Drywall Plastering, Drywall taping

Drywall taping is the final step of drywall installation.
We tape and finish installed drywall. We also repair drywall damage.
After drywall has been hung, the final step is drywall finish. Drywall sheets are joined from side to side and at the corners. This leaves thin grooves between the sheets that must be covered up before any paint can be applied. In addition, drywall screw heads and the indentations they make must also be covered. Corners must be capped and taped as well. Drywall taping consists of applying drywall compound and tape over joints. There are, however, 6 different levels of drywall finish. Each refers to a specific level of finish required for the joints in that particular area.

Finish Levels of drywall Plastering

Level 0
This level requires no taping, or finishing of any kind. Drywall hangers who are not finishers reach this level once the hanging is complete.

Level 1
Also known as fire taping, level 1 stipulates that all joints, angles and corners must be taped and cleared of excess compound. It only requires one layer of compound, though, so while the tape must be properly affixed over the joints, it need not be completely concealed. This level is often found in service corridors, unfinished attics and anywhere else not visible to either the public or the inhabitants of a structure.

Level 2
Does not make final appearance a priority. This requires, in addition to tape one layer of drywall compound, a second layer of compound covering the tape. Tool marks are acceptable. Level 2 finishing is called for when green board or water resistant drywall is hung to be covered with tile. Garages, storage areas and crawl spaces may also use level 2 finishing.

Level 3
This is the first level of finishing that requires all 3 layers of drywall compound. The first adheres the tape while the second and third fully conceal and smooth out the joints. All joints, angles and corners must be covered in this manner followed by primer. Rooms that will receive heavy texture call for this type of finish.

Level 4
Level 4 is essentially the same as level 3, requiring 3 layers of drywall compound over all joints, angles, fasteners and bracing or other accessories. The biggest difference between this and level 3 is that this level is required where light texture or covering such as wallpaper is applied.

Level 5
The final level requires everything that level 4 specifies. In addition, a thin layer of joint compound will be spread evenly across the entire surface of the wall. This level is used when non-textured paints are used and the builder needs to achieve the smoothest, highest-quality finish.

Skim Coat – Either a thin coat of joint compound applied or a material manufactured especially for this purpose and applied in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations, over the entire surface. A skim coat is intended to conceal small imperfections in joints and on the surface of the drywall, smooth the texture of the paper, minimize differences in surface porosity, and create a more uniform surface to which the final decoration can be applied. There is no specific mil thickness that constitutes a proper skim coat. A skim coat will not approximate a plastered surface. Once the skim coat dries, the drywall paper may show through and the treated joints, filled voids, and spotted fastener heads will likely be visible.

Different building requirements call for different levels of drywall finish. Whether a room is out of sight and just needs a single coat of compound and tape over joints or a room will be entirely visible and needs the best finish possible, there is a drywall finish level that explicitly details the work that must be done.

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How to Finish Drywall

Drywall plastering, drywall taping, drywall repair, skim coat drywall, drywall repair
Drywall plastering, drywall taping, drywall repair, skim coat drywall, drywall repair

Drywall Plastering, How to Finish Drywall

In this article, I will show you techniques that taper use to finish Sheetrock. They are in the order you should follow them: drywall preparation, prepare materials, applying the tape and three coats of mud (setting type and regular compound), and sanding.

If you have a lot of time and no experience, you can use only regular compound which dry by air and you need to wait within each coat. Regular joint compound sold premixed in 5 gallon cans. Setting type compound sold in 18 pound bags, it’s called Easy Sand, tapers call it Hot Mud. You will mix it with water just before the each coat.
Setting type compound, sets fast and will not shrink. You can put your next coat as soon as it sets and hard to touch. Setting compound came in a 20 minutes, 45 minutes and 90 minutes setting time.

There are even more, like 5 minutes and 180 minutes, but those are rarely used. Also don’t use 20 minutes mud for taping, it’s usually for fast patching holes and base plastering. Your main materials are 45 and 90 minutes for taping and second coat. Start with 90 minutes if you have little experience. Mix only that mach that you can use within 30 or 60 minutes depending which one you use.

For finish third coat you always use ready mix compound only, and finish coat is very thin. Sometimes you need 4 coats if Sheetrock is very uneven. Taping (put tape in place) count as first coat.
Apply hot mud to areas that need a deep fill, like the first coat over a corner bead. Once it sets, you can apply a second coat of regular drywall compound.

Scrape off tool marks and clean surface with your taping knife before applying next coat. Usually you have another tool just for scraping (6 inch knife). Your main working tools (6 inch, 10 and 12 inch) should be used only for taping and finishing. Each next coat will set much faster, suction to previous coat will accelerate hardening process. You need spread very fast. Heat also accelerates hardening, so with high outside temperature keep that in mind. Dispose unused mud in a garbage, not down the sink or toilet, It can set inside the drain and clog it.

Mix/stir mud before use with your taping knife or mixer until it’s smooth and even. It comes stiff from the typical 5 gallon can. If necessary, add little bid water so it flows good and easy to work with your knife.
Tapered joints are easy to cover because of the tapered edges that hide gaps. Butt joints, which are non-tapered ends, can be difficult to hide because tape protrudes above the wall surface. To properly cover and hide butt joints, spread mud wider then on tapered joints.

Tap nails slightly below the drywall surface. You can use special drywall hammer for that, but a regular hammer will also do it. Cover screws or nail heads with one long sweeps. Feather your knife against the Sheetrock to leave as little mud as possible on the surface. Make a second pass to remove off all excess. Light coatings reduce mud buildup and ease the sanding job. It takes two or three coats to hide the fasteners.

Tape butt joints by embedding your tape in a thin coat of mud, that you partially squish out when you apply the tape. After it dries, apply a second, third and even a fourth coat wider out to each side of the joint to hide the ridge. Make each coat smooth and flat by running one end of a wide knife along the tape and the other end along the drywall. Many tapers using a drywall trowel. Check your progress by placing a straightedge on the wall across the joint. Hiding a butt joints takes experience.

Sand the compound lightly with a 120-grit sandpaper, concentrating on the edges where it blends into the drywall. Use a face mask, and a hat for this job.
Clean, sweep dust from wall and ceiling with soft broom or wide brush before applying the primer.

Skimcoat Painting