Drywall paint & texture
Ceilings are better to do first because they are more difficult to work on. (Do the hard part using the easiest method.) If you use a sprayer, you can get a large sheet-metal spray guard which measures about 1 foot by three feet with a big handle on it. Hold it at the corner and slide it as you go. Actually, you should use the sheet metal guard even if you texture with a brush because it provides quicker, better, and easier protection than masking tape.
Popcorn finish should be banned for aesthetic reasons: it is just ugly. There are too many texture finishes available to go over here. For instance, you can brush joint compound in many different ways: circles, seashells semi-circles, random-abstract brush strokes.... Consult a home decor book.
However, I tend to prefer a nice, flat ceiling that creates sharp, crisp lines. It takes only a bit more effort than texturing, but it is really worth it.
[This message has been edited by rpxlpx (edited January 26, 2001).]
I'm doing some drywalling for a little home project and find that if I end with a 10-12" wide trowel that it comes out pretty darn flat. (This wide trowel should be about the 3rd one you use--as you work progressively wider.) Obviously if you started with tapered edges it is easier.
Suggestion: Aim a really bright light while you work, so you can see every imperfection. This is a tough test.
Thanks, your reply is very helpful. I've never used drywall compound before. What do you mean by starting with tapered edges? Help!! I now have more questions: Do I need to thin the drywall compound with water before applying to the walls? I think not. I have primed them with Kilz. Do I reprime them after the drywall compound is applied before painting?
The "tapered edges" are built into the drywall. They run the 8' length down the sides of the 4x8' sheet. It really is a tapered edge (hence the name )--a kind of bevel--the edge is thinner than the 1/2" sheet. It's definitely useful--not only where sheets butt up against one another--but because the edge is a bit stronger than the middle of the sheet and can take a bit more abuse. (The tapered edges end up getting filled by 'mud' and drywall tape, and end up flat).
Tips: Screws or nails--aim for below the drywall surface but DO NOT break the paper. Tape--it looks like you can use 'either side up' but not true--it is one-sided.
I buy drywall compound in the big (HEAVY!) buckets...and then move them to a smaller bucket for the day's use (I put plastic wrap on the top of the big bucket's mud, to keep it fresher). I like "suballocating" it because #1, easier to manage, #2, you limit the "pollution" (particles, etc) to that day's use. Oh, and #3, when you're done, you stop for the day! You use more mud than you think.
I buy the pre-mix, and DO NOT thin!!!!
Use of a primer paint is a good idea, as you don't want your decorator paint soaking in (costs more!).
I am just a homeowner and regular remodeler--I'm not a pro drywaller. But I've done quite a bit and am in the middle of our kitchen now. Remember, you want the wall to be FLAT. So if there's a depression, tapered edge, etc, you FILL IN that area.
VERY IMPORTANT: Don't overwork the "mud". Don't mess with it if it's "pretty good" or if it's drying (takes overnight). Don't oversand. I find mudding to be a good end-of-day task. (Less chance of running into it by mistake--and it doesn't have to be perfect!) Don't aim for perfection--whether sanding or mudding. It's a forgiving activity--if you're willing to wait the extra day for getting it lots better. Sanding---just knock down high spots and other high imperfections.
Remember, you're going for FLAT, so sand the high spots, and fill the low spots. I've done quite a bit, and it's still too tempting to try and do too much at once. (For example, you can end up sanding through the paper tape--not pretty).
Good luck, any more questions please don't hesitate to ask! (And with luck, maybe an actual pro might respond!) Again, good luck Clara!
-k2 in Colorado
[This message has been edited by k2 (edited September 25, 2003).]
Thanks for the great tips and information. I feel like now I can get started. I'll let you know how it turns out.
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