Drywall Mud Types, Texture, and Pointers for a Professional Job
Your drywall is hung and you’re ready to tape and Mud. You head over to the drywall section of your Home improvement center and stand there looking at all the different types and scratch your head, not sure what to purchase
Types of Drywall Mud. - The basic one is the all purpose and that is what it means, it is an around general purpose type of mud. It can be used for taping and for texture. The down side is that it is a little harder to sand than the “lite”
The next type of Mud is called “lite and or topping” – This should be used for the final coat of mud after you’re first two base coats. It is a lot easer to sand. If you applied the first two coats correctly then this last coat will require very little sanding. You could use this for all your coats, but if you are new to this, I would suggest against this.
You have probably noticed Buckets and Boxes. The buckets are great because you can put the lid back on, to keep the mud from drying out. The boxes are cheaper, but should be transferred to a bucket once opened. If you open the box
then close the plastic over the mud, some of the mud will dry on the top edges of the plastic and will create drag marks on
your mud applications and plug up your texture gun
So you might want to consider using a bucket to start with and then transferring the boxes to your bucket. Also when you
first open the bucket or transfer the box make sure to mix the mud before using. Get a Drywall mixer, same place you purchased the mud, and put it on the end of the drill and mix the mud. TIP- To get all the mud out of the box and not have to squeeze the plastic and still not get it all out. Open the box, pull the plastic over the sides, turn the box over the bucket and allow the mud to flow into the bucket, all the mud will come out and into the bucket with very little mess.
HOT MUD -You have probably also noticed the drywall mud in the bags with some reference to the minutes. This is quick set mud or “Hot Mud” – The minutes that the bag refers to is the amount of time before setup so that the next coat of mud can be
applied. This is sometimes called hot mud, due to the fact that after you mix your can feel heat from the mud itself. This is great for applications where you are trying to apply several applications in one day. There is a down side, you have a very short working time. If you see lets say a 45 Minute “Hot Mud” you have ½ that time or about 20 minutes of working time before it is too hard to work with. Also on clean up, where as you can get away with cleaning your tools and pan in your Sink or tub. If you try to clean this up in your sink, it will Plug you drain up, solid. This mud is also great for patching drywall.
TIP- Have you ever thought you were finished and everything looks great, you then paint the walls and you have never seen
so many pits, waves and bumps. So now you are scratching your head and wondered what you did wrong. Here is a
suggestion that might help. After you have finished your final sanding here are two things you can do. First thing is to
get a drop light and hold it to the side of the wall, you will not believe what is not right. The other thing is, as you are
doing your final sanding use your hand and run over the area your sanding, you will be surprised how much you’re very
sensitive hands can feel.
SANDPAPER AND SANDING – Before sanding it is always a good idea scrape lightly with a small drywall knife,
this will remove a lot of “Debris” The best starting grit is 100 or Medium grit, then move on to a fine grit like 120 or 150. It is always a good idea to use a pole and drywall sanding pad you attach to the pole for most of you sanding. This will provide for much flatter finish with less ridges and bumps. If it is a small area you could use a palm sander. Make sure you wear a mask and if possible a cap. Also you can, put a fan in the window with the air flow directed outside. The other things you can do to cut down on the dust is to use a little water on your sandpaper or use a damp sponge. This will require a lot of practice to get it right. You could always rent out a sander with a vacuum system attached. For a lot of rooms this is a great way to go
TEXTURE – There are several types of texture you can apply. Most of the textures you will be working with, you will be using a hopper and an air compressor. The Hopper is where you will be adding your drywall mud. It is always a good idea to thin down your mud a little with water. If it is too thick, it will not flow into the neck area of the hopper very well. There are, on the end of the texture gun, a series of holes. This allows for several different sizes of mud to flow through, make sure you get the holes on the rotating Disk in line with the orifice of the spray gun. There are two types of air compressors to use for shooting the Mud. The first is your basic air compressor, this is ok for smaller areas but you will always be turning the valve off the air flow of the texture gun, to allow the compressor to "catch up". For rooms or big areas you might want to consider a renting, from your local home improvement center or rental store, a compressor that is made for shooting texture. The great thing is that it is a constant air flow with no loss of pressure or slow down. Also not a bad idea to wipe the ceiling and walls to get off the excess dust. Clean up the dust off the floor and if you have not already done so, cover your floor before texturing. This is a lot quicker than having to scrape the floor afterwards and leave this down till after painting.
TYPES OF TEXTURE – There are several types of texture you can apply, the first one is called “Orange Peel”. This looks just like the outside skin of an orange. You can use any size opening on your texture gun for this depending how large you want the size of your texture. The best one to start with is the medium size. Good idea to practice on something other than the walls first.
“Knock Down” – This is where you shoot your texture, the same as orange peel and then take a drywall knife or “Drywall Knock Down Knife” and gently knock down the mud. If you decide to do this, start off only do small areas at a time, you want the mud to be just at the point of not being too “wet” it needs to have dried a little but no longer than 5 – 10 minutes, until you get more comfortable doing this. Hold your tool almost flat to the ceiling, and let the tool do the work; apply very little pressure to the knife. Also a good idea to wipe or scrape the knife after each pass to get any excess mud off, or this will show up on your next pass as drag marks. You can either just go in one direction or go in one direction than the other, depending on the look you are trying to achieve. Again a good idea to practice on some scrapes of drywall.
"Machine Brocade" - This is applied the same way as "orange Peel" except your set the opening on your gun to max and then shoot your mud. When you first apply, you think it looks like a mess but after you drag your knife, it will look like the real deal. This is mostly applied to ceilings.
" Hand Brocade" - This is applied totally by hand, with no use of a texture gun and is very labor intensive. You use whatever "applicator" you wish to apply the mud such as plastic bags, newpaper etc.. Your place your mud in a pan or bucket, dip you "applicator" on the mud and apply it to the ceiling, then drag the mug just like the above types of Texture.
There are many othe types of texture, which I am not going into.
APPLYING TEXTURE – Make sure you have taped off and covered everything before shooting your texture. Practice on something before starting. When you apply the texture keep the gun moving, do not stop in one area. Go from side to side in a small area, like 3ft X 3ft then up and down in the same area. Move on to the next area and so on. Double check your work before leaving the wal.. Make sure you have lots of light and if possible a drop light to hold to the side, you will be surprised the areas that show up with not enough texture, but will show up when you paint. Also the Mud you are using will shrink somewhat when it dries.
To learn more about Drywall mud and drywall, a great resource is to look at the manufacture of the drywall mud and go to their website, you might be surprised at how much information is available from these companies.
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