How to Finish Drywall? Know the Cost to Finish Drywall

Finishing drywall is no easy task. It’s a tedious, time-consuming job that often leaves you with an uneven or bumpy surface. But we’re here to help! This blog post will show you the best ways to finish your drywall for a beautiful result.

We’ll cover everything from sanding and texturing to using joint compounds and primers, so check out our article today on finishing drywall for all of your needs!

Related: Best Drywall Sanders: Reviews and Buying Guide

Table of Contents

  • What Tools Are Needed to Finish Drywall?
  • How to Finish Drywall? 8 Steps to Know
  • How Much to Finish Drywall?
  • What sandpaper to use on drywall?
  • How to finish Drywall without Sanding?
  • Drywall Finishing Tips

What Tools Are Needed to Finish Drywall?

However, if you are comfortable with the idea of self-helping, then you might need sufficient tools to work. I’m narrowing down the a-must-have list for you, have a look!

Jab Saw

It’s a type of knife with pointy ends and rough sides that shall help you to stab and penetrate the wall. Don’t worry. It’s not that sharp to harm your finger. Cutting hole in drywall is its primary job. It shall cut for 6-8 inches length.

Cordless Drill

Years back hammer and pins were an only reliable source for fastening drywall. But at present, the cordless drill has taken hammer’s place. The good news is that you don’t have to invest much physical labor for cordless drill.

Electric Drywall Saw

Electric Drywall Saw can easily pierce the sheet of drywall. When it comes to speed, nothing can replace this. For a powerful cut, you must have this item in your possession.

Sanding Pole

Sanding pole is necessary to sand the corners and ceilings evenly. It would help if you had a consistent finishing touch, and you can’t do without sanding pole.

Utility Knife

The lightweight utility knife is used to score drywall panels. It can be proved to be an invaluable asset if you use it properly. Make sure to use one with interchangeable blades attached to the screw-down handle.

Abrasive and Non-abrasive standing sponges

Both abrasive and non-abrasive sponges are essential to have in your collection. Do not rely on the handheld sponges for all the tasks. Handhelds are better for mirror touch-up while abrasive ones are better for wet sanding.

Related: Can You Sand Spackle? Pro-Guide on How to Sand Spackle?

How to Finish Drywall? 8 Steps to Know

Now I’m providing the process of how to finish a drywall, let’s jump to the steps!

Step 1: Stirring compound and preparing surface

  • First and foremost, you need to cut the cap of the bucket. For this job, you can use tin snips or a knife.

  • After opening if you notice water on the surface of the bucket, then you must propel a mixing paddle. And the paddle must drill ½ inch.

  • Try to find out the screw heads pricking above the drywall. Now you must push it as long as it doesn’t get recessed.

  • Remove the torn paper from drywall. Don’t leave the corners and cut edges undone. Because the residue will cause ending up in the compound.

Step 2: Cover joints and screw heads

  • To fill the mud box with the compound, you can use a 5-inch knife.

  • First, pack the edge of the knife with 2 inches of the compound.

  • tart with the corner of your room. In this way, you can work better. It would be best if you pressured into the joints. By joints, I mean the joints between sheets. After filling it, you need to direct the knife at a 25-degree angle facing the surface. Now hold it and evenly smooth out the compound you are using. Try to smooth out in a single pass

  • To remove the excess compound, scrap it off with the help of a knife and throw it into mud box.

  • Also, do not forget to fill the screw hole. Use the compound-loaded knife to do the job.

  • When you are done filling the joints and ceiling, proceed to step 3

Step 3: Applying paper tape

  • At first, you need to unroll the tap and no necessarily to tear them apart.

  • Now place the tape over the joint. Use your finger to press the compound. Press gently.

  • Now unroll the tape again and position the tape over the rest of the seams.

  • Tear apart the tape by a knife when you are done taping.

Step 4: Smoothing tape

  • Use a 5-inch knife and hold it against the tape. You can start it half of the joint.

  • With a single stroke, pull the knife to the end. In this stroke, you shall smooth the tape with the compound.

  • Now wipe off the extra mixture. Use blade and box for it.

  • Soon return to the starting point and repeat the action. Thus you can prevent the tape from pulling off.

  • Repeat the process 3 or 4 times on the remaining places.

Step 5: Tapping inside corners

  • Again a 5-inch knife will come handy for you. Use it to fill the joints. Now you can cover the corners with the compound.

  • Now take a piece of tape and use it to the full length of the edge. Use a knife to push into the side of the corner.

  • Take the knife and wipe it along with the drywall, start from the middle. Thus you shall smooth the tape.

  • With blade discard the extra mud.

Step 6: Covering outside the corners

  • Do not forget to check whether the metal corner at the outside edges and nailed or not. It is necessary to have the metal corner clinched every 10 inches.  It would be best if you straightened the bends.

  • Next, soak one side of the blade (5-inches) with the compound. Repeat the process on the other side.

  • Now within a single stroke, run the knife down the corner. Repeat the same process on the other side.

  • Let it dry. Keep it overnight.

Step 7: Sanding the first coat

  • First, you need to check whether the compound is uniformly white or not. If you see it uniformly white, then it is dry already.  Wet areas, on the other hand, appear darker.

  • Now with the help of corner sanding block, sand the corners.

  • Use a pole sander for sanding the surfaces. The pole sander should be medium-grit abrasive. Sand to the extent so that the rough areas get smooth. You don’t have to sand through paper tape.

Related: How to Sand Drywall Like A Pro?

Step 8: Applying the second and third coat

  • Take a 10-inch knife and smear 2 inches of compounds.

  • Now apply to the joints and screw heads. Also, with a separate pass, try to smooth it. Let it dry overnight.

  • In next day try to sand with the help of fine-grit drywall sandpaper.

  • To coat for the third time, use a 10-inches knife. Smear it with compound and gently apply to the screw heads and joints.

  • Keep it overnight to dry. Use a damp cloth to wipe surfaces.

Related: Best Drywall Screw Guns: Reviews and Buying Guide

How Much to Finish Drywall?

If you have enough time in your hand and want to invest your toil in working, then you should be adequately informed about necessities regarding the finishing drywall. Taking guidance from here will do for you. Also, you may take help from someone experienced.

But if you don’t have much time left and still want a professional look, it’s high time you hired a team for the job.

Drywall installation is likely to cost you $1.727. The typical range is $955 – $2,531. So per square foot will cost $1 to $3. Usually, most people pay $2 per square. The cost depends on the number of the room and the level of finishing.

Related: How to Fix Bulging Drywall Seams? [6 Super Simple Steps]

Editor’s tips

What sandpaper to use on drywall?

Depends on what you need it for.

If the paint is already removed, use coarse-grit sandpaper to get rid of any jagged edges and major scratches before priming and painting. If your drywall is only slightly rough, like after a fresh coat of paint that has been applied too thickly or has scraped away too much of the top layer of finish, then you can use 80 grit sandpaper to fix it.

But if you’re looking to remove old layers of wallpaper and old finish without damaging the underlying plasterboard, then 220 grit sandpaper will be necessary because it’s considerably gentler.

Basically, figure out how much work needs to be done by investigating with your fingers over areas where water usually gathers or where cracks and bubbles form in an old piece of wallpaper.


How to finish Drywall without Sanding?

Sanding can turn out to be a pretty messy job. Sometimes it proves to be time-consuming. You might be thinking if there were any other way rather than sanding.

I’m providing a secret alternative that might work like magic for you.

Take note on the steps below:

Before anything else, you must prepare the drywall. After that, apply the mixture and apply the compound on seams. If would be best if you began from the top stretching to the bottom of the drywall joints. Right after that, press the tape carefully so that no air bubbles appear.

Keeping pace with the manufacturer’s direction mix the joint compound. Within 15 to 25 minutes, mix as much joint compound as possible. Remember, once it turns hard, you can’t make it soft as before. Adding more water will be a bad idea too, because it will only weaken your mixture.

With the help of a knife spread out, the compound over taped seams. The mixture should be able to cover the taped seams and 2 inches more.

Let the joint compound dry. It will take around 8 to 24 hours to turn hard. It depends on the humidity in the air.

Sprinkle water over the joint compound. Because the joint compound needs to be a little bit wet before you proceed to make it smooth.

Now use a rubber float or a knife (of 10 inches) and use it to slide across the top of the joint compound. Make sure that you are holding the knife at a 90-degree angle.

Now keep slashing the rubber float you are using over the patched area. Continue is it until it becomes smooth.

Related: How to Fix a Crack In Drywall That Keeps Coming Back? [5 Simple Steps]

Drywall Finishing Tips

  • Keep your knives clean. Cleaned tools will help you to deliver flawless performance. In terms of durability, it is also needed.

  • Do not ever mix dried compound to fresh compound. This will cause leaving an ugly uneven finished surface.

  • Make sure that all the screws are well set below the surface. To check the position of the screw, use a knife and run it over all the screws. If your knife is hitting a screw-head, then it must be reset.

  • Use fast drying. It will make the job easier.

  • Do not joint compound waste. The finish might turn out to be canny.

  • Use flexible knife blades while working. You should be able to handle the blade with your thumb easily.

  • Always start by finishing butt joints. This way, you can maintain a flow.

  • Mix well the joint compound before applying.

  • Do not over-sand the wall.

Final Words

If you want to give your house a new look, then you must be well aware of how to finish drywall. I hope this article helps you to know the valid information.

If you like to work at home, then you might enjoy finishing drywall by yourself. Otherwise, seeking professional workers will be less time consuming for you. The ready-mixed version of the compound is more available and easy to work. picking fiberglass-tape will be a wise pick for you as it discards the need for the first coat of compound.

Keep tools like Corner towel, Mixer paddle, Flat edge towels, Shop-Vac, Dust mask, Safety Glasses at home. These tools will be best friends for you in terms of perfect results and your safety.

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