I have a detached garage that is 30x30 with 10 foot ceiligns that was
just built. The outside is metal and standard stud walls in the inside
with 2 feet on center studs for the most part.
I am debating drying to drywall the walls myself. I bought a drywall
book and have been reading it.
It suggested in a garage with tall ceilings to use drywall installed
vertically to eliminate butt seams which I understand.
However, there is a section in the book that stated in a garage there
is, "clearly no need to do three coats of compound in the tapered
edges of the drywall". Meaning, really the only coat of drywall mud
needed is the tape embedding coat.
Will it produce aceptable results using self adhesive mesh tape on the
joints, then one coat of 6 inch wide or so mud to cover the tape? I
know the tapered part of the drywall is probably wider than this. Will
you be able to tell once it is painted? I plan to prime with flat
white ceiling paint then to top coat with a semi gloss. (I think white
also right now but not 100% sure).
yes, you will be able to see the seams, if you paint all
imperfections will show, especially if there is light shining up at
the ceiling. But, its a garage, if your okay with the seams, then no
biggie. If you don't want to see the seams, don't skimp, do it right.
You could do the 1 coat on the seams, then rent a stipple sprayer,
that would save the fine mudding, and painting.
whoops, sorry, re read your question, what I said about the sprayer
applies to the ceiling... would look like sh%t on the walls.. sorry,
but, yes, if light shines directly on the walls, you will see the
In theory, you should have no problem hanging vertically. In theory,
there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there
is. In other words, what do you do if the 24" stud spacing is off a bit?
Do you own a drywall stretcher?
There's a 'two' hiding out there between the author's "no need to do
three" and your "one".
It all depends on what level of finish you're willing to accept. Doing
nothing is often acceptable. If you like how it looks after one coat of
mud then stop there. If not, give it another.
Don't try to fill out a seam with a 6" knife.
Also remember that the mesh tape isn't compatible with drying type
compound. (and many will tell you that mesh tape is crap, even with
setting type compound)
Primer is not paint. Paint is not primer. Use primer, then paint.
The reason I said flat white paint is it said somethign in the book
about using this under the finish coat to prevent "photographing".
So, what is the proper way to do this? mech tape, 1 coat of mud on top
of that about 6 inches wide, then a coat on top of that about 10
inches wide. (All settign compound)
I have a 4 1/2 inch putty knife, a 11 inch flat finishing square, and
a triangle looking one about 10 inches long. What other tools do I
Get a proper drywall mudding tool that is 12" (approx) wide. It
sounds as though you have never mudded before, a garage is a great
place to learn. Also you will learn how to sand, not too little and
not too much. A strong light placed close to the wall, shining along
the wall is the best way to tell when you have got the surface leveld
1. Mud in seams
2. Lay and press in paper tape
3. Mud over the tape
4. Let dry and sand smooth
5. Mud with wider knife at each side
6. Let dry and sand smooth
7. Repeat #6 & #7 until you are happy.
How wide a knife? How inconspicuous do you want the seams?
1. Mud in seams
2. Lay and press in paper tape
3. Mud over the tape
4. Use a trowel to "stucco" all (seams and rest of drywall). Easy to do,
Why? Drying compound can be "sanded" with a damp sponge. If you screw up
you can remove all with a wet sponge.
That's a trowel.
A corner knife is handy. So is a mud box...that's a plastic tray maybe 16"
long by 3-4" wide and deep. Tapers from top to bottom, edges have thin,
removeable strips of steel used to wipe off the knife. Very cheap at HD or
Lowes. While there, pick up a set of plastic broad knives...they are cheap
too, not the best but adequate.
Actually, the book talked about the "stuco" way you talked about but
it was called "skim coating". Where you dilute the mud with water and
roll it on the entire drywall with a 3/8 nap paint roller. It is
supposed to be a top of the line finish and prevents "photographing".
You have to trowel the whole wall though
I didn't know this. How are the different compounds labeled? (Or is it
obvious, one says setting and one says drying?)
I know for small jobs before painting (and on wood paneling under
wallpaper) I've used the stuff that is light as a feather and damn, it
Same applies with the drywall horizontal - just not quite as often.
I'd definitely go vertical IF you can buy 10 ft drywall locally. Here
all that was available was 8 and 12. Horizontally you WILL have 2
A very acceptable job can be done with 2 and a sponge - no sanding
required (acceptable for a garage - not a parlour)
Or use a good self priming paint. They DO exist, and they DO work.
Still requires 2 or 3 coats though, and generally primer is cheaper.
First, with 24" stud spacing, you should probably use 5/8" drywall. 1/2"
would probably flex too much with that spacing. If the stud spacing is
irregular, you might want to install horizontal strapping at 16" OC (1x3
boards screwed flat to the studs). Then you could use normal 1/2" drywall
on top of the strapping.
Otherwise, one coat of drywall compound will definitely show once it is
painted. Even if you get it PERFECTLY flat on the first coat (which you
shouldn't be focusing on), the compound will shrink as it dries.
Drywall work isn't difficult, it just takes practice. Experienced pro's
can do it FAST, but that doesn't mean you can't do a good job if you take
your time. You'll probably be staring at those garage walls a few years
so why not spend a little extra effort and try to do three proper coats.
If nothing else, you'll develop skills you can use later on for other
Everyone has their own recommendations for hanging drywall and taping, so
1. Hang wall sheets vertically. This eliminates butt joints on long
walls, all sheet edges are supported, and even if a room is less than
12' long it lets you use shorter (i.e. lighter) sheets. This will be a
big advantage if you're working alone or with a single helper (i.e. The
wifey). The disadvantage is having to go up and down a ladder to tape
the joints, but we did 14' walls with vertical joints and it's not a big
deal. The pro's just avoid it because it takes more time.
Try to avoid small pieces of drywall whenever possible. Drywall is cheap
and you'll end up with a better job using a large sheet than trying to
use all the little scraps. Use the scraps in a closet or something where
it doesn't matter.
2. Use self adhesive mesh tape. It's easy to apply, especially for
amateurs. We used it to tape our garage an house and 7 years later every
seam is still invisible with no cracks.
3. Buy three GOOD drywall knives. A 6" for the first coat, a 8" or 10"
for the second coat, and a 12" for the final coat. I also find a
dedicated corner knife makes taping inside corners much easier.
4. Ideally you should use a setting type compound for the first coat,
then premixed all-purpose for the additional coats. But we used all-
purpose for everything on our house and garage and it worked fine also.
5. Apply the tape to the drywall joints first. This is easier than trying
to switch back and forth between taping and applying mud.
6. Use the 6" knife to apply the mud to the seams, and the corner knife
to apply mud to the corners. Press the mud into the gaps and try to get
it smooth, but don't worry about making it perfect. Just don't leave any
major bumps you'll have to sand later.
You'll often see the pro's do long sweeps up the wall to catch all the
screw holes in the middle of the sheet. We just dabbed each hole and it
worked just as well. Push it in, screed it flush with the drywall
surface. If you have a "clinker" (a screw that isn't driven in enough),
nows the time to drive it in and remud. Again, we were focused on quality
more than speed.
7. Let the first coat dry fully before applying additional coats. This is
where the setting type compound has the advantage (it dries faster and
harder), but all-purpose will work fine if you give it time to dry.
You'll be able to tell by looking that the damp areas will be darker.
8. Apply the second coat with the 8"/10" knife. Hold the knife closer to
perpendicular to the wall, so you don't flex the blade and cause a
depression. Apply more mud than you need, then screed it off with the
9. Once coat number two dries, apply coat three with the 12" knife. Now
you're really trying to get it as smooth as possible. Small imperfections
can be sanded out later, but the better you do now, the less work you'll
If you take too long and the compound starts to dry out, you'll start
getting little gritty balls that will leave gouges in your work. If you
notice this happening, toss out that batch of mud and start over. Again,
joint compound is cheap and you'll never be able to get a smooth coat
once it starts drying out.
10. There's no reason you can't apply a fourth, fifth, or sixth coat if
you find things still look bad after the first three. This is usually
more of an issue with butt joints than the tapered edges. But three is
usually adequate once you get the hang of it. In fact, I usually only do
two coats on the corners as imperfections are much harder to see there.
11. When everything is level and dry, use flexible sanding blocks
(sponges with a sandpaper texture), or dedicated sanding pads (the kind
that mount to a pole are great for ceilings) to LIGHTLY sand the surfaces
smooth. You don't want to sand so much that you create depressions again,
you just want to knock off any ridges and level everything out. Remember
to wear a dust mask, and be prepared to clean up with a shop vac that has
a "fine filter" bag installed (otherwise the fine dust will blow right
out the back into the room).
12. Apply a PVA primer intended for drywall before painting with a latex
Good luck, and have fun!
Thanks so much for your informative post. My studds indeed are
irregular. My thought was to use full sheets untill they because
irregular in the spacing, then cut the sheets to fit the rest of the
studs. I never thought of your idea on the 1x3's but one problem I see
is the outlets would be way recesed if I used those.
...and you've just made a 10' butt joint. In fact, a cut edge next to a
factory recessed edge is worse than a regular butt joint. It makes more
sense to hang horizontally, as god intended. (why yes, it is a religious
There's no need to have 16" oc for walls. 24"oc is fine. If you'd like,
get the 1/2" high strength or sag-resistant board. (It is rated for
24"oc on ceilings.)
As long as the stud spacing is less than 24", the irregularity wouldn't be
a big deal. You could add a stud where needed (sideways if you need to
clear existing wires or something) so the edges of all sheets are
supported. Just cut the stud to length, then use 3" deck screws at the top
and bottom to secure it where you need it. It's not structural, it's just
support for the drywall.
Don't cut any sheets to width until you reach the end of the wall, so every
joint is tapered edge to tapered edge. You can make marks with a pencil at
the floor and ceiling where the studs are located so you know where to
drive screws, or just use an electronic stud finder.
Alternatively, instead of placing 1x3 strapping horizontally on face of the
studs, you could install 2x4 blocking "between" the studs every 24" or so
(flat side facing out). Of course, this would probably be more work than
just adding an extra stud where needed. We used this approach in our master
bedroom so we could install T&G pine vertically on the walls, but it's more
than likely overkill for sheetrock. The only potential advantage would be
solid blocking behind the sheetrock for mounting shelves or whatnot.
Toss your new book right now and download "Gypsum Construction
Handbook" in pdf format. Read all the 300+ pages and get the real
skinny on what's right and wrong. That encyclopedia from USG, IIRC,
trumps any and all opinions in this NG.
There are pro wallboard hangers out there that have always done things
wrong, but they never know about it because they don't see the poor
results obvious years later. Same thing I suppose with the DIY folks,
except they live with it unless they quickly peddle the palace.
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