Screen porch - your ideas and suggestions?

I need to finish up my screen porch and would welcome all thoughts and input.
The facts... The porch is approximately 38' x 15'. One long wall is concrete block...low 32" wall between full height columns, screens in the arched openings; the screened area stops about 18" from the ceiling. The other three walls abut living space and are standard 2x4 construction, insulated, sheathed with 7/16" ply. Each of the 2x4 walls has French doors - leading to interior rooms - more or less centered in the wall; the long 2x4 wall also has large windows on both sides of the French door. Floor is slab dropped about 4" from rest of house and will be tiled. The ceiling slopes up from 8' at the long outside wall to about 11' at the long inside wall; it has been already sheet rocked and painted.
What I want... My wife says I need to get something over the 7/16 ply sheathing and make everything pretty. Whatever I wind up putting up needs to be less than 3/8" thick (so I can trim doors & windows easily) so stucco is out. My thought was to use 1/4" cement board on the portions of the short walls where rain might possibly blow in and 1/4" sheet rock elsewhere. Over that, an applied texture...wife doesn't want anything with a lot of texture so knock down is out; she doesn't want orange peel either so I was thinking of "skip towel" smoothed a bit with a damp sponge...sort of "semi-smooth but irregular". Other suggestions? I also thought about using Hardie-Board in place of cementboard/sheet rock but see no particular advantage to it. Do you? If so, what?
Questions... 1. What are your thoughts about using the 1/4" cement board and sheetrock?
2. Do I need anything between the plywood sheathing and whatever is put on it? If so, what and why?
3. Assuming cement board on potentially wind blown rain areas, can I do the joints with thinset? If not, what would you suggest?
4. Any reason thinset can't be used for joints in the drywall portion and for the texture coat? If OK to use, fiberglass tape?
Thanks for your time, I look forward to your replies, suggestions and knowledge.

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"dadiOH" wrote

Glad to try but need to clarify a few bits. I know you tried, but I am unsure of the situation in a few spots.

This is the 'outside wall' right? Goes 32 high and screen above? Oddly there is a gap with no screen at top (bugs fly in?) and no indication if this is blocked some other way unless I have misread you. - Need to either extend the screen to the ceiling level (wood boxed will work) or block it some other way. I'd frame it in wood squares with more screen inside but hardi-board will work too.

What used to be there for exterior housing?

Sheet rock on an exterior room with just screens? Rain blowing in? I assume not screens that close with windows to keep that out. Bad Juju there ;-)

Hehehe SWMBO's can be painful. I know. I am one. My exterior back porch (little longer than yours but not relevant) has cedar shingles on the wall that abuts the 'house proper'. They pre-exist the addition of the porch and are fully exterior grade and in good shape. The rest of the house is vinyl sided now but that is still there inside the porch.

I think you need something totally exterior grade. I however come from the aspect of a hurricane prone coastal area with probably a *lot* more rainfall than you or you'd not have considered those materials.

Exterior rated. I've seen folks use your 'sheet rock' in my area on ceilings then watch in dismay as it sagged and fell off in patches after 3-4 years (sometimes alot earlier). This on open to the elements screened porches in *my* area. We use plywood for the ceilings here then use exterior grade water sealing paints on them.

I would not use either in my area in a screened porch.

Not enough info. What are you putting on it? That makes the answer (here I asuume you mean the house conjoined wall).

Which joints? Sorry, I may be a bit blonde here and need a little more info. My impression is you are using an interior material in an exterior place and want to do an almost 'drywall tape' and want to know if that type of 'paste' will work. All I can say is in my damp area, we do not use such as it will not last very long. May not last a season, may last 3 years if really lucky.

Again, interior spec items for exterior spec space?
Based on my best understanding what you seem to have is the following:
- Ceiling is basically a drywall type (your name for all the types in *my* area devolves to that be it 'sheet rock' or 'drywall' etc). Bad Juju unless you live in the real desert. I've had folks here suggest I 'drywall' my porch ceiling but we know better here. Thick plywood is better for here. Well nailed and primed then water protective painted ever 5 years or so, can last 40 years. Drywall or it's ilk, 3 if lucky.
- Gap not yet filled in above whatever screen type you have along ridge of outer screened roof (18 inches). Needs to be filled with something.
- Plywood walls against house, needs textures exterior rated.
- Attempt to figure out how far rain can get in and use of some interior grade materials on some walls (not clear which).
Suggestions based on *my* area needs.
- Rip off that ceiling and redo with plywood
- Rip off or cover with plywood those drywall or similar product walls
- Use a textured paint to create a slight swirl (may be aided with several exterior products) on all surfaces then paint it all. SWMBO may like the faintly irridescent types.
- Paint trim in a decent SWMBO matching mindset color (make her pick it out, less trouble for you later)
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