Before you can begin applying the finish coats of joint compound to your drywall project make sure that you have now completed all of your drywall hanging (ceilings, soffits and walls) and have all of your taping completed for all Inside corners, Tapered Joints, and Butt Joints. You will also want to have applied all of your cornerbead to your outside corners (walls, soffits, columns, archways, etc.). Once these phases have been 100% completed you are now ready for most challenging Stage of the drywall project, the Finishing stage!
The Finishing phase is where we separate the men from the boys, the women from the girls! This phase of the project requires some real “finesse”. Finishing can’t be rushed! Each coat of “mud”(drywall compound) as it’s called in the biz, that you will be applying builds upon the previous coat. Therefore the way in which you apply each coat to the seams and inside corners is going to directly effect the quality of the next coat. There are normally 3 to 4 coats of mud that you will need to apply during the finishing stage of the drywall project.
The secret is to let the tools do the work! Each different sized drywall finishing knife you will be using is designed to “build-out” the size of the mud joint for each successive coat of mud you will be applying. For instance, you will most likely be starting with a 10″ knife on most tapered joints for the first coat of mud and then the following day moving up to a 12″ knife to coat the same joint and then a 14″ Knife the next day and so on. Each Knife making the mud joint a little wider each day until the mud joint has reached the proper size and thickness it needs to be before it can be sanding to perfection.
So, take your time, let the tools do the work and above all…have fun with it! This is where you make or break your finished product so practice…practice…practice! Once you master drywall finishing you will have become a true drywaller!