Category Habitat for Humanity International

Interior Trim, Cabinets, Countertops, and Clost

WHEN ГМ FEELING NOSTALGIC, I think about the fancy, vvell-crafted toolkit I carried

from job to job before 1 switched to a 5-gal. plastic bucket. That kit had a place for all my finish tools—handsaws, levels, small hammers, razor-sharp chisels with their blades wrapped in soft cotton, and planes that left long curls of wood with each pass. My brother, Jim, still has his shiny, metal miter box with its long backsaw—that’s what we used to make perfect cuts in trim before chopsaws came along. Back in the late 40s and early ’50s, those were the tools that master builders passed down to us “kids" as they taught us the craft.

Today, carpentry is different. Power tools dominate—from motorized miter saws (chopsaws) and pneumatic nailers to cordless drills, belt sanders, random-orbit sanders, and jigsaws. And many of the things we used to build at the job site, such as kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, and door and window jambs, are now factory – made products that arrive ready to install. Despite these changes, basic hand-tool and careful layout skills are still essential, especially at this stage of the game, when the rough frame of the house, with all its imperfections, has been covered by drywall, and the walls have been painted. Now it’s time to prepare floors for vinyl and carpet;

Подпись: STEP BY STEPПодпись: 1 2 3 4

Install Underlayment for Vinyl Flooring Install the Interior Doors Install the Window and Door Casings Install the Cabinets

5 Install the Countertops

6 Install the Baseboard and Chair Rail

7 Trim Out the Closets

Interior Trim, Cabinets, Countertops, and Clost

Interior Trim, Cabinets, Countertops, and Clost

install interior doors, window casing, and interior trim; and secure cabinets and counter – tops. Do this work right, and the inside of your house will begin to look beautiful and much more livable.

STEP 1 Install Underlayment for Vinyl Flooring

Because vinyl flooring is quite thin, it is com­mon to install sheets of underlayment over a subfloor to provide a smooth, level base for the vinyl. Typically just M in. thick, 4×8 under­layment sheets can be made of particleboard (wood particles glued together under pres­sure), MDF (medium-density fiberboard, a smoother version of particleboard), or ply­wood. Ї like to install underlayment in the kitchen and bathroom after the drywall is fin­ished but before the cabinets or prehung doors are installed.

Underlayment must be installed on a rela­tively clean floor. Remove all globs of joint compound from the subfloor throughout the house and give it a good vacuuming. I prefer vacuuming (with a rugged, wet-dry vac, not a home model) to sweeping, because sweeping can create a dust storm. Some builders apply beads of construction adhesive before install­ing underlayment. A clean floor allows you to do this. Adhesive won’t adhere to a dirty floor.

Sheets of underlayment go down just like the subfloor. Lay them so the joints don’t break on the subfloor joints underneath (see the illustration below). When you have to cut a panel to length, lay the cut end against the wall with the factory edges in the middle of the room. This will ensure a tight fit between sheets.

The best way to secure underlayment to the subfloor is with a pneumatic or heavy-duty electric stapler. Drive one staple every 4 in. along the edges of each sheet and 4 in. o. c. in

Interior Trim, Cabinets, Countertops, and Clost

4-ft. by 8-ft. sheets of


Interior Trim, Cabinets, Countertops, and Clost

Install underlayment so the joints do not break, or land, on the subfloor joints below.


4 in.


i— 4 in.


Stapling or nailing pattern for underlayment


Staple or nail at 4 in. o. c. along the edges and in the middle of the sheet.


Подпись:Подпись: Helping HandПодпись: Add character with salvaged doors. A new house gains some wonderful history when it has a few old doors. Interesting, beautifully made old doors can be found at architectural salvage yards and building-supply recyclers.

both directions in the field. If necessary, snap chalklines to make a grid of 4-in. squares. A lot of staples are needed to make sure the underlayment doesn’t bubble should it absorb moisture from the vinyl adhesive or other sources.

If you’re nailing by hand, drive iM-in. ring – shank nails in the same pattern as described above. The problem with nails is that they must be driven exactly flush with the surface of the underlayment. If they are left proud (protruding above the surface), then you’ll be able to see them through the thin vinyl floor­ing. If they’re driven below the surface, they can be covered and hidden with a leveling compound—but that means more work.

After nailing the underlayment in the bath­room, fill the joint between the panel and the bathtub with silicone caulk. This helps prevent water from entering at that junction.

Choose an exterior finish

Wood siding, such as shingles or clapboard, is often better off when finished with stain rather than with paint. Solid-color exterior stain gives wood a paintlike appearance, hut it does not crack or peel the way paint can. To let more of the wood grain show through, use semitransparent stain, which is available in many wood tones and colors.

Whether you choose paint or stain, make sure you buy a good-quality finish that is rec-

SET THE NAILS. Before paint­ing any trim, use a hammer and nail set to drive all nails about Vs in. below the surface of the wood. Fill the holes with wood putty and sand them smooth.

Подпись:Choose an exterior finish

ommended for the use you have in mind. For example, you don’t want to paint a deck with porch enamel or use interior trim paint on exterior wood. The pressure-treated lumber used on many decks needs a penetrating sealer or stain rather than paint. Upright pressure – treated porch posts can be painted or stained with a solid color once the wood is clean and dry. Find out which brands and formulations knowledgeable painters and paint suppliers in your area recommend.

Do the prep work for exterior finishes

Exterior siding and trim must be painted on all sides, not just on the surfaces that will be
exposed to the weather. Back-prime the trim before installation. On doors and windows with wood casings, make sure you back-prime all casings before installing the unit.

Take the time to fill all nail holes with exterior-grade wood putty. Don’t caulk under the lap between siding boards or where siding meets trim because you don’t want to trap water behind the siding. There is no need to caulk or seal under the lap between siding boards because any moisture that gets behind the siding can drain out between the laps. Always use a good-quality, long-lasting, paint- able, exterior-grade caulk. Mask and cover any decks or railings to protect them from drips and spills. Cover the foundation or walkways to keep paint from staining the concrete. Take the time to do it right. There is no excuse for being sloppy with paint. Drops of paint on a wood deck or concrete foundation will look bad for years to come.

Apply exterior paint

Much can be done with exterior paint to give a house a classy style. There is an old house in our neighborhood that has just been repainted lavender with light-violet trim. Now, this may not be your choice of colors, but it brightens up our neighborhood in a nice way. 1 like it bet­ter than the Coos Bay gray that makes so many buildings look like army barracks. A good

Choose an exterior finish

You can’t have too many volunteers when it’s time to paint. . .

We use brushes and rollers of all different sizes. . .

Painting a new house is great because you don’t n to worry about getting paint on carpets and furniture People with rollers paint the walls and ceilings qu but it’s just as satisfying to work on trim with a brus

Choose an exterior finishChoose an exterior finish


Подпись: Turn the door over to paint the other side.Choose an exterior finishПодпись: Drive 16d nails temporarily into the top and bottom of the door. Rest the nails on sawhorses and paint one side of the door, then the other.

choice of colors can make a home warm and inviting. Some paint dealers have a computer program that shows you what different color combinations will look like on your house.

Give your house a virtual paint job to test out various color schemes.

Once you have selected the color, try rolling paint on lap siding with a roller that matches the width of the laps. Once the paint has been rolled on, it must be brushed in to make sure every crack and crevice is covered properly. Take special care when painting the bottom edges of siding. These edges must be well coated because it is where moisture and ice gather.

Latex paint dries rapidly in hot weather, so don’t roll on too much paint before you go back over it with a brush. Remember, too, that most paints require a wall temperature of at least 50°F or so for good adhesion, so don’t paint if the weather is cooler than that.

Completely paint or stain the siding before you tackle the exterior trim, just as you did on the interior. Use a good brush and a steady hand to leave a neat-looking job. Doors get a lot of use, so it’s best to give them at least a couple of coats on top of the primer. The metal-clad exterior doors that are often used unaffordable houses come with a prime coat. You may want to use a higher gloss paint on doors because it is easy to clean.

Instead of trying to paint doors in place, take them down and remove all the hardware. Put the hardware for each door in a small plastic bag, label the bag, and store it in a kitchen drawer. Label the door, too. The top edge is a good place to write the door’s loca­tion. Drive nails or screws into the top and bottom edges, then set the door across a pair oi sawhorses (see the illustration above). After painting one side, flip over the door and paint the other side. Set the door aside, resting it on the nails, while you paint another door. Wait

until the first coat is dry, then apply a second coat, brushing out any streaks or drips. When you’re done, remember to put a bit of caulk in the top nail holes so water can’t enter.

Door jambs are also easier to paint when there’s no door in the way. On some exterior entries, weatherstripping is installed on the door; on others, it’s installed on the jamb. Either way, it’s usually best to remove weather­stripping before painting instead of trying to paint around it. Getting paint on weather­stripping can prevent it from sealing properly. If the weatherstripping is damaged or difficult to reinstall, just buy new material. It is gener­ally inexpensive and is important for sealing the interior of the house from the elements.

Once you are finished painting, use a small piece of cardboard to scrape all unused paint into one can. Save some paint for later touch-up work. A contractor I know takes leftover cans of latex paint, stirs them together, and uses the mixture as back-primer for the next job. Some cities have a site where you can drop off paint for recycling. Otherwise, take unused paints, stains, and solvents to a hazardous-waste facil­ity. Give the earth a break. Don’t dump toxic materials on the ground or down the sink.


Fill holes and gaps

Once the trim has been installed, the next step is to set all the nails, then fill and sand the nail holes. Any nails that are above the surface of the wood must be driven below the surface with a nail set (see the photo at left on the facing page). If you plan to stain or polyure­thane the trim, fill the holes with matching wood putty. For paint prep, you can use painter’s putty or ordinary Spackle™ applied with a small putty knife or your finger.

Sometimes the miter joints (where the door and window trim meet) are not tight so you need to fill the gaps. There also may be slight gaps between the wall and sections of door and window casing or baseboard trim.

In addition, check for gaps between shelving and walls and around cabinets and other built-ins. All these gaps can be filled with latex caulk, which is paintable and has enough elasticity to move as wood trim expands and contracts with changes in temperature (see the photo at right on the facing page). Wipe off any excess caulk with a damp cloth.

Before painting any trim that has been nailed in place, take the time to remove all the doors and cover the cabinets with paper and painter’s masking tape. I like to use what is called painter’s tape, because it pulls off easily and doesn’t leave a glue residue. Cover finished floors with a paint-absorbing drop cloth. Unscrew the hinges from the door jambs and store them in a box or plastic bag.

Some people paint the trim with the same paint they use on the walls. In that case,

Подпись: there are no cutting-in problems between the wall and the trim. However, you may want to use semigloss paint on the trim and doors or semigloss on the trim and gloss on the doors. Surfaces that are finished with semigloss and gloss are more stain-resistant and easier to wipe clean than flat-finish surfaces. In addition, higher gloss paint sets off the trim nicely. Whichever kind of paint you choose, learn to trust yourself with a brush rather than masking between trim and wall surfaces. Masking a wall when painting the trim can be a disaster. When you remove the tape, you could also very easily remove new paint. Instead of masking off, try using the drybrush method when cutting in. Dip about one-third of the bristles in the paint, then wipe one side of the brush on the lip of the paint container. Place the dry side of the brush toward the surface that will not be painted and draw a straight “cut” line. Even if you get a little trim paint on the wall, all you have to do is touch up the wall. If a little bit of wall paint gets on the trim at that point, just repaint the trim. Fill holes and gapsПодпись:Fill holes and gapsSTEP 8 Paint the Exterior Siding and Trim

On our Charlotte house, we didn’t have a lot of exterior painting to do. We installed vinyl siding, soffits, and windows and covered fascia and rake boards with aluminum cladding. But we still needed to do a bit of exterior painting (door casings and doors, for example). On houses with more exposed wood, you should know how to paint the exterior correctly. Here are some guidelines you can use to make sure your exterior finishing work will look good and hold up well.

Cut in around the edges

The two basic techniques for painting both ceilings and walls are cutting in and rolling. uCutting in” means brushing paint onto areas that can’t be reached with a roller. Painters usually begin working from a ladder, cutting in the corners where the ceilings meet the walls. Use a З-in. or 4-in. brush to make a cut-in band all around the ceilings and walls, as shown in the top photo on p. 234. This band will be overlapped when the large open spaces are painted with a roller. Professional painters prefer to use a brush for cutting in, but it can also be done with a paint pad, which is basi­cally just an absorbent sponge on a handle.

Take your time. Good brushes are easy to load with paint. Rather than painting with a

Подпись: CUT IN WITH A PAINT BRUSH. A roller can't reach corners and edges. A З-in.- to 4-in.-wide brush is ideal for painting these areas. Подпись: LOAD YOUR BRUSH WITH PAINT. A good brush can hold plenty of paint. Using a half-full paint bucket allows you to dip and load your brush by tapping it gently against the inside of the bucket. full can of paint, painters like to use a bucket that’s about half full. This allows them to dip the bristles about halfway into the paint, then fill the inner part of the brush with a few gen­tle slaps of the brush against the inside of the can (see the photo at bottom left). Apply paint in relaxed, even, gentle strokes.

Use a roller to fill the field

Once you’ve finished cutting in, switch to a roller to paint the rest of the ceilings and walls. Ask at the paint store which roller to use for your type of paint and wall surface. Many painters use a good-quality 9-in. roller frame fitted with a Yz-in. synthetic-nap roller. An extension pole that attaches to the frame makes it easy to reach the ceiling. Paint can be loaded on a roller from either a paint pan or from a 5-gal. bucket with a roller screen hooked to the inside. Don’t overload either the pan or the bucket with paint. Dip the roller into the paint several times to saturate the nap. Then unload the excess paint on the pan or roller screen (see the photo on p. 236).

Rolling paint on ceilings and walls must be done slowly and methodically, using long strokes. It must be done slowly because push­ing a roller rapidly scatters paint far and wide. It must be methodical so that every square foot of drywall receives full and equal cover­age. Try painting in З-ft. squares, running the roller back and forth in a tight “M” or “W” formation, with each stroke overlapping the previous one by a few inches. Blend the main ceiling paint into the corners by overlapping the cut-in sections by an inch or so, but be careful not to touch the other side. In hot, dry climates, try to keep the working edge wet with paint. If you overlap a dried edge, you’ll often see a lap mark after the paint has dried.

When rolling paint on walls, you can reduce the splatter by painting on the

upstroke. Watch out for paint ridges left at the ends of a roller. Try tipping the roller to the side to squeeze out the excess paint as you roll. Then go back over the ridge and even out the coat. Apply a uniform, thick coat, but not so thick that the paint begins to run. When painting near the floor, turn the bend in the roller frame toward the floor to keep the roller from picking up dust and dirt. With care, you should be able to cover the walls and ceilings with one coat on top of the primer, especially I if you’re using good-quality paint. But don’t I despair if one coat looks a little thin. Paint is 1 not all that expensive, so just roll on another I coat, if necessary.

STEP 7 Prepare and Paint the Interior Trim

One nice aspect of new construction is that you can paint all the walls and ceilings before installing the cabinets, shelving, doors, and interior trim. Even though you’ll have more wall surface to cover, the work can go quickly because you don’t need to worry about getting paint on all the other finished surfaces. In the next chapter, we’ll see how trim and cabinets are installed. Just ahead, we’ll cover what you need to know about applying finish paint or stain on interior trim.

Подпись: rПодпись: Helping HandПодпись: Avoid overloading. Inex-perienced painters often make the mistake of over-loading brushes (and rollers) with paint. All this does is make a bigger mess, with paint splattering, dripping, and running down your elbows.Cut in around the edges

Cut in around the edges

There are several finishing options for interior trim. Instead of paint, the wood can either be stained or finished with clear

Подпись:Подпись: 1 "1Подпись: Helping HandПодпись: Plastic wrap makes good short-term storage for brushes and rollers. When you stop painting to have lunch or simply take a break, there's no need to clean your brush or roller. Instead, just wrap it in plastic until you get back to work.polyurethane. Both options allow the grain of the wood to show. If you like the look of natural wood against painted walls and ceil­ings, plan to install solid stain-grade trim rather than less expensive finger-jointed, paint-grade stock. Wood doors can also be stained or coated with polyurethane or another clear finish. An application of wood stain is usually followed by a coat or two of clear finish to give the wood added protection and make it easy to clean. Tinted polyurethane finish provides the benefits of both stain and clear finish in a single application. For recom­mendations on stain and clear finish treat­ments for interior trim, consult a knowledge­able paint supplier.

With painted trim, it s a good idea to prime-coat the pieces before installing them. You can apply paint quickly when the trim
pieces are set up on sawhorses. Brush primer on the back of the trim (known as back – priming) as well as on the front. It doesn’t take a lot of extra time, and this technique makes the trim more resistant to warping, swelling, and shrinking in response to mois­ture fluctuations.

Paint prep is the key to a good paint job

Professional painters know from experience that the biggest part of a paint job is the preparation. You don’t just grab a bucket of paint and a roller and have at it. Take time to remove doors from their jambs before you start painting the walls and ceilings. Number or label the doors so you’ll know later where each one belongs.

Some drywall jobs create lots of dust that must be removed before you can paint. I use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust from the walls and ceilings, but a broom or a pole sander wrapped with a cotton cloth also works well. Take it easy, because topping compound is rel­atively soft and easily scratched. Pay special attention to dust in the corners. Remove any drywall mud or dust left in electrical outlets, and scrape up any globs of drywall compound that have dried on the floor. Drywall mud left on the floor can work its way up through a carpet. Then vacuum up all the dust. Cover the tub or shower with a protective sheet of inexpensive 1-mil plastic, often called painters poly, affixed with masking tape.

Apply the prime and finish coats

My advice for buying paint and brushes is the same as for buying any other tools and mate­rials: Talk to contractors and knowledgeable folks working behind the counter where you buy your supplies. Then buy the best you can

Paint prep is the key to a good paint job

Подпись: Materials TYPES OF PAINT
Подпись: YEARS AGO, PAINTERS who worked with oil-based paints, lacquers, and varnishes in poorly ventilated spaces didn't last long in the trade. A serious whiff of the solvents in those products would spin your brain and stagger your feet. Fortunately, most of the paint sold in this country today is water based, which is a lot less hazardous to use and cleans up with soapy water. The best latex paint contains a large amount of acrylic resin. Vinyl acrylic is the second- best choice. Vinyl resin is the least durable option. Oil-based paints are still around but are mainly used by professional painters. Even among pros, alkyd paints containing synthetic resins have largely replaced oil-based paints. Alkyds are great when you want a glossy surface, but they are harder to apply than latex paints, take longer to dry, and are more work to clean up (requiring paint thinner). Usually, there are three grades of paint: Good- quality paint has a 10-year warranty, better-quality
Подпись: paint offers 15 years, and best-quality paint offers 20 years. Flat-finish paint has more pigment than gloss paint, so it covers better than gloss but also wears faster. That said, when evaluating two similar products (different brands of flat-finish latex paint, for example), a higher content of solids indicates a better-quality product. However, don't compare across categories, such as flat to gloss. One problem with paint is that it contains solvents, which release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air as they evaporate. These compounds can make some people sick. Latex paints contain far lower levels of solvents than alkyds, but they can still be bothersome to some people. If fumes are a problem for you, choose one of the low-VOC paints on the market. To minimize indoor fumes, keep the windows open and run a good fan to promote ventilation.

afford. A knowledgeable paint supplier will help you choose primer and finish paints that are compatible; you’ll also get advice on the I best brushes and rollers to use with your paint. For some basic background informa – I tion, see the sidebar above. A well-built house deserves a quality paint job. Spending more money on high-quality paint can actually save you money down the road, because 1 good paint covers better and holds up well over time.

When using several gallons of a single I color, mix them together in a 5-gal. bucket to j I ensure uniformity. Keep the pigment mixed by stirring well before painting and through – ■ out the day.

Apply the second and third coats

Drvwall compound must be applied in several thin coats because thick applications tend to shrink and crack. Also, thin coats can be feathered or tapered very gradually so that they’re invisible (or nearly so) after the dry – wall surface is painted. Before applying the second coat, remove any lumps, high spots, or ridges of hardened compound left from the first coat. This can be done with a drywall knife or a pole sander. Be careful not to over­sand, or you could damage the paper face of the drywalk

Apply topping compound over the dimples around the fasteners, just as you did with the first coat. Be even more careful as you level the compound, and use a 10-in. or 12-in. knife. Along seams, apply topping compound with a 5-in. knife, then use a 12-in. knife to remove the excess (see the photo at right). Again, take your time. The second coat should conceal the tape. Using a wider knife, feather the mud away from the center of the joints to make them harder to detect. This is espe­cially important at butt joints. It takes some practice to get this coat right. Go over the joints more than once, if necessary, pulling the knife with a steady, even pressure to leave a smooth surface.

The same can be done along inside corners, using a 5-in. knife to mud and smooth one side of the corner at a time. This takes some skill, because it’s difficult to keep the knife from marking the finished side as you mud the opposite side. For this reason, some tapers like to use a different procedure. They apply mud on one edge at a time, smooth it, and then let it dry. Once one side of the corner is dry, they return and do the other side.

Before applying the third coat of com­pound, lightly sand the second coat. Hit the corners, dimples, and seams with a 120-grit
screen on a sanding pole to remove any bumps, trowel marks, or ridges. The third coat should be little more than a light application of topping compound to hide any imperfec­tions and feather the seams a bit wider. To make the topping compound easier to manip­ulate, thin it with a little water.

Sand drywall compound

Some tapers are so good that almost no sand­ing is required to make their drywall applica­tions look nearly perfect. When I drywall, I can expect to spend some time with the sand­ing pole (see the photo on p. 232). Before you get started, make sure you have a good dust mask that seals well, because sanding drywall produces a lot of fine dust that can irritate your eyes and lungs. Goggles will help keep the dust out of your eyes. Use a 120-grit screen on the block at the end of the pole sander, and push the sander gently along the

Подпись:Подпись: І іПодпись: Helping HandПодпись: Clean up as you go. When left lying around, scrap pieces of drywall crumble easily, making a paper and powder mess that can be tracked all over a job site. Avoid this by cleaning up drywall as you go. Stack usable pieces so they are easily accessible.seams and corners with steady, even pressure. The key word for beginners is “gently.” Its easy to get carried away, sanding through the mud and exposing the tape or damaging the dry – walPs paper face. If you do, apply another coat of compound to those areas and sand again after the compound has dried.

A final, light sanding can be done with a 150-grit screen, some hand-held sandpaper, or even a damp sponge. Sandpaper folded into a “V” allows you to smooth out imperfections in inside corners by putting pressure on one side or the other or right in the center, as nec­essary. At this point, some folks like to apply another coat to give a texture to the walls before painting.

STEP 6 Paint the Ceilings and Walls

Our prairie home seldom, if ever, had any paint on the exterior. The siding became as grained and leathery as the faces of the inhab­itants. Indoors, we sometimes used a dry pow­der, called Kalsomine, that we mixed with water and used to paint the ceilings and walls. Kalsomine came in different colors, which added a bit to our rooms and to our lives.

After I left home, it seemed that the only interior paint color in existence was Navajo White. For years, the interior of every house we built was painted this off-white color.

It was a breath of fresh air to see all the bright colors that exploded in the late ’60s and early 70s. From bland to bright to subtle pastels and now back to Navajo White— so much for progress.


Dispose of waste drywall. Before you send waste dry – wall to a landfill, contact the Gypsum Assoriation (see Resources on p. 278) to see whether there’s a recycling facility in your area. Local builders may also know of recycling possibilities that can help reduce the amount of construction material sent to landfills.

Using J-channet around a window makes a dean joint between the drywall and the window frame.


corner beads are designed to be nailed or stapled in place. Use tinsnips to cut floor-to – ceiling beads. Cut them at least Zi in. short, but hold them tightly against the ceiling. Starting at the top and working down, fasten the bead to the corner stud (below the top plates) with pairs of nails or screws opposite each other every 8 in. to 10 in. A pneumatic stapler also works well. Make sure all the beads are straight and lie flat against the wall.

Beads around windows and doors are attached just like those on corners. The header beads are cut square on both ends and then nailed in place. The side trimmer pieces are also cut square and butt into the top piece (see the photo at right).

Подпись: Helping HandПодпись: Reuse joint compound buckets. These rugged, plastic buckets are great for storing tools and materials. Wash out any remaining joint compound with water.STEPS Mud, Tape, and Finish the Drywali

I am not a professional drywali finisher. But I have taped enough wall and corner joints to know that this job is both an art and a skill. Some finishers can leave walls and ceilings as straight and smooth as glass. To the trained eye, my work looks more like antique, hand­made glass—generally flat, but with some rip­pling and variations that give it character. The thing to remember, regardless of your skill level, is that taping drywali is finish work, so it needs to look good. Although your first efforts aren’t likely to be masterful, with patience and know-how you can learn to achieve good, solid work. This section will give you the basic know-how. The patience you111 have to pro­vide yourself.

Tool up for finishing drywali

Although professional drywali finishers rely on an assortment of equipment, including stilts to speed ceiling work, you can achieve very good results with just a few tools. You’ll find them at well-stocked hardware stores, home centers, and drywali-supply outlets.

TAPING KNIVES. Mud applicators are called knives, even though they look more like over­grown spatulas. A 5-in.-wide knife is good for applying joint compound (referred to as mud). Wider knives are used to smooth and feather the edges of mud, tapering it so thin that it will be as undetectable as possible once the paint is applied. If you’re new to drywali work, start with 5-in., 8-in., and 12-in. knives for best results.

TROWELS AND HAWKS. These tools are simply flat pieces of metal with handles attached. Their main purpose is to hold a small batch of compound at the ready so that you can scoop it onto the wall with a taping knife. Trowels are rectangular, while hawks tend to be square. Which tool works best is a matter of personal preference. In the hands of an experienced worker, a trowel can be used to both hold and apply compound.

POLE SANDER. Sanding finish coats of com­pound is often necessary to smooth uneven areas. A pole sander consists of a sanding block attached to a pole. To sand the first two coats, cover the block with 120-grit sanding screens. When one side is dull, turn over the screen and use the other side. For the final sanding, switch to a 150-grit screen.

PORTABLE LIGHTS. With one or more bright, halogen-type work lights, you’ll have a much easier time finding flaws in the top coat.

DUST MASK AND GOGGLES. Don’t begin to sand drywali compound without donning safety gear.

Do the prep work

Before you start taping and mudding, make sure that all fasteners are below the surface of the drywali. You can do this by running your hand or a wide drywali knife over the fasten­ers in the walls and ceiling. If any fasteners are proud of the surface, they will show when you apply the first coat of mud.

You may need to do a bit of repair work around electrical-outlet boxes. If the fit around these boxes is sloppy, use a fast-setting (as opposed to a slow-drying) joint com­pound that’s available at supply stores. Mix a batch and fill the gaps with a small putty

knife. If the gaps are quite narrow, use latex caulk to seal around them.

COMPOUND AND TAPE. Part of your prepara­tion work is making sure you have the right supplies on hand. Joint compound is normally used as the bed for tape. If you’re new to dry – wall work, you’re better off buying premixed joint compound that is ready to apply. Top­ping compound is applied over joint com­pound; it has a finer, creamier consistency so that it can be smoothed out nicely. It’s avail­able in premixed and powdered forms. You’ll also need enough tape to cover all the joints between panels, including the inside corners. Buy about 400 ft. of tape for every 1,000 sq. ft. of drywall.

Mud the joints and corners

The long edges of drywall panels are tapered, allowing the seams between adjacent panels to be filled with joint compound and taped to create a level surface. Begin by using a 5-in. knife to apply mud about % in. thick along the entire seam. Roll out the tape from corner to corner, center it on the joint, press it lightly in place, and then pull it tight and straight.

Once the tape is in place, drag the knife over the top, applying enough pressure to embed the tape as you go (see the photo at left on p. 230). Make sure the tape is flat, wrinkle- free, and embedded in about % in. of mud. Be careful not to create mud buildup in the cor­ners. Clean any excess compound from along the edges of the tape with your knife.

Подпись: TAPING AND MUDDING JOINTS 2. Fill the low spots with Подпись: 1. Embed paper topping compound. Tape and drywall compound hide the joints and make them strong. INSTALLING J-CHANNEL AROUND WINDOWSПодпись:Inside corners and wall-ceiling joints are taped a bit differently than flat joints in a ceil­ing or wall. Use a 4-in. or 5-in. knife to apply an S^-in.-thick layer of joint compound on each edge of the corner. Next, fold the tape at the crease and press it into the corner, flatten-


ing it as you go. Working on one edge at a time, press the tape against the drywall and into the mud with the taping knife.

Outside corners covered with corner bead are easier to do (see the photo at right below). Using the same 4-in. or 5-in. knife, press mud along the length of the corner. The outside edge of the comer bead acts as a guide for your knife as you pull off excess mud.

The ends of a drywall sheet are not tapered like the edges are. For this reason, you should use less mud to cover the tape at the butt joints, where the ends of adjoining sheets meet. Otherwise, you can create an obvious bump in the wall. Cover the tape lightly with mud, and feather the edges away from the

MUD THE CORNER BEADS. Apply joint compound generously along each side of a corner bead. To level off the compound, run the taping knife over the rounded outside edge of the bead. [Photo by Charles Miller, courtesy Fine Homebuilding magazine, ® The Taunton Press, Inc.]
center of the joint so any bumps that result will be slight.

In hot, dry climates, joint-compound applications dry rapidly. Mud that dries too fast may not bond well and can crack. Try mudding a couple of joints in a room and then applying tape right away, rather than mudding every joint first. You may need to close up the house to retain moisture and cre­ate a slower drying time. You can also use an easy-to-sand setting compound that hardens with little shrinkage and is basically unaffected by hot, dry conditions.

Its a different story in cold and humid areas. Builders in those regions often have to close up the house, turn up the heat, and open the windows a bit to let out moisture. Portable propane heaters work well to help things dry, but they exhaust additional moisture into the air. If you’re using them, leave a window open so moist air can escape. Kerosene heaters also work well, but it may take a while for the smell to leave the house.


STEP 4 Install the Corner Bead

Once all the drywall is in place, metal or vinyl corner bead is installed on all outside corners, including wall corners, window wraps, closet doorways, and the attic access hole. This bead protects corners from impact and forms a straight, finished edge. Both metal and vinyl




Plan panel installation

It’s smart to plan an installation sequence when there are a number of walls to finish with drywall. Determining which walls to cover first, and how panel layout will work, saves time and aggravation. Here are some tips to help you plan the installation sequence for walls:

HANG PANELS HORIZONTALLY. By installing 12-ft. panels horizontally, you greatly reduce the number of joints in a wall. The top panels

should be hung first. Don’t worry if the bot-


tom panel doesn’t extend all the way to the subfloor; this small gap will be covered by the baseboard trim. For rooms with 9-ft.-high walls, use 54-in.-wide drywall panels instead of the standard 48-in.-wide panels.

START ON CLOSETS FIRST. Check to see whether there are any closets that must be drywalled before working on long walls. Sometimes it’s easier to get large drywall pieces into a closet through a wall rather than through the closet door. Don’t bother cutting and installing small pieces of drywall to com­pletely cover a closet. You can do that later



with scrap pieces cut from the long sheets. At this stage, you just want to have an easier time getting big pieces into the closets.

WORK FROM THE OUTSIDE IN. I like to drywall exterior walls before interior walls. Leaving the interior wall framing open when you start gives you greater freedom to maneuver the panels. To maximize this freedom, drywall the interior hallways last.

PAY ATTENTION TO BACKING AT WALL INTER­SECTIONS. As shown in the top illustration at right, backing can sometimes determine which wall should be covered with drywall first. When 2x6s have been used for backing where 2×4 walls intersect, there will be only a 1-in.-wide nailing surface for attaching dry – wall. In this situation, always install the inter­secting walls drywall after the other wall has been covered. Butt the intersecting wall’s panel tightly against the adjoining wall panel to make a solid corner.

Install the panels

As mentioned earlier, the top panels should be installed first. It’s important to butt the top edge of each wall panel snugly against the ceil­ing drywall. To make installation easier, you can start a few nails near the top of a sheet before you raise the panel into position.

Although I drive a few nails just to hold a panel in place, I like to use screws in the rest of the sheet on both ceilings and walls. Screws hold better, resist popping when framing lum­ber shrinks, and can be installed quickly once you get into the rhythm of using a screw gun.

If you use nails in the middle of a panel, code may require that the panels be double-nailed (see the bottom illustration at right).




Уг in.


Plan panel installation





You’d only have a V2-in.-wide nailing surface if you install drywall on the intersecting wall first.



If you install drywall on the exterior wall first, you will have a 1-in.-wide nailing surface.


Intersecting wall




Plan panel installation

Подпись: Tool Talk MAKING A DRYWALL-PANEL LIFTERПодпись:Подпись: bottom course of drywall Подпись: Helping HandПодпись: Check for covered wall outlets. When installing drywall, it's easy to overlook electrical outlets and fasten a panel right over these small boxes. As you're installing panels, look in the usual places to make sure the outlets haven't been covered. Check for receptacles every 6 ft. or so along walls near the floor and above kitchen counter- tops. Also check for light switches near doorways.

panels. By wedging the beveled edge of the tool under a bottom panel and stepping on the outboard end, you can lever the bottom panel against the bottom edge of the top panel and hold it there until you drive a few fasteners. Although you can buy a panel lifter, it’s easy to make one. Cut a piece of 1×4 about 16 in. long, then cut a taper on the flat face at one end. If the drywall must be lifted more than % in., add a piece of 1×2 to the bottom of the lifter.

When fastening a panel, work from the center to the outside edges. If you do use nails, drive the first set, then go back later and drive the second set, making sure the drywall is tight against the wall framing. When driving nails, it’s always advisable to push the panels tightly against the wall.

When hanging the bottom row of drywall, stagger the end or butt joints, just as you did on the ceiling. The bottom panels can be placed against the wall, then raised and held in place against the top sheet with a drywall lifter, allowing you to concentrate on fastening the sheet (see the sidebar above). Long sheets can be raised with a drywall lifter at each end.

Try to keep butt joints away from the cen­ter of the wall so that the joints will be less obvious. Also, have a sheet break over a door or window rather than right at the edge of a king stud or trimmer. A joint at the edge of a
door or window increases the likelihood of a crack in the drywall as the wood dries. Run panels all the way across doors and windows when you can, then cut them out later with a saw or router. You can also run a panel past an outside corner, then cut it flush with a utility knife after the panel has been fastened in place. This eliminates the need to measure and mark the panel.

Install 3-bead

Window trimmers and headers are often wrapped in drywall. The same is true of trim­mers and headers in closets where bifold or bypass doors will be installed. In these loca­tions, drywall can replace the wood jamb as the finished surface. This is a good place to use up some of the scrap you’ve created. I try to select straight factory edges to go against the window frame. But other builders install vinyl J-bead trim where the drywall meets the window frame (see the illustration on the fac­ing page). Nail the J-bead to the trimmer, then slip the drywall into the J-channel. This is an easy way to obtain a clean, straight, durable drywall edge.

I also install drywall about 2 in. up the attic access hole and cap it with J-bead. This leaves a trim surface on which the lid can rest. The lid can be made from a piece of drywall with several layers of rigid-foam board glued to the back for insulation.


Подпись: The second drywall sheet is nailed to the corner stud, holding the first sheet in place. Подпись: Drywall clips eliminate the need for backing at intersecting walls and on cap plates.USING DRYWALL CLIPS TO SECURE. THE ENDS OF DRYWALL SHEETSПодпись: N N. Подпись: чpaper-faced insulation; it’s designed to affix drvwall to a wood surface. Follow the applica­tion and installation instructions on the label.

Corner details

If you provided backing or deadwood while building interior walls (see chapter 4) and installing roof trusses (see chapter 5), you’ll be able to drive nails or screws along the walls to fasten drywall panels. But if solid backing material for drywall was not nailed to the tops of parallel walls or in the corners where walls intersect, metal drywall clips can be used instead. See the illustration at right for instructions on using these clips. Unlike a dry – wall corner secured with nails or screws, a cor­ner secured with clips can be more resistant to cracking when the framing material moves in response to temperature fluctuations.

Another strategy is to let the corner “float,” eliminating nails where a ceiling panel meets the wall. The top edges of wall panels are then pushed snugly against the ceiling panels, holding them in place (see the illustration on p. 224). Again, this can help prevent corner cracks at the ceiling-wall juncture due to wood shrinkage or truss uplift. If you’re uncertain about how to handle drywall corners, check with experienced builders in your area.

Once all the ceiling panels are in place, run a bead of caulk where the ceiling panels butt



Cutting drywall isn’t difficult, once you learn how to score through the paper covering with a utility knife. . .

The panels have a gypsum core that makes them heavy and delicate. They create a lot of dust, too, especially when making cuts with a saw. . .

Covering the studs with drywall provides our first look at real rooms. . .

The metal corner bead looks ugly until it is covered with drywall compound, which we call mud.



Подпись: On exterior walls, prevent air infiltration with a bead of caulk at the corner before installing the drywall.Подпись: Wall studUSING DRYWALL CLIPS TO SECURE. THE ENDS OF DRYWALL SHEETSПодпись:Подпись: іПодпись:Подпись: Panel offcuts come in handy. Use the cut-off ends of panels to cover small spaces, such as closet interiors, window trimmers, and closet doorways. Don't overdo it, though. Using too many small pieces creates extra work when it's time to tape and mud the joints.

the exterior walls to reduce air infiltration (see the illustration above). I finish the ceiling by marking the location of wall studs with a small pencil mark on the ceiling drywall. These marks help when nailing drywall to the walls. Don’t use keel on drywall (unless it is covered with drywall tape) because it can bleed through paint.

STEP 3 Install the Wall Panels

Hanging drywall on the walls is easier than hanging them on the ceiling. You have to work around window and door openings, and there are more electrical outlet openings to mark and cut, but you don’t have to work overhead. Its important to know that some electrical wires (for the thermostat, doorbell, range hood, and so on) will not be enclosed in a box. Electricians often wrap those wires around a nail to locate their position. All you need to do is make a small hole in the drywall and pull the wires through.