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6 Key Tips to Finishing a Drywall Repair Job with Flying Colors

DIY Professional Taping and Floating is in Your Reach

© 2012 by Janet Bloggess; All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

Sawing drywall; photo courtesy Fotolia

This article was updated on 10/11/18.

So you’ve finished hanging all your drywall but need to know what to do after you’ve hung it. There are many ways to go about this task. Here are six ways that you can finish up with virtually no mess at all. Of course if you want to hire a pro, go for it!

  • Worksite Preparation.

    The more precautions you take in this step, the fewer clean-up issues you will have later. Basically, you will need to protect the floor and any fixtures while taping and floating.

    You will need to protect the rest of the home during the sanding steps. All of this can be taken care of with sheet plastic, tape, and a little creativity.

  • Apply the Corner Bead.

    Corner bead goes on outside corners; tape goes on inside corners. You have two options — galvanized metal corner bead secured with a crimper and mallet, or plastic bead, secured with screws or staples.

    Apply mesh drywall tape in the inside corners. Gently fold it in half and push it into the corner with your floating or taping knife. You can use the paper tape but it is much harder to work with.

  • Fill in the Seams and Corner Bead.

    After you’ve hung your drywall, you will always have seams that stand out. Obviously, you can’t just paint over these seams as they will stick out like a sore thumb and make the work you just did look like an amateur did it.

    The first step in correcting this problem is to apply mesh drywall tape, splitting the seams. Next, use your taping knife to fill the seams in with joint compound (you might hear it called mud). Work short stretches at a time and squeegee out the excess.

    The purpose of the tape is to prevent the seam cracking as well as to make taping and floating easier. While you move along the wall (or ceiling) skim your nail or screw pits.

    For this first coat you don’t want any excess mud; this step is called “bedding the joint”. The compound will react just like a putty, slowly drying out. It’s the basis of covering these hideous seams and make the job look more professional. You will have wait until it dries to sand the first coat down so more can be applied.

  • Smooth the Rough Patches.

    Now, this step is really important because it is considered the post-work of the job. You will have patches that stick out due to excess. Don’t worry about these problems as all you need to do is simply purchase some screen sandpaper and a hand sander from your local hardware store.

    Yes, you can use regular sandpaper, but you will find that it quickly clogs up which gets expensive and frustrating. Don’t forget to sand the nail or screw holes as well.

  • Apply the Float Coat.

    Now that the taping coat is completed, it’s time for the float coat(s). The point of this step is to make the wall as flat as possible and eliminate all pits and humps.

    Use a wide floating knife for this step. You are simply adding more mud and spreading out the distance from the center of the joints and also the bead edge of the corner bead. Avoid mud ridges as much as possible.

    Once this coat dries, do the sanding step again, feathering from the center out to the edge of the mud, being careful not to abrade the paper on the drywall at the edges. Step back and examine the surface to be sure everything is flat and the screw pits are not obvious.

    If there are any issues, repeat this float coat step.
  • Match the Existing Texture.

    This is possibly the most difficult and artistic step. Drywall texture patterns vary from popcorn to orange peel to knockdown.

    Popcorn is fairly easy since home improvement stores sells it in (expensive) spray cans. Orange peel is also available in this form. For a knockdown texture, you will need an application tool like a crow’s foot brush, paint brush or a homemade knockdown tool for specific patterns.

These are six easy to follow steps for finishing a drywall repair job. The process is simple and will make the end result very appealing. But if you require assistance, just ask a salesperson from your local home repair store.

They can guide you through this task. Make sure you have all the proper materials before starting this job. Leaving something behind will only make your drywall repair job more time consuming.

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