Drywall is one of the most popular construction materials. It offers a range of benefits, including soundproofing and simplifying home renovations.
But sometimes drywall can show signs of wear and tear. Drywall discoloration may indicate plumbing or roofing issues, and minor spots left unaddressed can grow into mold and mildew.
1. Remove the Popcorn Ceiling
Popcorn ceilings were popular in the 1960s as a way to add texture and visual interest overhead. But when the ceiling needs to be painted, it’s best to remove the popcorn and replace it with a smooth surface. This is a large job, however, and can be messy. The main issue is dust, which can spread throughout the room and require a major cleanup later. To prevent this, cover the walls and floors of the room with plastic sheeting for the duration of the project. If possible, move the furniture out of the room to avoid being in the way as you climb up and down the ladder.
Before you begin, test the ceiling to see how easily the texture can be removed. If it comes off easily, you can save time by not spraying the whole ceiling with water. It’s also recommended that you purchase a garden sprayer and some gloves, as well as a face mask and pro hand scrapers. You’ll also want to shut off the breaker to any light fixtures or ceiling fans and cover them with painter’s tape.
When you’re ready to start, use a putty knife or drywall knife to scrape the texture off the ceiling. Work on one small area at a time to avoid making a big mess, and be sure to wear a face mask. After you’ve scraped off as much as you can, you’ll need to sand the ceiling to remove any gouges and give it a smooth finish.
There are several ways to sand the ceiling, but the most effective is using a drywall sander. This is a long pole with a fairly large sanding disk on the end that’s hooked up to a shop vac. As you sand, most of the dust is sucked through the vacuum, eliminating most (but not all) of the messy cleanup.
This is a great alternative to using a manual sander, which can be difficult to maneuver on the ceiling and cause damage. But be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions, as it’s a very powerful tool. It’s also important to use a higher grit, such as 120 or 180, to get the ceiling as smooth as possible.
2. Refinish the Walls
Drywall is all around us, in our homes, offices and every store we visit. It goes by many names – sheetrock, wallboard or plasterboard are the most common – but it is all made from gypsum, a mineral that comes from massive beds that look like white sand, though impurities can make it pink, yellow or gray. It took a while for the building industry to embrace this inexpensive and practical material, but now drywall is used all over the world and is considered to be an essential part of modern construction.
It is easy to get dings and punctures in drywall because of the way it is constructed, but this damage is relatively simple to repair. This involves covering the dings with joint compound and sanding it to a smooth surface. A little sanding also helps the paint bind to the drywall.
For older walls, a new coat of drywall can give them a fresh, clean look and help improve the appearance and insulation of the home. It can even be painted to match the old color, or a completely different shade can be chosen for an updated look.
Another way to upgrade the look of a wall is by using shiplap boards, which can be put up over existing drywall. This is a variation of an ancient construction method that was largely abandoned with the advent of drywall, but people who want to add a rustic or nautical look to their rooms are reviving this style.
When it comes to finishing drywall, there are three steps involved: tape and mud, sanding and finally, painting or adding a textured finish. Taping and mudding is a labor-intensive process for DIYers, but it is well worth the effort in the end.
The first step is to tape the seams of the drywall sheets together with a layer of drywall tape and joint compound, commonly referred to as mud. This should be done neatly and carefully to ensure that the edges of the mud are not visible once it dries. Next, you will need to skim coat the drywall, which means running a 6-inch knife along all the corners and joints of the drywall, including the bevel, butt and angle (inside corner) joints.
3. Upgrade the Cabinets
Adding a fresh coat of paint can revitalize any room and it is an inexpensive way to update your cabinets. You can also add new hardware, reface the cabinet boxes or even replace the doors and drawer fronts to change the overall look of the kitchen. Another option is to reface the doors and drawers with veneer or laminate to give them a completely different look without the cost of a full replacement.
A drywall remodel is an ideal time to make some upgrades to your home. If you have a plaster wall home, converting it to drywall is an easy and effective way to update the walls and make the home look modern and clean. In addition, many drywall companies offer eco-friendly alternatives to their products and can help you reduce your carbon footprint by recycling your drywall scraps.
When two sheets of drywall meet at a corner, they are usually joined with a L-shaped metal strip called a corner bead. This bead protects the joints from bumps and knocks that can dent or distort the drywall surface. It can get damaged by vacuum cleaners, kids flinging toys and other household accidents, but a simple fix is to sand the bead down to smooth it and apply a few coats of joint compound with a knife.
If your kitchen is outdated, you can upgrade the cabinetry by removing the upper cabinet doors for an open look or replacing them with glass inserts to let in more light. Adding a transom window over the door can also add character and focal points to the room.
A lot of drywall remodeling jobs require sanding and using joint compound, which creates a dusty mess. It’s important to make sure your contractor is taking proper precautions and wearing a mask to keep the dust out of their lungs.
When hiring a drywall company, it’s best to ask for referrals from friends and family who have used one in the past. This helps you avoid hiring a company that might not have the skills or experience you need. It’s also a good idea to set up interviews with several potential contractors and check that they are reputable and can work within your timeline.
4. Paint the Ceiling
A sloppy or misdirected ceiling job will ruin your efforts to make the room look its best, so this is one project that’s worth taking extra time with. To do the job properly, you should first sand the entire surface with 100-grit drywall sandpaper to smooth it and increase paint bonding. Then apply a primer, which helps prevent stains and extends the life of your paint job.
Once the primer has dried, you can begin painting. Rather than spraying the whole surface, it’s best to work in 3-foot by 3-foot sections so you can keep track of what you’ve already painted. Start each new section by overlapping onto the wet edge of the previous section, so you can seamlessly blend the sections together. It’s also a good idea to use a roller, which makes it easier to get the paint in as straight a line as possible.
Depending on your choice of paint, you might need more than one coat to achieve the desired coverage. Follow the guidance on your chosen paint for how long to wait between each coat. You may also want to consider applying a secondary coat to enhance your color, but only if the ceiling is especially stained or you’re using a brightly colored paint.
When you’re ready to start painting, put on a pair of rubber gloves and cover your floors with drop cloths or painter’s tarps to protect them from any drips or splatter. Then, move or remove any furniture that you can and cover anything that can’t be moved with a plastic sheet or canvas drop cloth. You can also purchase inexpensive furniture sliders to make it easier to move heavy pieces without damaging the floor underneath.
If you have a ladder that’s tall enough, set it up in the room and get to work. If not, you’ll need to rent one. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s guidelines on safety and proper setup, and don’t attempt to lean over a wall or other object to reach your ceiling. This can be dangerous and lead to a serious injury.