What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Drywall Job Done Right

Drywall is tricky. It really is. Time and time again, we are called in to fix bad drywall patches. Everyone thinks they can do it, but usually, if you DIY, it ends up looking something like this:

Drywall before


Do you see the outline of the drywall sheet that was patched there? It definitely doesn’t blend in!

Or like this:



In order to do drywall well, whether it be a patch (like the ones above or new drywall (like finishing a basement), these are the steps that need to happen in order for drywall to look right:

1. HANG IT. You “hang” the new piece of drywall. In the case of a patch, this often means that you cut out the bad piece, cut a new piece to size, and then screw it to the framing in the walls or ceilings. If you’re hanging new drywall, you just start screwing it in (Keep in mind that f you’re finishing your basement, you want it done to code, and the spacing of those screws matters.).

2. TAPE IT. You tape and “mud” the drywall. You take the drywall “tape,” (don’t know why it’s called this, since it actually has no adhesive whatsoever) and place it over the seems where one piece of drywall meets another. You then take the “mud” and slop it over the seems and over the holes where the screws went through the drywall. It often looks like this (except, I promise we won’t let our kids do your drywall, this was them “helping” finish our basement)

Drywall Tape & Mud

3. WAIT FOR IT TO DRY. You have to let the mud dry. This is probably the most important step if you want it to look good and it’s also the step that people tend to hurry through. If you don’t let it dry thoroughly before the next step, it will NOT look good. This can often be the most painful part of the process for US, because we just have to wait. And waiting for things to dry is just about as productive and fun as it sounds.

4. SAND IT. After the mud is dry, it has to be sanded so that there are not big clumps on the wall. You sand it down so that it looks nice and even and flat (this is a DUSTY process, especially if you’re doing a whole basement, it’s not a huge deal if you’re just doing a patch). Sometimes, after that’s done, you have to repeat. Meaning, you have to mud, let it dry, and sand again IF there are places that don’t quite look right. This is where doing drywall becomes more of an art than just a task anyone can do.

5. TEXTURE IT. Once it’s all dried and sanded, the drywall then needs to be textured. Knock-down is the most common texture used. It looks like this:


To do knockdown, the texture is sprayed on with a drywall texture sprayer, then allowed to dry for just a few minutes, at which point, we go over it with a trowel and flatten it.

6. SAND AGAIN. Again, this has to dry completely, then be super lightly sanded with a sponge sander, just to soften some of the edges in the textures.

7. AND YOU’RE DONE. After all that, your drywall is finally done and you can have it painted.

That’s the drywall process. Now you know what to expect when you have someone into your home to do some drywall work for you.  Be careful who you select to do the work; we are consistently called on to fix drywall work of others (the homeowner decided to do it themselves or they hired a not-so-skilled drywaller to do it and now need us to fix it).

For any and all Garcia Handyman Readers:  

Did you know that the month of April we are actually offering discounts on drywall?  If you are on our Discount-of-the-Month email list, you too can discounts on drywall this month.  Each month we’ll be featuring a different home improvement project that you can receive discounts on just for signing up to get a FREE email.  Pretty sweet, deal, right?

If you want in, click here or just fill out the form below.  I promise we won’t be spammy, we usually send out one email per month.

And if you want to see other tips and see what we’re working on, make sure you go like us on Facebook.


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Each month we will be featuring one awesome home improvement area to undertake (think drywall, decks, painting, etc. etc.) and if you contact us that month, you’ll get our exclusive discount on it (even if you schedule the job for later in the year)

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