Ok, finally got all the drywall up, and the first coat of mud is on
there.. I sanded like a mother yesterday, ignoring most advice and
using 150-220 grit on my random orbit sander, since like most amateurs,
we put way too much mud on.
It really worked well and with the shop vac attached right to the dust
port, there was hardly any dust hanging in the air.
The question I have is, how do I know how many coat I need to do? I
hear 3, with the 3rd being a skim coat. Maybe some basics you could
tell me like
How wide should I expect a tape joint to be feathered?
How to determine if flat is flat enough? (i'm using a bright halogen on
an angle to the wall to detect any shadows).
Once you figure out the process, you'll not be doing any sanding. A
very small amount of scraping, maybe. Unless you have a gore-tex
filter, the shop-vac serves mainly to broadcast the very fine dust.
Also, any sanding of the paper will telegraph through.
You need just as many coats as it takes to make joints flat enough.
Actually, more is better, in that each coat is as thin as you can make
it- dries much faster that way. With each coat, you use wider knife.
When it's relatively flush with 12", it's done. IMHO. For where
tapered edges of sheets meet. At butt joint, just as little as
possible, so no bulge.
It is difficult to describe in words. I suggest you buy some paint and
once you think it may be OK paint across some of the joints and let the
paint dry. If you can see the joint, it time to get back to work.
Once you get the hang of it, there is little sanding needed. I usually
use three coats, first with a mid small knife, next a wider knife and
finally with a wide knife. I often end up going back a fourth time to
correct some of the errors I make along the way. I am no way a pro, it
takes me far longer than a pro to do the work, but the final results are
better than some pros and not as good as others.
As for the skim coat. It is popular in some areas and not in others. If
I had the ambition or the money to pay a pro to do it right I would do it.
I like the look, but many people don't.
i did some side work with a drywall guy who was a real pro. he ran that
knife like a master painter.
technique is learned from pratice, but patience is the key. do several very
thin coats with progressively wider knifes. we hardly sanded at all, and he
used his hands(not eyes) to feel if it was right.
Check to see if you have enough by taking your largest knife, (12") and
stand it perpendicular to the wall so the edge of knife is where the
mud has been placed. With adequate light, a quick glance from the
shadow side, you'll be able to see very quickly where the high/low
One tip I picked up is to work with thinned mud. Many times it harder
to control on the hawk and knife edge, but it flows off of the knife
easier than straight out of the bucket. You'll have to experiment as
to what works best for you.
I don't subscribe to the "NO-SANDING" thought rather, sand just enough
to remove the obvious bumps and ridges. For what it's worth, if you
plan on leaving the walls smooth, I'd stay clear of the mesh sandpaper,
as it can cause more tiny ridges than the smooth paper will. If you
texture, either will work, the mesh I believe is more aggressive. A
poll sander works well, save your ROS for wood working. Like another
poster mentioned, feeling with your hands will revel many details,
where you need additional work/mud/sanding.
Here's a site that's has some good information:
<http://www.drywallschool.com/protips.htm mostly free. I am not
affiliated with the site, just found it interesting.
Good luck to ya!
You're a brave individual!! :) Been there... Done that... My results
stunk... Floating sheetrock, in my opinion, is an art and the only way
to get it done right is have an artist do it. While it may cost more,
I ALWAYS hire someone else to float it. It is sooooo much nicer and
sooooooooo much easier for me!! In my experience, whatever I paid
always turned out to be well worth the $$. In any event, though, I
wish you well and hope your results turn out great!
Luke, the guy I hire NEVER sands. Then the last thing he does is wipe
it all down w/ a damp towel to smooth it all out.
Looked so good, I never even painted the ceiling job he did for me!!
And after the 1st and 2nd coat, it LOOKED LIKE CRAP!
the guy's amazing, and worth every 1ct. of the $35/hr he charges!
I've since moved and not only do I have to start all over finding
I'll never find someone as good as Luke :-(
Yeah, that's the same with my guy - Cooper is his name. Never sands
anything!! And even though I've tried, I cannot find even one area
where you can see a joint, butt or otherwise. That's why I say it's an
art. And while I'm not an admirer of fine art or artists, one who can
float sheetrock without the need to sand at anytime sure has my
admiration. $35/hour is well worth the investment...
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