Tricks of the trade when taping drywall

Installing drywall on a ceiling is more difficult than installing it on a wall, simply because of its weight and the effects of gravity.

When installing drywall on the ceiling, it’s always good to have a couple of willing friends. If you don’t have any willing helpers, here is a trick you can use.

To make the job of installing drywall on the ceiling easier, make a T-shaped lifter by nailing a three-foot piece of two-by-four to the end of another two-by-four, cutting it so that you can wedge it between the floor and the drywall, thus holding it tight to the ceiling until you can install your drywall screws to hold it in place.

When finishing the basement in a rec room, make sure the edge of the floor joists are even before you start. If the bottom edge of the joists aren’t even, strap the ceiling with one-by-threes, 90 degrees to the floor joists. Use wood shims made from cedar shingles and shim the strapping until it’s level.

When taping and filling a square butt joint in drywall, make sure that you feather the joint filler out at least 12 inches or more so that the bump does not appear on the ceiling drywall.

When taping or filling where two square ends of the drywall meet, make sure that you use a three-coat method. First, apply enough joint cement so that you can embed the perforated paper tape. Then let it dry. After the filling has dried, apply a second coat. Then let that coat dry. Next, apply a finish coat which you will feather out.

Sanding of the filled area is very important. The surface must be absolutely smooth. Use a slightly damp cloth to wipe the sanding dust from the surface before you apply any paint.

When painting drywall, make sure that you prime the taped and filled areas first with a good quality paint. Next, apply a prime coat of paint to the entire wall. After the primer has dried, apply a second finish coat.

Drywall is a versatile product that can be used as a base for stippled ceilings or as “rough cast” plaster for a rec room wall or ceiling. When using drywall as a rough cast base, install the drywall backwards. The back of the sheet is a better surface for most professionally-applied indoor stucco finishes.