Home Repair Tips – Finishing Walls

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Remodeling    by: ITC

Walls are the first thing anyone entering your home will see. They should be kept clean and in good repair.

There are many ways to finish walls. Probably the most common is painting. Paint preserves and beautifies many objects. It protects metal from rust, wood from mildew and plastics from sun damage. Paint also makes them easier to clean.

There are many types of wall coverings. Paper, plastics, and fabrics are some. Wall coverings can be prepasted and pretrimmed. Some are washable; and some are even treated for easy removal at a later date.

Paneling is easy to care for, and there are many different types to choose from.

Whatever type of wall finish you use, the job should be clean and neat. You should also know some of the chemistry of the materials and surfaces you are working with—what will mix and what may explode.

Painters will always have work. Even if the perfect paint—one that never wears out—is discovered, there will always be someone who doesn’t like the color!

Drywall is soft. It is best held in place with large headed drywall nails, screws or staples.

To prevent nails and seams from showing, nails are dented into the walls. The dents are then filled with drywall cement. Then you cover the seams with drywall tape and plaster over with drywall cement.

Finishing drywall seams. Apply compound over the seams and nail impressions. Work the tape into this compound. Smooth over, allow to dry, and sand.

In many modern houses, interiors are finished with drywall. Drywall normally comes in sheets, 4′ x 8′, 4′ x 10′, or 4′ x 12′. It is usually 5/16, 3/8, 1/2 or 5/8 inch thick. The most common size is 3/8 inch thick 4′ x 8′.

Drywall sheets are nailed to the house joists with large headed nails, screws, or staples. Nails are driven so that a small dent is made in the drywall. This depression is then filled with a type of cement and covered over with tape

There are three basic ways to finish drywall:

• Painting

• Wallpapering

• Paneling

You may apply paint directly to drywall. New drywall usually takes two coats: one to seal it and one to present an even, finished surface.

Wallpaper is becoming popular again. It comes in rolls and is applied directly to the drywall. Before it will stick, the drywall must be prepared with a glue-like coating of sizing. The trick in applying wallpaper is to avoid bubbles and match the edges and the pattern precisely.

Paneling is glued or nailed directly onto the drywall. Panels may be veneer, wallboard, imitation masonry, or some other material.

Moldings and baseboards finish off walls and ceilings. In older homes they are always made of wood. Most new molding and baseboard is made of synthetic materials which are more flexible and less likely to crack when nailed into place.

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