To finish up the drywall ceiling we still need to tape and mud the seams. So that’s what we’ll do.

Sometimes life is easy.

And it’s always more pleasant with some music.

Another little side thing I did before starting with the mud and tape: resurrecting a little wall with insulation. The wall against which it is placed is an outer wall, but we cannot insulate it from outside as it’s on the border with our neighbour. So inside insulation it is.

First a stud against the wall, all level, to start with.

mud n tape stud wall

Then I had to drill holes in the floor, to screw the horizontal stud on it. I had to do this carefully, not to crack the newly laid tiles, so I used my diamond drills with water (remember the bathroom usage?).

mud n tape holes in floor

The studs are to be spaced 60 cm apart, so I used insulation that’s 60 cm wide. I stuffed it inside the stud before getting it in place, as I found this to work easier than trying to stuff it in the stud when it’s already in place.

mud n tape insulation in stud

All insulated and ready for drywall.

mud n tape insulated wall

Done!

mud n tape drywall done

I did keep the panels 0,5 to 1 cm above the floor, to prevent them from sucking up any liquid from the floor (you know, from cleaning, or other sources).  One thing I learned, if I had to do this again I’d do the wall before the ceiling. It would make a continuous insulation so much easier, whereas now I had to stuff some insulation between ceiling drywall and the insulation above, against the brick wall. I’m not saying it’s not ok now, just that it would have been easier if I did it the other way round.

Back on topic now.

Let’s talk tape first. There’s paper tape, and there’s mesh tape. That’s it. Not a lot of choice, so this should be easy. Pros use paper tape, as it’s stronger. Amateurs use mesh tape, as it’s easier to apply: it’s sticky from itself, whereas paper tape needs mud to be kept in place. Easy peasy, mesh tape it is!

Next the mud. One-mud-fits-all, or filler and finisher separate? Powder or ready-to-use? The all-in-one solution leaves you with less leftover, while the separate solution will fill the voids easier and faster, while still enabling a smoother finish. It’s easy to understand, separate mixtures can be tweaked for their specific purpose, while the all-in-one needs to be in between, having a bit of both characteristics. Powder can be stored longer, ready-to-use doesn’t require mixing anymore and minimises the risk for clots.

But what do the pros choose?

The powder, separate solution of course.

And that’s what we bought as well.

First I put up tape in all joints. With the sticky mesh tape, it really was one of the easiest tasks involved. Start at a wall, roll to the other wall while sticking it against the drywall, and when you arrive at the other wall, put your putty knife against it and just rip the tape to length. Then I put tape on the shorter seams as well, touching but not overlapping with the tape already there. Overlapping tape creates a risk of it sticking through the mud, which you really don’t want.

With the tape in place I mixed the filler with water. Your best bet is to mix a little to start with, as I don’t know how fast it would set. I filled up the seams with a first layer, while Chrisje took on the screws. I did so with a 12-inch trowel, although other people prefer a putty knife. It really boils down to personal preference anyway, as long as it’s wider than the seam.

mud n tape ceiling first layer of mud

mud n tape wall first layer of mud

After the first layer set, a second layer went on.

When that one dried up completely, it was time for the finisher. I only mixed up a very small amount, as this should basically only fill up the tiniest of scratches still left, and indeed consumption was quite low. With this one as well I did two coats, just to make sure everything was filled up nicely. For this I used a taping knife, as it’s easier to handle and gives better results for that final step.

When everything has nicely set, it was time for the sanding. I didn’t sand anything in between: when you do, you can create a surface that’s too smooth for your next coat to properly adhere to it, creating a risk of that coat to let loose when you paint for instance. So, in short, no sanding until you’re done, and no more coats once you’ve sanded everything down. It’s a dusty job, but someone’s gotta do it!

mud n tape done sanding

Ready for your comments when you are!