Written by: Mark Plante Published On: May 11, 2022
Of all of the renovations that I am currently doing in my basement, this is the one that had me the most worried. I have never worked with drywall, so I really didn’t know what I was doing. I have seen drywall work where the person installing it did not know what they were doing and it came out horrible.
I started this part by watching a ton of YouTube videos on what materials that I would need and the technique that I would need to use to get a really good, smooth look. The most important thing that I learned from the YouTube videos is to take my time and to use the proper tools.
TRANSPORTING THE MATERIALS
The actual most nerve wracking part was transporting the materials from Home Depot to my house. Drywall and plywood come in 4X8 sheets and I drive a Toyota Tacoma with a 5 foot bed, for some reason the math does not work out there. I found a hack that I did not know about for the bed of my truck. The Tacoma comes with slots in the bed where you can rest 2X6 boards across the bed so that the sheet goods are level in the bed. This way they are not damaged by lying on just one of the wheel wells. That is fine, but it still means that 3 feet of the product are going to be hanging out of the back of my truck.
I went to the Depot bought both drywall and some plywood. I knew if I had just bought the drywall, the end hanging off my truck would snap before I got home. The plywood was put on the bottom and the drywall was placed on top of it. To keep in secure in the bed of my truck I bought some ratchet straps to tighten it down. Whoever invented the ratchet tie down straps is my hero! The work great for so many things.
Luckily, the way that I loaded everything in my truck worked and I made it home without any damaged product. I don’t think that anyone behind me on the way home thought it was secure though… I did not have anyone within 100 feet behind me all the way home. I guess this is a good way to deter tailgaters.
INSTALLING THE DRYWALL
Once the everything was brought into the basement, installation was quite easy. I used 1½ inch drywall screws to attach the drywall to the 2X4’s and took my time not to drive them too deep as where the paper on the drywall broke. I did need help lifting and securing the top sheet to the studs, but once my wife and daughter helped me get this sheet in place, it lined up quite nicely. What helped is the width of the wall was exactly 8 feet. This mean that I did not need to cut the drywall vertically and it perfectly fit into position. These two sheets were the easy part. Now I had to be able to fit some pieces above the 15″ wide kick-wall that covers the foundation of my house… This was going to be interesting.
Installing the drywall above the kick-wall was more difficult than I thought it was going to be. As I had mentioned, the walls of my home are not square… far from it. They are up to 4-5° off in some areas of the wall which I thought I took into consideration when I framed the wall… I was wrong.
This 15 inch section of drywall took me several hours to complete. Multiple times I had to readjust the framing so that I would get a clean inside corner between the drywall and the existing wall. Eventually I figured out how to manipulate the framing so that I would have a nice surface that wouldn’t look like it was done by the local RIDOT when they patch potholes on the highway.
Taping and Mudding
To be honest, I was most worried about this part of the wall. If you do not properly mud and tape the wall all of your screws and tape will show like a sore thumb. I took extra long in this step and made sure that I was dotting all of my i’s and crossing all of my t’s. The extra time that I took on this step and using the proper products for sanding the joint compound that is used to cover the tape and screws was worth it. I had let the joint compound dry for over 24 hours and then proceeded to take my time making sure that the wall was smooth from properly sanding the areas that needed sanding. One note, sanding joint compound will make a mess… a HUGE mess. The joint compound will turn into a very fine dust that will go everywhere, I mean everywhere if the proper precautions are not taken. Before sanding down the joint compound make sure that you remove everything that you can from the area. If you are not able to remove something, make sure that it is properly covered. Cover doors with plastic and make sure that any windows are open to allow proper ventilation. While sanding, wear proper eye protection and a respirator is necessary for this job.
I actually did a really good job on this part. Much, much better than I thought that I was going to. Well, this part is done… Now onto the painting.
Priming and Painting
This is the part of the project that I was looking forward to. I love to paint! for some reason, I always have. I think that it is the thing that I am best at, so it is easy for me.
This part of the project is a little bigger than just the wall. In this part, I will not only be painting the new wall, but changing the rest of the walls in the room and hallway to a much lighter color. Due to this, I will need to patch, sand and prime all of the walls in the room.
The patching and sanding was not too difficult, a nail hole here a ding there, like I said, not too bad. The priming on the other hand was much more work than I thought it would be. I used Kilz2 for a primer and it took two full coats on the entire room to cover the old paint. I could not believe how quickly the walls sucked in the first coat of primer.
I let the primer cure for 24 hours and then I was able to paint the walls. This was not difficult at all. Actually quite easy because I did not have to worry about drops of paint on the floor due to the fact that I am going to be putting in a new floor.
Once the painting was done I was looking at the woodwork and doors that led down the hallway. The woodwork is a natural dark stain and it really clashed with the light blueish-gray paint that was now on the walls.
At this point I had to call my wife and daughter down to help me make a decision.
Should we leave the woodwork as is… or paint it white so that is will look better with the new paint color
Both my wife and daughter agreed with me that I should now paint the woodwork and doors white because it would look better.
I was not sure on how to paint the woodwork because it already had stain on it. So I went back to YouTube for some tips.
Luckily, the woodwork was never shellacked or polyurethaned, if they were, I would have had to sand and scuff up all of the woodwork and doors, including all of the details. With them only being stained, I just needed to prime them and then paint with a gloss door and trim paint.
Seeing that the woodwork and doors were never sealed, they sucked in the primer like crazy. I put two coats on and then another two coats of the door and trim paint. Looking at my work when I finished… I made the right call painting the doors and trim white. By doing this it has set me back a day from my schedule, but I think that it was well worth it.
The painting portion of this project is now completed and I think that it came out really well. Check out below and let us know what you think. The next project that I tackle is installing a brand new laminate floor. Check back and see how it came out.