Hang Drywall Flawlessly: Corner Beads & Smooth Finishing

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Mastering the art of hanging drywall is a game-changer in any home renovation project. It’s the invisible foundation that sets the stage for a flawless finish. Whether you’re tackling a new build or refreshing an old room, getting the drywall right is crucial. In this guide, you’ll learn the essential steps to properly hang drywall, ensuring your walls are sturdy and seamless before moving on to the finishing touches.

You’ll discover how to choose the right type of drywall for your specific project and the techniques to securely fasten it to wall framing and ceiling joists. Plus, we’ll share insider tips on preparing for the taping and finishing process, so you can achieve that perfect, paint-ready surface. Let’s dive in and transform those bare frames into smooth, solid walls.

Tools and Materials

Essential Tools

When taking on the task of hanging drywall, a set of essential tools will make your project efficient and ensure a professional finish. Drywall lift, while optional for smaller tasks, becomes a necessity for ceilings or high walls. You’ll find that it not only makes the job more manageable but also reduces the risk of the drywall breaking from mishandling.

Coarse-thread drywall screws are vital for fastening drywall sheets to wood framing whereas fine-thread screws are for metal studs. Using an electric drill is common, but for the best results, a drywall screw gun is preferred as it’s designed specifically to set screws at the perfect depth without damaging the drywall.

Tool Purpose
Drywall Screw Gun For fast, accurate screw placement into drywall
Coarse-thread Screws To fasten sheets to wood framing (1 5/8″ for walls, 2″ for ceiling)
Fine-thread Screws To fasten sheets to metal studs
Drywall T-square For straight, accurate cuts
Utility Knife For scoring and cutting drywall sheets
Drywall Saw For making cutouts in drywall sheets
Measuring Tape To measure and mark drywall for cutting
Chalk Line To snap long, straight lines for cutting
Drywall Screw Setter Bit To countersink screw heads

Optional Tools

In addition to the essentials, some optional tools can upgrade your drywall hanging experience. A laser level can expedite the installation process, especially on larger projects, by ensuring precise alignment without constant measuring.

Hole saw bits are particularly useful when you need to create neat, circular cutouts for electrical outlets or piping — a task that’s more challenging with just a drywall saw.

A drywall square aids in achieving those perfect, straight cuts, going further than a regular metal yardstick.

Tool Purpose
Laser Level For precise alignment and leveling
Hole Saw Bits For creating clean circular cutouts


In the world of drywall, the right materials are just as crucial as the tools used. You’ll most likely be using 4 x 8 UltraLight Sheetrock, a popular choice for its manageable weight and durability.

Drywall tape, with paper tape being the most preferred, is essential for reinforcing the joints between sheets, giving you that smooth, uninterrupted surface post-finishing.

Drywall setting compounds, often referred to as ‘mud’, are used in conjunction with the tape to fill in screw holes, seams, and any imperfections, forging a seamless canvas for painting or wallpapering. And lastly, a topcoat of drywall mud for that final touch, rejuvenating your walls into a pristine state ready for decoration.

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Material Use
UltraLight Sheetrock Base material for walls and ceilings
Drywall Tape For joint reinforcement
Drywall Mud To fill and smooth over seams, holes, and imperfections
Topcoat Final layer for a polished finish

With this comprehensive toolkit and material set, you’re well-equipped to create walls that are not only structurally sound but also aesthetically flawless.

Preparing the Workspace

When hanging drywall, setting up your workspace correctly is as critical as the installation itself. You’ll need a clear, accessible area and precise measurements to ensure a job well done. Let’s delve into the key preparatory steps.

Measuring and Marking

Accuracy is paramount when it comes to drywall installation. Before you even think about lifting a panel into place, you’ve got to get your measurements spot on. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Calculate Drywall Quantity: Take the total square footage of your walls and ceilings and divide by 32, the area of a 4×8-foot sheet. Always purchase an extra sheet or two per room to account for any mistakes or mishaps.
  • Precise Diagrams: Sit down with your tape measure and a notepad. Sketch out the dimensions of each wall and ceiling where drywall will be applied. Detail out each measurement, corner to corner, and ensure consistency by measuring widths at various points along the length.
  • Marking for Cutouts: Carefully transfer measurements to your drywall sheets, marking out where cuts need to be made for electrical boxes and fixtures.

Clearing the Area

A clutter-free space enhances safety and efficiency. Before unwrapping the first sheet of drywall:

  • Shift Furniture: Remove all furniture or obstructions from the room, leaving yourself ample space to maneuver the large sheets.
  • Protective Measures: Shield your flooring with drop cloths or ram board to prevent damage from tools, drywall sheets, and debris.
  • Electrical Safety: Ensure all electrical cables are not exposed to where screws or nails will be driven. Use nail plates to protect wires or plumbing close to the edge of the studs.

Preparing the Walls

The walls themselves need to be as ready as you are:

  • Stud Inspection: Verify that each stud is securely in place and that none are bowed or misaligned, as this could disrupt the smooth finish of your drywall.
  • Metal Shields Installation: When wires or pipes are closer than 3/4 inches to a stud edge, attach a nail plate to shield them from accidental punctures.
  • Clean Surfaces: Sweep the walls to remove dust or debris that could interfere with the adhesion of drywall tape or mud.

Remember, a well-organized, meticulous approach to preparing your workspace paves the way for a smoother installation process. Embrace each step of the preparation to ensure the most flawless finish for your drywall installation.

Installing the Drywall

Proper installation is key to ensuring that the drywall looks smooth and finished. In the sections below, you’ll find out how to cut, hang, and secure drywall effectively, as well as how to manage corners and edges for a professional look.

Cutting the Drywall

Cutting drywall accurately is essential for a snug fit between panels. Here’s the process:

  • Score the front side of the drywall using a sharp utility knife and a straightedge, cutting just through the paper.
  • Snap the panel along the scored line. For a complete separation, run the knife along the backside paper.
  • Use a drywall saw for irregular cuts, applying quick, short strokes.
  • Make pre-cuts for electrical outlets or switches before mounting the drywall sheet to the wall.

Accuracy is paramount; double-check your measurements to avoid wasted materials.

Hanging the First Sheet

Begin by hanging the first sheet horizontally and follow these steps:

  • Secure the panel with a screw at the center, ensuring it hits a stud.
  • Measure 16 inches to the left and right, marking each stud’s position.
  • Follow the marks with screws to attach the drywall firmly in place.

The initial sheet serves as a guide for the rest, so it’s vital to align it correctly.

Securing the Drywall

Use screws rather than nails to secure the drywall because screws provide better holding power. To secure the sheets:

  • Space screws about 16 inches apart along the studs.
  • Drive screws until the head is slightly dimpled without breaking the surface paper.
  • Avoid overtightening which can compromise the drywall integrity.

Ensure each panel is fastened properly, minimizing the risk of future issues such as nail pops.

Dealing with Corners and Edges

Corners and edges can be tricky, but with the right approach, they’ll look seamless:

  • For inside corners, use a drywall knife to push the tape into the corner.
  • Outside corners require metal or plastic corner beads for protection and a crisp edge.
  • Apply joint compound smoothly, sanding between coats for a polished appearance.

Managing these areas attentively is critical for a professional-grade finish.

Hanging the Remaining Sheets

Continue hanging the rest of your drywall with the same meticulous method:

  • Align and secure each sheet horizontally, following the stud marks.
  • Maintain a gap of about ¼ inch at the bottom to avoid buckling from floor expansion.
  • Stagger vertical seams to add strength to the installation.

Remember, uniformity and precision during this step ensure a smooth taping and mudding process later on.

By following these guidelines, you’ll have a well-installed drywall ready for the final finishing touches.

Taping and Mudding

Applying the Tape

Once you’ve installed your drywall, it’s time to begin the taping and mudding process. Taping is crucial for concealing joints between drywall sheets and preventing cracks in the finished walls. Start by applying a thin layer of drywall mud along the seams. Precut your drywall tape to the required length before you begin – this makes the application smoother and decreases the chance of mistakes.

Here’s how you’ll apply it:

  • Lay the tape over the seam, pressing it firmly into the mud.
  • Use a drywall knife to smooth out the tape, ensuring it adheres properly without any bubbles or creases.
  • Carefully wipe away any excess mud.

Remember, paper tape is often preferred over other types for its strength and ease of use.

Applying the First Coat of Mud

The first coat of mud is also known as the bedding coat. Apply a liberal amount making sure that it’s slightly thinner than normal; this ensures a good bond with the tape. Don’t strive for perfection with the first coat; focus on good coverage.

Key points for the first coat:

  • Cover the seam completely with mud.
  • Apply the tape and flatten it using a 6- or 8-inch drywall putty knife.
  • Smooth out any excess mud to leave a flat surface.

Be patient – don’t rush this step. Let the first coat dry completely before moving onto the next phase.

Sanding and Applying Subsequent Coats

Once the first coat has dried thoroughly, you’re ready for sanding. Using medium grit sandpaper, sand the dried mud smoothly, being careful not to scuff the paper surface of the drywall.

After sanding, apply additional coats:

  • Use fine grit sandpaper for finishing touches.
  • Allow each coat to dry fully before applying the next.
  • Patience is key, numerous thin coats will yield better results than a few thick ones.

It’s advised to use pink mud that changes to white upon drying, indicating readiness for the next layer. Remember to never apply mud over wet tape – always wait at least 24 hours between coats, barring the use of fast-drying ‘hot mud’.

By religiously following these steps, you ensure a smooth, professional-quality wall surface, ready for priming and painting.

Finishing Touches in Drywall Installation

Once you’ve secured your drywall panels, the next stages will focus on refining your work to achieve a seamless and professional quality finish. Pay close attention to the details here – the success of your drywall installation lies in the precision of the finishing touches.

Installing Corner Beads

Corner beads are critical for achieving crisp, clean lines at the edges of your walls. They reinforce the drywall, making corners more durable and less prone to cracking or damage.

Patching Any Imperfections

Despite your best efforts, imperfections can appear during the drywall installation process. This might include indentations, small holes, or rough patches. Screening the mud smoothly across joints and dimples is essential for a flawless finish.

Sanding and Smoothing

The final step in the drywall process is sanding. This step will make all the difference between a job that looks good enough and one that looks truly professional.

home renovation of an old room

Installing drywall is a task not to be taken lightly requiring plenty of tools, materials, and skill. The experts at Honest Renovations are true professionals with experience in drywall and other renovations who would be happy to help you with your project.


Benefits Of Secondary Suites

Second suite with full kitchen in upscale Hamilton home

Secondary suites are gaining in popularity, especially in these times where the real estate market has completely blown up. For those who have been pondering about adding a secondary suite to their home, we’re here to tell you to stop second-guessing your decision. In this article, we’ll go over what a secondary suite is, the benefits of secondary suites, and how to add one to your property.

What Are Secondary Suites?

A secondary suite is an additional living space to the primary residence that has its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, electricity, water, etc. Essentially, it’s like a legal apartment on your property. They’re also referred to as an “accessory” with the most popular types being located:

  • Above a detached garage
  • In the basement
  • On the main floor of a single-family home
  • Attached to the single-family home
  • In a guest house
  • In a laneway house

Secondary suites gained popularity in Canada in the 19th century, specifically during The Great Depression (also referred to as the Dirty Thirties) and following WWII. It was a way to deal with the housing shortage which is still happening to this day.

Why Add A Secondary Suite?


There are many reasons that homeowners and real estate investors look into secondary suites, including:

Assisting With The Housing Shortage

As mentioned above, the housing crisis in Canada is adding up. Big cities are seeing a shortage of homes for families, especially because of the increasing costs of supplies which, in turn, affects housing affordability.

Additional Income

If you’re looking for some extra fixed income per month, you can rent out your secondary suite to a tenant/tenants. While this responsibility comes with being a landlord, becoming a real estate investor has its many perks, one of those being that you can deduct those expenses from your taxes each year. Receiving regular rental income will allow you to pay off your mortgage faster, car payments, student debt, etc.

Increase Property Value

Resale value for properties with secondary suites is also significantly higher. Many other real estate investors, whether beginner or experienced, will be interested in rental income or being able to provide a place to live for their in-laws.

More Affordable For Renters

Secondary suites are known as being more affordable for renters, especially if it’s a basement suite. This can be a great opportunity for you to target tenants of lower-income families, single tenants, students, or renters looking for their first apartment.

Enhances The Community

By adding a secondary suite, you can strengthen your community by allowing young families to send their children to school, allow seniors to live near their children and grandchildren, improve diversity, and also add much-needed housing options.

Safe Option For Ageing Parents

An in-law suite is very common for families with traditions of living on the same property, or for homeowners with ageing parents who are looking to downsize and be closer to their family. In-law suites can also improve security, provide extra support during times where you may need a last-minute babysitter, and even provide a sense of comfort.


Contact A Professional Renovation Company

If you’re a homeowner considering undergoing construction to add a secondary suite to your existing property, don’t try to tackle the project yourself. That can be costly and you may run into trouble when it comes to understanding the laws in your specific city, especially because you may require a zoning change. Luckily, in Ontario, there are multiple programs to assist homeowners with improving or building secondary suites, but they will vary per province and city.

You don’t need the added stress. Contact our renovation experts at Honest Renovations in Hamilton today. You can feel rest assured knowing that the development of your secondary suite is well taken care of by our team of experienced, trustworthy, and honest professionals. If you still have questions about whether or not it’s the best option for you, we’d be more than happy to answer any of your questions and going over the many benefits that secondary suites hold for you and your family.

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How to Repair Screw Holes in Drywall

Female home contractor drilling screw holes in drywall

Whether you have moved into a new home or are renovating your current house, you may notice that there are holes in the drywall. A drywall hole can be caused by hanging a picture, shelf or another wall hanging using nails or screws and wall anchors. Drywall screws can also cause holes that should be covered. Even a small hole can be an eyesore and make your wall vulnerable to cracks, dents or further damage. Honest Renovations can guide you through all of the steps you need to follow to patch drywall holes quickly and easily.

What You Will Need:

  • Putty knife or 4-inch drywall knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Paper towels
  • Joint compound / Drywall patching compound
  • Sandpaper
  • Wall paint

Filling Holes Caused By Drywall Screws

a man with a screwdriver in his hand fastens drywall to the wall

1: Inspect The Area

The first step in a drywall patch is to assess the area and plan your next steps. Small holes caused by a nail, push-pin or screw are relatively easy to repair. Large screw holes in drywall left by drywall screws take longer to fix but will look just like new after everything is done.

2: Cut Any Loose Face Paper

If you notice that there is a fraying happening around the screw holes, that is the face paper of your drywall that has frayed or ripped. No new compound can be spread over this area because the paper will rip further and settle into the compound. This will cause your wall to look uneven, even after you have taken the time to fix it.

Carefully trim the paper’s edges with a utility knife. If there are tears from inside the wall, use a screwdriver or nail to push them back into the holes in the wall. This will work for any difficult-to-cut pieces. If you are filling a small nail hole and don’t see any tearing, skip to the next step.

3: Fill The Drywall Knife With Joint Compound

Next, dip the edge of the putty knife into the joint compound (also called mud). The compound will be thick and look almost like putty. There should be a small amount of mud on the edge of the knife; it’ll be just enough to patch the hole but not enough to leave a thick layer on the wall’s surface. If you fear that you have too much on your knife, get a paper towel or cloth and use it to wipe away any extras.

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4: Apply 1-2 Coats and Let It Dry

After you have prepared your knife, it is time to fill the hole! Using the putty knife, hold it at an angle to the wall and with the compound side facing the wall. Press the front edge of the knife to the wall and slowly drag it across the hole. You will smooth the patching compound across the hole and patch it. Make sure not to get the mud on any nearby wood or other larger areas because it can crack and dry.

After, check that the spackle has filled the hole, then do a second pass with the knife at a different angle. Continue to do this until the hole is filled, then let the first coat dry for at least one hour before going back to apply a second coat. It is important to note that 2-inch or larger holes in drywall will typically need at least one layer of compound to patch it correctly. Remember to let each layer dry thoroughly, then continue to fill it with mud.

5: Sand

After the mud is dry, use a piece of sandpaper to sand the wall. Sanding will help fix any uneven spots on the wall’s surface and ensure that it is smooth. We recommend that you use a 220 grit piece of sandpaper because it will finely sand down the mud.

6: Paint

After sanding the area, dust it off and apply a coat of paint. If you didn’t just install drywall and were fixing a preexisting wall, make sure that your new coat of paint will match the old one.

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