Category Archives: Walls

What to Expect Out of Plaster Walls

Though plaster walls aren’t as popular today as they were in the past, if your house is about five or six decades old, you’ve likely got plaster walls. Plaster walls aren’t around as much these days because most people found it a little difficult to work with the plaster. It is capable of molding near perfect walls, though. If you are skilled enough and devoted enough to plaster the walls in your home, you will probably have a beautiful finish to each wall.

Plaster Walls
Plaster Walls

Plaster is a very high quality wall compound. Its use was outnumbered by joint compound because joint compound was easier to use than the plaster. You can still find plaster around the paint aisles of different home improvement depots, even though it is rarely used. Most people prefer joint compound because it doesn’t dry as quickly and is easier to shape. The plaster, on the other hand, dries a lot quicker than the joint compound and is harder to mold. Because it hardens so fast, it also makes clean up a bit more of a hassle.

However, if you decide to go with a plaster compound, you will also be privy to a solid and more durable wall than joint compound can provide. This is good news for most homeowners, especially those with children; but is bad news for most other people. The walls made with plaster are more durable and hard, and they look smooth.

However, if you were to try and hang something on the wall, there is a good chance that you will break off chunks of the wall. A plaster wall is almost completely intolerant of having hooks or screws of any kind placed in it. It will rebel and dull the nails or screws that try to penetrate it. In addition, any that may happen to break through will just break the wall. You will find it immensely difficult to get one single tiny hole for a nail in this wall. A drill bit will have to be used to make the hole, but be sure to drill into a stud.

If you are very careful and precise with the plaster compound, it really isn’t that hard to work with it. It always comes down to one of two outcomes for using plaster. If the job is done poorly, your walls will look lumpy and terrible. If the plaster is done correctly, your walls will look smooth and amazing. There really is no middle ground to working with plaster. You will either get it right, or you will mess it up.

There really is little wonder why most people go with joint compound instead. But if you want a smooth finish, a durable wall, and you have a drill bit for hanging things, then the plaster compound is the perfect choice.

The Artistry of Mudding and Sanding Drywall

For those that have their drywall all figured out, measured, and hung up, the next step in completing your new wall is mudding the cracks and corners, and sanding it out for a smooth finish.

When you are preparing to start mudding your drywall, you will want to make sure, first and foremost, that you have the steady hand to do it. To make it come out smooth will require a little bit of an artistic technique. If you are confident in your abilities to make it look great, then the next thing on the list are the materials.

Mudding and Sanding Drywall
Mudding and Sanding Drywall

Go to your local hardware store and pick out the joint compound. When you return with it, apply the joint compound around all of the corners of your drywall. Start with the ceiling and work your way down. Follow up all of your compound applications with a fiberglass tape over the top of them. Let that sit overnight.

While you are waiting on the compound to dry, go ahead and apply mud over all of the dimples in your drywall made from nails and screws. It often won’t take a lot of mud to patch these uneven dips in your drywall. Also, apply mud over the tape. If you take your time to smooth the mud out a little with a knife, you won’t have to sand the completed product as much after it is done drying.

The mud and compound can harden quickly. So, if they are spilled on something, take some time after finishing everything to clean it off as soon as possible. It is a lot harder to clean off after it dries. It will take two more coats of mud to go over your wall. The next coat of mud you apply should completely cover all of your tape. It is easiest to start with the ceiling and work your way down. This time, you will want to apply a generous amount of mud, at least two inches thick.

The final coat that you apply will need to be the one that you handle with the most care. This coat will need to be sanded and delicately smoothed it out for the best looking finish.

Preparation to Installing Your Own Drywall

If you are interested in installing your own drywall, or hanging it, as it is often put by professionals, there are many things that you will need to take into consideration before attempting to do everything yourself. The first thing you will need to be aware of is that you will likely need help.

Although it is a do-it-yourself project, a little help will likely be required for lifting heavy materials. If you are strong enough to handle that task on your own without any previous knowledge, you may still need someone experienced to offer advice and tips, as well as survey what you do.

Installing Your Own Drywall
Installing Your Own Drywall

You will want to ensure that everything is set up appropriately, so before you can begin, you need to measure your walls and order your materials accordingly. Also, take into account the room you are remodeling. Your average bedroom will likely not require any special treatment. However, if you are looking to hang drywall in a bathroom, you are going to want something along the lines of Greenboard. Greenboard will provide the wall with much needed moisture resistance as bathrooms can become steamy and spawn mold.

If you are hanging the drywall around an area where you want to put ceramic tiles up, it will be necessary to use concrete board so that it will be sturdy enough to handle. It is very important that you look into the requirements for the area you would like to hang drywall. Different areas will need different maintenance.

When you have everything decided as to what you want to do and what you will need for it, it is then time to look into your basic equipment for hanging drywall. Some of the basic tools you will need for this include a hammer, a drill, a carpenter’s knife, and a drywall saw.

If you have to do it completely on your own, then you may want to invest in a drywall lift. It is carried by plenty of hardware stores, and it can usually be rented for the time it will take for you to complete your project. It is not a necessity, but it will help out a lot for the person who has to hang drywall alone.