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>Home >Basement_construction >How to finish drywall

How to finish drywall

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If you've checked out my section on drywall finishing in Our Progress, you know I decided to play it smart and leave the drywall finishing to a pro. Here are some drywall finishing tips I picked up from the pro I hired to do the job...

Drywall finishing tools and supplies

8 inch drywall knifeHere are some of the things you'll need for your drywall finishing project:

  • Drywall knives in three sizes (4", 8", and 12")
  • Lightweight sheetrock joint finishing compound: buy the powdered, NOT premixed
  • Drywall mud mixer (this fits onto your power drill and will save time and energy!)

Finished drywall

  • Drywall tape: don't use the mesh tape. Even with the adhesive back, it's much harder to work with.
  • Drywall sanding pole: Has a large, flat sanding surface and will save your back and you sand the high and low spots on the wall.
  • Eggbeater drywall mixerDrywall sanding screens: Regular sandpaper clogs with dust very quickly and tears easily.
  • A five gallon bucket for mixing the mud.
  • AND, finally... the best drywall finishing tool I've ever seen- The drywall 'banjo'. This tool makes joint taping as easy at it could possible be! You thread the tape through, add the mud inside, and away you go! If you're doing it yourself, I'd HIGHLY recommend this tool!

Buy your drywall finishing tools now!

Mud and tape in the drywall banjo and ready to go. [Click to enlarge]

Thread the tape, add the mud...

Taping drywall seams with a drywall banjo is as easy as 1-2-3. [Click to enlarge]

Run the tape down the wall...

Taped drywall seams. [Click to enlarge]

A perfectly taped seam- every time!

[Click the above images to enlarge]

Drywall finishing tips

  • Buy the powdered joint compound and only mix as you can use for an hour or so. The mud will begin to thinking in the bucket, and will be more difficult to work with.
  • With each coat of mud, less is more. Don't glob it on, you'll just end up sanding more off later.
  • Make sure each coat is completely dry before adding the next coat.
  • Consider buying a dehumidifier to use during drywall finishing. Basements are damp and your mud will dry much quicker if you use a dehumidifier to pull the moisture from the air.
  • If you do it right, you should only sand ONCE! It should take three coats of mud.
  • When you're taping, be sure to push all the air bubbles from under the tape as you move along the drywall seam. Otherwise you'll end up with lumps in your finished drywall joint.


If you're trying it yourself and need a bit more help, check out these drywall finishing books!


Construction Topics

Tools you'll need

The 3-4-5 rule

How to frame a wall

How to attach walls

How to install insulation

Drywall estimating

How to hang drywall: Step-by-step

How to cut drywall

How to cut around outlets and openings

Drywall installation tips

How to frame a door

How to trim a door to fit

How to finish a door

How to frame around poles

How to finish drywall

How to sand drywall

Tips for buying, finishing, & installing baseboard molding

How to fix squeaky floors

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