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Drywall Tips

Wall Wetness
Drywall Hints


Workable Plaster

If you are not used to working with plaster, you may find that it dries out quickly! To help, add a little household vinegar to the plaster. You will then be able to work with it longer until your speed increases!

Nails In Plaster

To avoid splitting a plaster wall when driving a nail into it, try heating up the nail first. The hot nail will go through the plaster easier and without any cracks!


Finding A Wall Stud

Ever wondered how to find a wall stud when you want to hang a picture? Wall studs are usually 16 and 18 inches apart. Tap the wall gently with a hammer. The change in sound will indicate the presence of a stud.

Tearing Down A Wall

First check for your load bearing walls. Load bearing walls can be replaced; but you need to transfer the load from the wall to a header and cripple to the foundation or suitable support.


Do I have to remove the old plaster or can I use wallboard screws to put sheetrock over the existing plaster? All the studs have been located visually.
You can sheetrock right over the old plaster. Just recognize and plan for the extra width of the walls in the door jam and window framing areas.


Clean Wood Paneling

Do as the experts do and use a cleaning solution such as Murphy’s oil soap, sponge and cleaning cloth . Wipe with the woods grain when drying and no streaks!

Textured Ceiling Or Wall

How to clean?? Very carefully! Use a cellulose sponge and generously apply cleaning solution. Let cleaning solution set on the wall for several minutes to work on dirt, then dry and polish with a terry towel. Blot deep indentations carefully!

Painting Vs. Cleaning Walls

Buy yourself a good grade major paint, using a semigloss enamel or even a gloss in ultra-high abuse areas like exterior doors and door frames . Use a lower luster eggshell or satin enamel for good effects.
Pick a good grade major paint and save yourself lots of premature repainting over the next 5 to 10 years. Cleaning enamel especially is fairly simple.


Sanding Moldings And Other Hard To Get To Places

To sand moldings and other complex spots, wrap some sandpaper around a sponge. They are springy, flexible and can be rinsed out when needed.

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Wall Wetness

Mold And Mildew

You only need some dampness in and around the house for mold and mildew to thrive. Any roof or foundation leaks, humidity inside the house, and flooding are some common ways organic matter establishes itself. During house upkeep and repairs check your drywall, wallpaper, and carpet backings to keep mold and mildew in check.

Wet Basement Walls

How do know whether your basement walls are wet due to water seepage or condensation in the air? Try taping a 1 ft. square piece of aluminum foil to the wall with some duct tape. After a couple days inspect the foil.
If the foil side facing the wall is moist, you have water seepage into the basement. Find a masonry sealer like ThoroSeal to waterproof the wall.
If the foil side facing the room is moist, you have condensation and need better air circulation and or a dehumidifier.

Drywall Hints

Wall Anchors

When you can’t screw into any wall studs, special anchors are required to keep the screws from pulling loose. Plastic sleeves are good for light to moderate loads. Expansion bolts (mollies) and toggles grip the back of the wall, therefore they are a better choice for heavy items,( e.g. shelves, towel racks).

Dust Collection

To catch dust that is created when drilling or sawing into plaster or drywall, masking tape a paper bag to the wall directly beneath where you are going to be working. Just pull the bag from the wall when you are done. Easy cleanup!


Painting Over Wall Stains

Did your little artist use your wall for a canvas? Remember that many stains CANNOT be covered with paint -they bleed right through the new paint layer! Therefore, seal over the stain with shellac. This shellacked patch area might look a bit shinier after you paint over it again. The best bet is to try to gently wipe off the stained area, but this doesn’t always work. (Then the shellac is the way to go!)

Buying Enough Paint---Estimating How Much You Really Need

Its time to order the paint, how do you figure out how much you really need? To estimate the square footage, measure the total footage around the perimeter of the room and multiply by the ceiling height in feet. DO NOT subtract for any windows, doors or any other openings!

Painting Paneling Seams

Before installing sheets of wood paneling, paint the wall behind the seams with black spray paint. If the paneling shrinks or the edges are uneven, the gap won’t show.


Finding Studs

Studs are generally spaced either 16 or 24 inches apart, measured from the center of one stud to the center of the next. To locate your studs, tap the wall in question lightly with a hammer wrapped in a soft cloth. Listen for a solid, (not hollow), sound which means the stud is there. If you have trouble with this method, buy an electronic stud finder at your local hardware store.


Sheet Sizes

You can buy plywood in sheets 4 by 8 ft., thicknesses of 1/4,1/2, 3/4 inches. It is cheaper and lighter than solid wood, and doesn't shrink or swell with humidity changes. You do need to put an attractive edging around the plywood to complete a room though. Construction plywood can be used for just about any project. Make sure you use a carbide-tipped blade to cut the plywood, since the glue will dull any steel blade.

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