Many elements go toward reaching a high grade drywall finish. And these usually don’t take the form of shortcuts but there are time saving methods. After you first prioritize all areas of drywall to be finished, with the type and grade of finish, you are ready to begin.
Make it a practice to always start with a clean work area. Remove miscellaneous end cuts and clumps of gypsum that happen to be lying around, combined with any miscellaneous screws and nails and any floor impediments. Whenever there is foot traffic, these particles take loft and cling to open exposed mudd.
Mixing the Compound
The fact that applying the right mix of water to the compound and stirring the admixture thorougly enough, cannot be overstated. The photo at the right illustrates; the mix was either too lean without a topcoat, was overthinned, undermixed or overmixed at speed, or was caused by a combination thereof. See the air bubbles exposed through the painted surface. Aside from these air pockets, notice how the edge of the corner bead has left a dry line. That would be characteristic of a rich mixture having settled. (water lacking mudd too, is subject to blade drag not evident) While too rich a mix will lead to sagging soon after it hits the drywall.
A lean mixtures will minimize the amount of settle back, and so can effectively eliminate an entire layer. But tight mixes also result in open air bubbles. To cover the dried bubbles, skim with a trowel or knife from various angles.
Note: some brands of compound are more susceptible to air-pocketing than others.
Limiting the Layer Depth
Tooling the compound too deep in a single stage is cause for cracking. It is best to apply repeat coats — not laying on the compound on too thick (in an attempt to straighten out wall junctures, for example) and let the compound dry in moderate layers. Quick-dry compounds should be used sparingly over the surfaces.
For ceilings, drawing the mud from the taping blade at an optimal angle and, the pressure exerted, will also factor.
To really get the professional, finished look,
concentrate on detailing. Take the time and effort to make cuts where meeting irregular shaped objects. If necessary make templates for cuts, including curves. For confined and intricate shaping, electric cutters do come in handy but make provisions for the extra dust.
Addressing any miscuts from the install, all at the same time, will save you overall.
For wall portions like access panels, wherever cuts are in plain view after completion, and that have no mouldings, make liberal use of beads, even for ‘utitilty areas’ that abutt panels for ceiling access.
Attention should be directed to ceilings, forever conspicuous as they are above. To further detail — match the ceiling finishes in the closet, laundry and garage areas, everywhere. This will achieve a design constant and require less finish effort in terms of final sand-off, based on the texture.
When finishing the ceiling near the wall corner, bevel the edge upward with your taping blade to form a recessed edge partly in shadow. This is a technique that seems to have been lost over the past ten plus years, but it only takes several moments additional.
Inside and Outside Corners
To facilitate the sharp edge corners, apply corner beads that (a) designate unwavering lines while reducing the risk of future cracking, and (b) are easy to apply and resistant to sanding. Such as composite flex beads and rounded bullnose for a softening appeal.
Commence with the right grit paper and applied technique for sanding that results in making imperceptibly flat transitions from the drywall paper to mudd, with no harm to the paper.
One method is to cast a halogen light across the finished surface, to highlight areas of unevenness that are to be made right. Mark anything you find with blue tape for tracking and apply mudd and finish sand accordingly.
However, as much of an intensive effort that’s made for discovering these areas in need of attention, it can’t be the final say. Lighting conditions do play with shadows. In other words, be prepared to skim after the finish sanding has been called ‘final’. Even though it is always optimal to detect beforehand, occasionally a skim or float here and there does need to be applied after a coat of paint is on the walls. Whether this is done by the taper/finisher or the painter
Once a state of completion has been determined, you may want to dust down the walls and apply the recommended sealer over the drywall surface before painting.
Installation Factors Impacting the Finishing of Wallboard
There should be minimum number of joints to finish, having optimized the tapered joints by configuring the biggest sheets in the drywall layout.
To help preserve the finish/the passage of moisture between the room and the outer wall hang a vapor barrier where necessary.