quick as your trying to create a design.

Last edited by Dale; 02-23-2010 at 04:53 PM. Reason: Removed self serving link
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:26 PM  
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I'm going to grind a curve in one of the straight sides of one of the many mastic trowels I have and see how well it works for difficult drywall joints.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:56 PM  
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First make a template of the radius you want, or whatever. Then heat the plastic and cut it and shape it with a utility knife.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:53 PM  
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Default Taping 101

Here it is folks! How to finish drywall 101. Ok to start: First the tools involved (I'm writing this for the DIYer not the professional) So for the beginner you will need 1. A 6'' puttyknife that is somewhat flexible. 2. A mud pan 12'' stainless preferred. 3. A 10'' drywall knife 4. A 12'' drywall knife 5. A sanding stick with 120 grit paper 6. paper drywall tape 250' rolls 7. Fiber mesh tape 8. Corner bead be it metal or vinyl whatever your flavor. 9. A banjo taper, if you can borrow or rent one all the better! 10. Drywall compound (If available USG brand plus 3 for everything) but if not available you will need an all purpose compound for the tape and topping formula for coating. 11. Sanding sponges angled medium grit.12. A staple gun and 9/16'' staples. 13. A 1/2'' heavy duty drill and mud mixing bit. 14. A 500 watt halogen lamp. 15. Dust masks 16. Last but not least a sturdy ladder and 3-5 gallon pails. Whew!! First you must remove all loose drywall face paper and turn in any loose screws. Then we mix the mud , start out with the topping, if you have bought compound in a box you have to get it into a 5 gallon pail.Add water about 2 cups or til the mix is like a wallpaper paste consistency but not runny! Now fill in all the gaps and tears especially on the butt joints. Then you fill all of the screw holes with the 6'' knife wiping them tight to the drywall. Now if you have purchased a taping topping compound add more water to the mix and make it quite loose so you can almost pour it but not too runny. attach the roll of tape to the banjo then loop the tape inside so it loopes around the top inside edge of the banjo. Fill the banjo with mud and close. pull out a lil' tape til the bottom of the tape has mud on it. Ok start taping, first the butt joints then smooth with the 6'' knife wiping the eccess into the pan. Then tape the factory joints or flats. Now for the outside corners (The tape is precreased down the middle for this purpose) wipe down all the tape as you go.Cleanup. Next for the bead, cut all the bead with a tin snips to the correct sizes then staple about every 8'' on both sides, mesh tape the bead. And now we are ready to coat! Set up a mixing station with a bucket of water with a sponge for cleanup. Mix compound again so it is medium heavy (Don't use the mud you mixed for taping!) Fill the mudpan and use the 10'' knife. First coat the recessed factory joints you dont have to bury them just coat them until you can barely see the two shoulder edges of the sheetrock through the mud. Then coat the butt joints(No special magic here folks just a lil' technique)First coat the butt joint down the middle of the tape so you can't see the tape then a knife wide on each side of the first swipe so the joint is three knifes wide, then feather the outer edges so you have built a gradual hump (and I said gradual.) Now for the corners, coat one side this time of all the corners with the 6'' knife always feathering the edges. Next onto the bead! Coat both sides and feather the edges. Next step is to coat the screws with the 6'' puttyknife: don't mound over them just wipe the mud flush with the wall. Nice! now cleanup and let dry overnight. Here we go second coat, first lightly sand all the humps and ridges with the sand stick but dont get crazy we're just knocking off the nasties. Now just repeat what we did with the first coat but now use the 12'' knife. Ok almost done! Let the walls completely dry then the fun begins with SANDING, Yay! Sand all of the joints and bead with the sandstick smooth but not sanding down to the tape. Shine your light across the wall to guide you. Then use the sanding sponges for the corners. After the dust clears if you see any bare tape or pock holes scratches ect. do some touchup with the compound and sand the touchup, Alright,There you go in a nutshell. Good Luck!

Last edited by taperguy71; 09-16-2010 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:26 PM  
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You could also have a pro finisher come in. It may be less expensive than you think.

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