Don’t be daunted by drywall: Tips for success

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(BPT) – Whether you’re finishing a basement or adding space, many home improvement projects require you to replace or add drywall. These days, many homeowners are considering hanging and finishing drywall themselves, giving their projects a complete do-it-yourself flair and helping to cut expenses.

As you plan your summer home improvement projects, consider adding the drywall portion of the task to your to-do list. Nearly 80 percent of homeowners who remodeled their home, or built a new one in the last two years, did all or a portion of the construction themselves, according to a survey by Priority Metrics Group.

Anitra Mecadon, host of DIY Network’s Mega Dens, is working with National Gypsum, the maker of Purple drywall products, to help homeowners install and finish their drywall during this summer’s home improvement season. She provides some easy tips to ensure their projects look professionally done when finished:

1. Choose the right drywall product to ensure your walls are built to last. For example, Purple products are fire resistant, provide unparalleled resistance to moisture, mold, mildew, scratches or dents, and can even help reduce the noise heard between rooms.

2. Measure the wall and ceiling space twice to determine the amount of drywall needed. You only get one cut, so double check your measurements. Using a utility knife, score the front of the drywall deep into the core.

3. Snap the board so it’s connected only by the back paper.

4. Cut the back paper so it separates, using a utility knife or keyhole saw to cut around electrical outlets, windows and doors.

5. Trim rough edges using a rasp or utility knife until the edges are clean and smooth.

6. Hang the drywall horizontally against the framing and attach using fasteners such as screws or nails. Remember to hang and attach ceilings first. Ask a friend for help.

7. Using joint compound and paper joint tape, apply a coat of joint compound to the joints and firmly embed the tape to ensure a good bond, then let it dry.

8. Apply joint compound over the taped joints and fastener heads – feathering out further with each coat – then let dry.

9. Using sandpaper, sand excess joint compound to create a smooth surface, making sure you don’t damage the drywall face paper.

10. Make sure the finished wall or ceiling is free from dirt, grease, dust or anything that might affect your primer or finished paint.

“If I can install or finish drywall, anyone can,” says Mecadon, who has hung plenty of drywall. “Whether you’re building a new home, adding a media room or remodeling your kitchen or bath this summer, Purple products give you what you need to get the most out of your walls.”

To learn more about drywall techniques and the benefits of using high-performance Purple products, visit

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