The advent of pre-formed gypsum boards all but eliminated the need for slat and mortar plastering experts and techniques used for hundreds of years. However, many people make the mistake of spending lots of time and effort buying, hanging and finishing their own drywall; only to find they are dissatisfied with their finished project. Paper peels, bubbles, ripples, nail pops and rough edges can show in the final product -especially when finished with higher gloss paints and accent lighting. Chances are, the homeowner didn't learn the advanced skill of "taping off drywall" and it shows.
Taping off drywall is more of an art than a skill, but it can be learned and applied properly by using proper tools, and following advice and example of experts. Also since the cost of labor in drywall is the highest factor, so learning to tape off drywall like a skilled pro can save you a bundle.
Taping Off Drywall
Proper tools are needed to correctly tape off drywall. These include a wide range of drywall knifes (blades); mud pans; corner tool; potato masher (mixer); "egg beater" power mixer (fits on a drill); and "banjo" (taper). Drywall stilts can also be a great help with ceilings and high points.
Sometimes a keyhole saw and a utility knife (box cutter) will be needed to cut off hanging gypsum and paper pieces not removed during hanging and cleanup. Also a power screw driver to sink any protruding drywall screw heads or a hammer to sink any protruding drywall nail heads. It is recommended by the majority of experts to use stainless steel, rather than plastic tools, and to never return any drywall mud back into the pan as it may carry debris and cause issues later. More tools exist, but they are used primarily for hanging and sanding drywall.
A lot of water, patience, and cleanup are needed when taping off drywall- but when done correctly, a great feeling of satisfaction can be enjoyed by finishing a product that will be used for many years to come.
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