Monday, January 4, 2016
Lessons In Mud
I've done some drywall patching over the years but this is only the second full room drywall project I have attempted. I'm getting better but I still have some learning to do.
The first time was when I redid the entire basement at my previous house. I had my brother and father help me but it was the first time for all of us. I bought a self adhesive drywall tape for all the seams but it required lots of mudding to cover it and in-between every coat, we sanded as if it might be our final coat, i.e. we did a meticulous job. Not only did it require lots of time and extreme amounts of effort, it was all undone when we applied the next coat. When we finally finished and thought everything was perfect, we applied paint and of course all the defects that we missed showed up easily. I was so disgusted that I just kept on painting and hid the defects with furniture or pictures.
This time around, I decided to do some things differently. I switched to using the drywall paper tape that isn't self adhesive since it is much thinner thinking that I wouldn't have to use as much mudding compound and thus not have to sand so much afterwards. The second thing I did was to just sand things smooth between coats but not worry about the defects until the final sanding. My thought was that perhaps I defects would hide themselves in subsequent coats and the final sanding would make everything look nice.
In the end, I spent much less time and effort sanding, especially on the first couple coats of mud. I could sand the entire room in about an hour and have it remudded and hour later, much less than the half day I would have spent sanding using my old method. On the final coat I still spent that half day getting everything perfect but since I didn't have two half days before it, I had more pep in my engine to complete the task.
However, switching to the thin paper drywall tape didn't work out so well for me. In short, I got bubbles everywhere. The tape apparently would unstick itself from the mud bed I pressed it into and then dry that way. Then when you pressed on the area after it dried, the bubble would crack and leave a horrible looking scar on the wall. The only way to fix this was to cut the bubbles out with a knife and repatch those areas which I did in about thirty spots around the room. The only thing I can think that may have caused that was that I didn't have enough mud initially spread on the joint so that there were dry spots where the tape wouldn't stick and thus create the bubbles. If I do this again, I guess I would give the tape one more go and see if that fixed the problem because I had less problems sanding through the mud and exposing the tape as I did with the much thicker self adhesive tape that I had previously used.
When I finished prepping the walls and primed them with paint, I found several defects that I hadn't sanded down well enough. However this time I wasn't so worn out from all the sanding so after the primer dried, I simply remudded or sanded down the areas and reprimed them again before I painted the room to the final color. I am pleased how it turned out.