September 26, 2022

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The Interior Breakfast

Ask Danny | Ep. 4: ‘The Drywall Guru’ Offers Expert Advice

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Split image of Today's Homeowner TV host Danny Lipford and drywall installer Mark Rutherford
In this episode of “Ask Danny,” drywall expert Mark Rutherford shares his tips and strategies. (3 Echoes Content Studio)


In Episode 4 of “Ask Danny,” I’m conversing with my longtime pal and drywall pro Mark Rutherford — “The Drywall Expert.” 


Danny Lipford and Mark Rutherford in the game room addition episode of Today's Homeowner TV
Mark Rutherford installs drywall in a basic episode of Today’s Home-owner Tv. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

About Mark Rutherford

Mark Rutherford has worked with drywall on new development and reworking jobs for 40 yrs. 

I first met Mark in 2007 although doing work on a activity place addition for an episode of Today’s Property owner Tv. 

He now lives in southwest Pennsylvania. 


Drilling a screw into drywall to repair a nail pop
To protect against a drywall nail pop from reappearing, replace the nail with a screw. (3 Echoes Content material Studio)

Drywall Nail Pops

Why does a nail pop transpire, and what is the best way to appropriate it?

Mark: Nail pops come about when a nail or screw will come loose under drywall and creates a bulge or “pop” in the wall.

They generally happen with new construction in just the to start with year. That is mainly because everything is drying out and settling — the home is truly “finding itself.” I usually say it is sort of like a dwelling man or woman. 

Nail pops are typical all over stairways for the reason that the repeated stepping motion loosens up the nails.

To mend a nail pop, 1st faucet it with a hammer. If it feels spongy, that usually means the installer missed the stud. Pull it out, and drive a drywall screw into the stud or joist around the gap, with the head of the screw just underneath the floor. 

If you can’t extract the loose nail, tap in another drywall nail suitable beside it so the head of that nail catches the present nail. This retains the nail from popping again out once again. 

If a screw is triggering the pop, use a screwdriver to push it in deep so it’s flush with the wall’s surface area. 

After the nail or screw is below the drywall surface area, use the back again of a drywall knife to flush the drywall paper with the area, and then protect it with a coat of drywall mud. 

Let the mud dry for 24 hours, then implement a different coat. Soon after the next coat dries, sand it and use a store vac as you function to suck up any dust.

Tip: Maintain your nail pop mend area as compact as doable — the less mud you use, the significantly less sanding you are going to need to have to do.


A water damaged ceiling with drywall puckering and rippling
Water problems is the most popular lead to of drywall puckering. (spyarm, Getty Illustrations or photos)

Drywall Puckering

How do you resolve drywall puckering?

Mark: Water hurt is the most common result in of drywall pucker, but inappropriate set up can also lead to it. In some conditions, the installer didn’t depart plenty of mud still left driving or did not use any in that location. 

For significant drywall puckering, eliminate the tape to patch and fix. Lay down mesh tape and implement a contemporary coat of drywall mud.

For slight puckering, use the corner of a drywall knife to raise the unfastened tape and implement a thin layer of all-function mud beneath the tape. Sleek the tape out and set a mild coat of drywall mud above the edge of the tape. 

For popcorn ceilings, use the same procedure, but be excess cautious to not injury the texture. 

If it’s a important crack or older ceiling, the popcorn ceiling texture will come off. In that case, you will require to use a coat of sprayed acoustic texture. 

You can acquire this material in a can, but it can be tough to utilize. Comply with the directions and observe on a piece of cardboard first. 

If you just can’t match the texture, phone a expert.


Today's Homeowner TV host Danny Lipford uses a dustless sander on drywall
Make a lot less of a mess when sanding drywall by working with a dustless sander. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Controlling Dust

What are some suggestions to lower dust when sanding drywall?

Mark: To lower the mess whilst sanding drywall, I mainly produce an oxygen tent. 

Utilizing 2-inch large masking tape,  I encase the spot with plastic. I start out taping at the ceiling, then carry it down the wall and to the ground. Almost everything is linked. 

Then, I create a doorway underneath to crawl into. When I’m completed sanding, I let the dust settle, dust myself off and crawl out the door.

Often convert off your HVAC system when sanding drywall. When the vents come on, the plastic and dust will blow around, and the dust will operate its way into your process. 

Last but not minimum, usually have on a good mask whilst you’re sanding. 


Stacks of drywall sheets
Recycling is excellent when you want to go green, but making use of discovered drywall is by no means a superior idea. (tanyss, Getty Pictures)

A Drywall Catastrophe

Some work you do not have to believe twice about turning down. 

Just one time, a builder approached Mark at a work website and requested him to look at a different home in the subdivision.

No huge deal, proper? Very well, erroneous. The complete residence was hung with parts of scrap drywall. Turns out, the property owners had been amassing the drywall from the dumpsters in the subdivision to establish the household. It didn’t issue if the drywall was a corner piece or angled, or even wet and damaged. 

“When I walked into that residence, it seemed like a 2,000-piece jigsaw puzzle,” Mark reported. 

The greatest piece of drywall in the residence was probably about 2×4 ft, and in some places, there had been gaps as large as an inch huge in areas. 

“That was a significant no from me,” Mark said.


Fresh drywall on a house interior
With a very little patience, you can put in drywall just as properly as a pro. (Spinkle, Getty Photographs Signature)

Mark’s Drywall Tips

  • If you are doing work near cabinets or baseboards, set tape/plastic down to guard people regions.
  • Make confident you’re making use of the appropriate drywall mud. Go with a inexperienced lid or black lid bucket. Use an all-intent mud and study the bucket. One kind of mud may possibly be fantastic for coating but not for taping.
  • Be affected person and work in phases. Permit the mud dry then add extra coats.
  • If you are wondering about transforming your home, test hanging the drywall your self. You really do not know what you cannot do till you test.

More Studying


Inquire a Dilemma! (Podcast)

Question a concern and we could remedy it on the “Modern House owner Podcast!” We also may well use it on our nationally syndicated radio broadcast or on todayshomeowner.com.

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