How to Limit Drywall Finishing on the Ceiling
Drywall finishing takes a lot longer than hanging the drywall because it is a multi set process, which involves the application of drywall tape and layers of joint compound. It's one of the simplest tasks to do – but one of the toughest to do well. Even small lumps and ridges stand out on a finished ceiling’s wide expanse, making the job look amateurish. For this reason, many contractors and homeowners opt to apply ceiling texture to hide seams and discrepancies. But even ceiling texture has its limitations. The best way to save time and labor on ceiling finishing is to hang the panels correctly.
Hanging Drywall can be a tough job. It is step one of the finishing process of your walls and ceiling. The larger the panels, the fewer the seams, which translates into a ceiling that requires less taping. Drywall panels come in 4 foot widths and lengths that range from 8 feet to 12 feet. Use the largest panels you can safely manage. Because they’re bulky, heavy and unwieldy, a drywall lift is the best bet for lifting and holding the panels in place during installation.
When joint compound dries, it shrinks slightly, which makes it necessary to apply multiple light coats of compound during the taping process. When the joints are snug between drywall panels, you’ll need less compound to fill them, which means less shrinkage, less sanding and fewer subsequent coats of compound.
The long edges of drywall panels have gentle bevels that provide just enough indentation to accommodate drywall tape and compound without creating bulges over the seam. Not so with the short ends of a drywall panel. The ends do not have bevels, and when two ends meet, it creates a “butt joint.” Taping out butt joints is a headache because compound buildup creates a noticeable bulge. You can prevent this problem during panel installation by installing thin drywall shims to the joists on each side of the joist where the butt joint falls. This creates a very gentle concave depression over the butt joint, which can be smoothed out by a wide, thin application of compound.
If you want a flawlessly smooth ceiling, it will take time, sanding and multiple thin coats of compound. Even professional taping crews have a tough time getting ceilings perfectly smooth.