Drywall screws should be properly “dimpled” into the wallboard so that they will not be visible. Using a screw gun for larger jobs will save time and produce a cleaner result. For smaller jobs we recommend a drywall screw-setter that will properly dimple your screwheads using a standard drill. The objective is to ensure that no screwheads are sticking out above the surface. You should be able to run your hands over the wallboard and not be able to feel the edges of the screwheads.
Place three courses of evenly-spaced screws in your newly installed wallboard – one course across the top and bottom edges and one course through the center. Use your ceiling marks as a guide to ensure that every screw hits a stud. You should end up with three screws in every stud per piece of wallboard (Top, Middle, and Bottom).
When working around outlet boxes you’ll need to cut holes so that the wallboard fits snugly over all of your outlets and switches. Always make sure the power is turned off to all electrical outlets and switches and that any unsecured wires are safely capped and pushed into the back of the box. Measure from the top of the outlet box to the bottom edge of the wallboard above. Write your measurement on the wall directly above the outlet box. Then, mark the width of the outlet box using lines on the left and the right sides of the outlet box.
Use a drywall router with a drywall bit installed or a keyhole saw to neatly cut the hole for the outlet box. The drywall router is handy for larger jobs where there are numerous outlet holes, windows and doors to cut. Keyhole saws are great for smaller projects and hard to reach areas where there isn’t much material cut out.
For filling joints, a bucket of pre-mixed, all-purpose drywall compound is recommended. Stir the bucket to a smooth consistency and fill a mud pan with enough joint compound to make one full coat over the joint you’ll be working on. The technique for finishing horizontal and vertical seams is identical. It’s usually best to start with the horizontal seams.
Using your 4” putty knife, fill the entire length of the drywall seam from one end of the other. Make sure your final product is level with neatly feathered edges. When using drywall compound, the key is to work in thin, level coats. Thee objective is to fill the cracks and make them as level as possible with the wallboard on both sides of the seams.
Lay your joint tape into the wet drywall compound and smoothly lay it into your freshly mudded joint. Slightly wetting the tape will keep it from binding and ease the application process. Use one piece of tape per seam. Leave 1/8” of an inch where two pieces of tape meet in any areas.
With your tape in place, take your 6” drywall knife and add a layer of joint compound over the tape and surrounding area. Make sure to completely cover the tape and make sure that you continue the process of laying smooth, thin coats that are level with the wall. The objective is to bed the tape into the first layer of joint compound while covering it with the second.
For outside corners, you’ll use a pre-fabricated corner bead instead of tape. These can be made from fiberboard or metal. This is a low traffic area so we’re using a fiberboard corner bead. Press it into your first coat securely and then lay your second coat over it just like you did for the tape.
Allow the taped seams to dry for the recommended time per the instructions on the joint compound. While the large joints are drying, fill all of the screw dimples and any other imperfections in the wallboard. You need one smooth even coat. Drive or gently hammer down any screw heads that are protruding from the wall and then cover those as well.
Wait another 12 hours for your finishing coat to dry completely. Once that’s done, you’re ready to sand your joints. Use a circular sanding pad for larger jobs, or a smaller hand-held sanding block for small areas. Sand gently until you cannot feel any joints, screws or imperfections with your hands.