drywall trade

Mastering Drywall: A Comprehensive Guide

Foreword by Ian Thompson, Editor

Plasterboard, Gypsum board, Sheetrock, Gypsum panel, and Ceiling board are just a few names used for Drywall, likely the most commonly used interior lining in houses worldwide. Whether you love it or loathe it, it’s indisputable that it’s everywhere. Personally, I’m not a big fan for several reasons. Corners can break off easily, it’s prone to damage, and becomes almost impossible to repair once wet.

Drywall is also susceptible to mold and mildew, can cause respiratory issues for installers during cutting, and lacks character. Also, its manufacturing process consumes a significant amount of energy. Often, a large portion of it ends up in landfills when buildings are renovated or demolished. While it’s technically possible to recycle drywall, this process is not easy, especially if the material has been painted with certain types of paint. Therefore, in my view, it can’t be considered a truly sustainable product.

On the plus side, some varieties provide good fire resistance and sound insulation, and it can be affordable, depending on where you purchase it. Prices vary considerably from country to country, company to company. The biggest plus? It’s fairly easy to install.

In this new video, Matt Risinger goes behind the scenes with drywall contractor Lydia Crowder for an immersive exploration of the drywall trade. Based in the beautiful wilds of Bozeman, Montana, Lydia shares her vast experience navigating the daily challenges and opportunities of high-stakes residential drywall projects.

Lydia breaks down drywall installation and finishing and the nuances of each discipline – from the crucial considerations of board hanging to the intricate art of seamless finish work.

You’ll gain a ground-level view of critical techniques such as optimizing schedules for blown insulation, understanding fire-rating requirements, and the importance of precise drywall-trim carpenter workflow. These hard-earned insights could make or break your next job.

But the craft extends well beyond the job site. We go hands-on with Lydia, exploring the nuanced science of drywall mud applications (stopping) from green taping to blue top coats. Discover game-changing tips on consistency, mixing, and proper installation that will level up your finished product.

Lydia also shares her passion for elevating the trades through educational initiatives like Sashco’s teacher resources and the class pack program. This is your inside look at investing in the next generation of drywall professionals.

Over to Matt and Lydia.

Mastering Drywall: A Comprehensive Guide

Video Transcript

All right my friends, welcome back to another episode of Talking Trades. From Texas to Bozeman, Montana, I got a really fun episode for you today. We’re going to be visiting Lydia Crowder, also known as Drywall Shorty. Lydia and her husband Ryan are drywall contractors here outside of Bozeman, and we’re going to be spending the next two days with Lydia.

What do they do for a living? What’s it like? What’s the opportunity for people in the trade? We’re going to have a lot of fun and see if I can grab it. I actually brought some tools with me that either Lydia is going to think “oh this is great” or she’s going to say “what a dork.” We shall see. Talking Trades or Talking Drywall, let’s get going.

Build original series hosted by Matt Risinger, Talking Trades, brought to you by Front Door and Sashco. [Music]

Hey Lydia, good morning, how’s it going? Good to see you. I’m doing great. Good. Hey, you ready to go? I brought some tools, you know, as a good apprentice, I figured I need to bring some tools. I’m a little shy though that these are brand new and all stickered up. They are, they are very shiny. We definitely need to get some mud on those. We need to get some mud on you, yeah.

I’m looking a little clean in my all black today, aren’t I? Yeah you are, was it a mistake wearing all black? Possibly cuz, uh, most of what you work with tends to be white, isn’t it? It is. I, I think wearing black though, you know, we should, we should probably get a good before and after of me today.

Absolutely, of of clean and all black, and we’ll see what I look like at the end of the day working with you. I know that’ll be interesting. I definitely think you’re going to be a little dirty. I think so. What are we doing today?

So we’re going to go ahead, we’re going to start working on this house. It’s an old friend’s house that’s alright. Let’s have a look.

All right Lydia, what do you got going on here? Well, this is a pretty typical job for us. It’s just my husband and I, and you know, once the drywall board is hung, we come in and we start finishing.

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Okay, so you guys specialize in finishing then, as a drywall contractor? Right, we do. Because there’s different types of drywall contractors. There are those that hang, there are those that finish, and then there are those that hang and finish. And then there’s actually plaster contractors also.

Oh my gosh, there’s a lot of different options in this industry, isn’t there? There are, it’s crazy. So walk me through the process. Pretend like I’ve never been in a house in this phase before. What are we looking at here?

So the drywall contractor comes in after all of the rough stuff is done. So you’ve got your framing done, you’ve got your insulation in, you’ve got your plumbing, your electrical, all of those things need to be rough. They need to be inspected and you need to make sure that you’re okay to get these walls closed up.

Yep, insulation contractors finish too, yes. And then what happens after that?

Well after that, then we put the boards up. But the only thing that you can’t do is you can’t blow in the lid insulation. You have to wait until the drywall, until the ceiling boards are up, then you can blow in your lid. But all these walls need to be done. Like you don’t want to have the electrician come back in and be like “Oh no, I got to run wires through all of this” because then that means you’re cutting into the stuff.

Got it. And then talk to me about drywall sizes, what are we seeing here on the wall?

Yeah absolutely, so these are 4 feet wide and 12 feet long. It also comes in 4 feet by 8 feet, and then it also comes in 5 feet and 8 feet and 12 feet.

Okay, so this little strip here means that we’re probably not, an, we’re taller than an 8 foot ceiling, we are cuz you got a full 4 foot and a full 4 foot and that’s this belly band in the center is to make up the difference in ceiling height.

Exactly, so we call these 4 foot boards, 48s. And then the 5 foots are 54s. So if they had hung a 54 in here, they would would have had to rip every board down to get those two to fit. So typically 54s are on 9 feet and above, and then the 48s are on 8 feet and, well you know, this is probably about 8 foot three or so.

Well, not even that probably like 8 foot one, two, just a little bit high, yeah. So it’s just kind of a funky height, being an old house that they’ve remodeled, yeah remodel project.

Yep. And then so after, so there’s a separate uh, hanging contractor that hung the boards, screwed it in, got it all secured, and then you and Ryan take over at that point then?

Right, yep exactly. But some crews actually do everything together. It really just depends on kind of your market, and do you like hanging? And a lot of finishers like to hang their own board, that’s very common because they know the quality of the hang, which then helps the quality of the finish.

Got it, and that’s really important because if you have a hanger that’s really bad, it’s going to make it really hard for you to finish on the end. So hangers are as important as the finishers are, yeah makes sense.

Now talk me through the steps and the number of of days that you’re in this project, to go from this kind of basic board that we’re seeing here that it looks like maybe has the first stage done, to your walking away and you’re ready to hand it off to the painters or to the next phase of construction?

Absolutely, so obviously the hangers come in and hang the board. Depending on your code, will also depend on how many screws you have. So sometimes, and what’s really common here are shear walls. So your screw pattern is going to be way different for a shear wall. So it’s really important you’re looking at plans, you’re making sure that you have the right amount of screws and stuff because we also have screw inspections, depending on what part of the area you’re in.

Yeah and this actually adds structural rigidity to the house too, when the wind blows that drywall on the inside is keeping that house from moving too.

Exactly, yes. And multi-family, you know there’s different board widths, um, there’s different board thicknesses also. So 5/8, half inch, and a quarter. So depending on what you’re doing will also depend on what size board you’re hanging.

Got it, so for multi-fam or even if the client just chooses, you’ll use 5/8s for the fire protection, usually 5/8 is also in garages and any sort of firewalls. So you know, hanging in itself seems pretty simple, like Bam Bam, you just put the sheets up, but there is actually a lot more that goes into it.

Yeah and you need to know math too, you need to be able to figure out, you know, where are your studs? Are you need to figure out where your joists are, how the hanging is? They also need to shim because sometimes things aren’t even, so there’s cardboard shims, wood shims, all sorts of things that they can do to help.

Yeah and you also, when you’re hanging, correct if I’m wrong, but you need to think about where am I going to put cut edges versus factory edges cuz that factory edge is tapered and so we want to see two tapered edges come together so that when we put that mud on those joints, that we’re actually ending up with a smooth finish through there?

Right, absolutely. So when we look at this, you can see we have our tape on. So this tape is over the flat and we call it a flat because it’s two beveled edges coming together. So the board has a beveled side and then the other beveled side is up on that angle, and then it has a factory edge as we call it, which is just the rough edge from the factory where the board is cut.

Got it, those factory edges are not beveled, so where those two edges come together that aren’t beveled are called butt joints because essentially the board is butted together.

Makes sense, the hangers really do try to leave us the best that they can. And it’s, you can tell when you have a good hanging crew because it helps us on the end.

Got it, so how many days into this job are you at this point already?

Uh, one day.

Okay, so you’ve just done this first step which is called taping, correct?

Yep, that’s correct. So what we do first is we come in and we actually pre-fill everything. So we take our easy sand or hot mud, and then we pre-fill all of our butt joints and we pre-fill anything that’s broken or gappy. And it’s really important that you’re doing that because you’re setting yourself up for success in the later stages.

So like say there was a big piece of broken rock here and we just taped right over it, it’s going to be really hollow, it’s not going to tape well, you have possibility of cracking. So you want to get everything as smooth, level as you can before you move on to the flat.

That’s funny, I, you know, I think builders, general public, they don’t think about all the differences. I mean there’s, I’ve seen multiple colors of mud, there’s different varieties, there’s a lot that goes into this that you’ve learned over the years as you’ve, uh, as you kind of honed your craft.

And I wonder now that you’ve been doing this two decades, if you and Ryan are quite a bit faster and uh, smoother on your jobs with better finishes than you were in the first couple years you were in the trade?

Oh absolutely, and you know the beautiful thing about drywall is, and finishing, is there’s really no limit to where your skills can go. Like I still learned things, I learned things from other people. I’m like “oh I didn’t, why didn’t I think about doing it that way?”

Or like “man that was a clever way to do that” or “that was smart” or like there’s always ways to improve and you can always try different things. And so much of your outcome is based off of you and what you can do.

Yeah and there’s some personal preference too, right, in terms of uh, you know there’s probably 20 different corner beads that you could be using on the job with pluses and minuses of each, different cost ranges. There’s a lot that goes into this trade.

There’s a ton. And you know, even different crews have different ways that they tape. So we do butts and then we do flats and then we do angles. Some crews do angles and then butts and then flats. And then some crews do, they tape their butts in their flats and then they tape their angles on their skim coat.

Yeah like it’s, all okay, and that’s the beautiful thing about it, it’s like you can do it whichever way works the best for you. Just you know, you want your quality there, the the steps to get there in what order are important, but not as important sometimes, you know.

What else I was just thinking, this is a little bit off topic, but you know every house, every remodel, every apartment, every place where someone lives, your trade is involved with that? Right, whether that house is 20 years old and getting remodeled like this is, or maybe 40 years old and getting remodeled, or whether it’s brand new construction, we’re always going to need people in the drywall trade to get those houses that next stage of construction.

Yeah, I think it’s really kind of fascinating when you start looking at like, every, everything you walk into has drywall. I mean yeah, you’ll have an accent wall here or there or maybe some brick or some wood, but it’s probably all backed with drywall. I’m telling you right now and it’s, it’s huge. It is a huge industry and yet there’s so many different varieties of drywall and finishes for your trade.

Uh, you know when I worked East Coast it was almost all smooth. Uh, there are some places in the country that are all plaster. And we’ll talk about the differences between drywall and plaster. Uh, there’s some texture parts of the country where all they do is blow texture, uh, maybe Orange Peel or some other varieties. What, what’s common for you here in Montana in terms of the finished output?

Yeah definitely, so this job right here, so it’s taped right now and then we’re going to top it, as we call it. So all of these seams will get a coat of mud on them.

Okay, so we’re going to top today which is is taking this to the next layer of finishing, yep exactly. So we’ll run these with a 10, so all of the, the tape we’ll get a coat.

Okay, I don’t have, I, I didn’t buy a 10, I only brought an eight.

That’s fine, that’ll still work too, some people do an eight, some people do a 10, like I said.

Okay, so we’re going to, we’re going to put that coat of mud on here with this thicker knife, whereas you use the joint knife, let’s say, on that first coat, right?

That’s about the right width, isn’t it?

Yep, you can wipe your tape with that or you can wipe with an eight. I actually wipe my tape with an eight.

Okay, so as you can tell, you have a nice bed here. The most important thing really is to make sure it’s in the bevel too, it’s very important.

Got it, and we’re also looking for that flat finish when we’re all done, right?

Yes exactly, yeah. So and this one’s a little bit different because we do have this belly band in here, so this is going to take some more floating and some more work on.

Yeah, I can see you using that wider knife in the center section maybe to get that, yep exactly.

Yeah so you’ll split it, you know, you can do an eight and an eight and then you’ll probably wind up running like a full 12 or even a 12 and a 12 cuz these can be a little tricky to get rid of. But I’d rather have it here than down on the bottom because nobody wants to be crawling around on their knees all day.

Makes sense. Taping that joint, okay. So tape’s done, we’re going to do the top coat today. And I don’t see any corner beads on like this window here.

Yeah uh, there’s no trim on this window, you guys are doing the trim, right?

Yes, we are. So the hanger put the the uh, half inch drywall on the jam and the sill and the head, yep. And then you guys are going to come in and put some kind of corner bead here, I’m assuming?

Right, yeah exactly. So we’re going to be using a tape on product, it’s the no coat corner bead. So we’re just going to go ahead and, you know what’s interesting is a lot of the times the dry wallers are also your trim carpenters.

So you got to think here, you’re not going to have any trim going on these windows, we’re going to be leaving this, it’s finished. So it’s really important that number one, we do a good job.

Number two, that the framers set up the reveal correctly because there’s only so much we can do. And you know, and then the hangers, um, you know you can see there looks like they did a double sheet right there, you see that top? So they, you can see two layers here.

Yep.

And they did that to keep the reveal consistent around the window.

Exactly, yep, yeah so that, that, you know, that sheet just needed to come down just a little bit more so the hangers set us, were thinking.

Yeah they were thinking about that, yeah exactly. So when they were hanging, they could tell that’s not going to, there is probably a gap in the window or so, and we call that a drywall return, right?

Yep, that’s where, as some houses have a trim return. So this sheet would be gone, there would be no corner bead, and the drywall would stop here and the finished carpenter would come.

Sometimes what we do too is on some of the very high-end, modern ones, we’ll do a full wrap but then they actually put a sill on the very bottom. But just on that bottom piece, so then it looks all seamless and all drywall except for a little wood sill on the very bottom.

Got it, and that, those are tricky, cuz you really have to make sure your reveal is like perfect.

Yeah, yeah, interesting. Yeah, I’m curious, uh, Lydia, I’m on the job, it’s quiet right now. We don’t have any music going, we don’t have tools out yet, we’re still getting, getting prepped and started for the day. What are the things you like about this job?

Uh, what are the things that you’re like “you know after doing this for two decades. I really enjoy these three things about the job so like one of my favorite things is like turn on your favorite music you like, jump on your stilts and you coat corner bead and when you get good at it, it’s um, it’s almost therapeutic, honestly like you can just like be singing along, you’re just you know spreading mud, it looks beautiful, you’re like “dang that’s good.”

You know, you have like a million plus subscribers on Instagram and TikTok and YouTube, and I, I’m one of them. I’ll never do drywall myself frankly, maybe today I will, but I know that I’m not skilled at it. I would hire a professional. But yet, I love watching your videos, it feels like a very satisfying trade where you show up to the job and it’s rough framing, you can see through the walls. Uh, it feels like it’s under construction, and yet when you’re done with this project, you leave it, feels like a house, it’s totally different.

I bet your clients come in and they’re like “oh my gosh, the house looks amazing, amazing, it looks so much bigger.” I hear that all the time, all the time. Or it’s like you know, they’re kind of at that stage and maybe they’ve had some issues, or maybe they’re like “I really want to be building a house, like I don’t know if if this wall is going to look good there.”

And then like they come in and the drywall’s up and they’re like “oh my God, I love it, it actually feels like a house now, you know it’s, it’s everything’s enclosed, they can really start envisioning themselves having their family over, Thanksgiving, Christmas, all of those beautiful things in the space.”

It’s funny, I think I think my clients are, over the years when they finish up the drywall phase, feel like “oh we’re on the downhill, we’re almost done, all we got to do is floors and tile and cabinets and I’m moving in.” You’re like “well hold on there tiger, we got, we got a little bit more to do.” But that’s got to be a satisfying part of your job is showing up to this Rough House on day one, and on this job, maybe five days later you’re finished, you’re turning it over to the next trade.

Yeah and I think sometimes it’s either people think it’s going to get done super fast or they are like “oh wow you’re done already?” So there’s like no in between, it’s like “oh so you guys going to be done tomorrow?” And it’s like “no no, not you know.”

Or we get done in four days and they’re like “oh my gosh, wow, I thought I was going to take you like three weeks.” So it really is, it’s funny you kind of, like there’s, there’s a lot of misconceptions about drywall I think. So some people think it’s very labor intensive and some people think you just come and slap some stuff on and then walk out and you’re done.

Yeah it is very labor intensive. How many days will you be on this job total?

Um, we’ll probably be on this job about 5 days. So we’ll, we got our tape on, so then we’ll top and get our corner bead installed today. Um, we’ll also hit all the screws and then we’ll do a rough sand, and then we’ll come back and we’ll do everything all over again, coat it all again, and then we’ll sand again. And then we’re going to do texture. So what’s very common here is a swirl texture. So we spray on very thin mud through a Speedflo, does it look like an airless sprayer?

Yeah it’s a big, big airless sprayer, it’s actually a gas powered motor, need to run outside. Yeah so during the winter we have to be careful and make sure it doesn’t freeze, and we also have to make sure the mud doesn’t freeze.

So it’ll go outside, we have a bunch of hose, we have the big like feed buckets like you use for like livestock. So we have big buckets like that, about four boxes per bucket, mix it up with a bunch of water, throw the sprayer in there, um, spray a very thin layer. And then we have big pull trowels.

Oh wow, so every surface or every inch of this gets touched, get touched with a trowel?

Oh wow. So and then that’s the finished coat, there’s no sanding after that, right?

There’s a little bit, so you can come in and you can crisp up your angles, usually come back and like, santge your corner bead so it’s real nice and flat. So you can get some overlap, sometimes there’s drips, um, like it’ll drip out of an outlet or something like that. So it’s a little bit of tidying up after, just to make sure it looks. But typically spray days are dirtiest day in terms of getting coated that day.

Absolutely, they are the dirtiest and they’re also the hardest because we have to close everything up, everything gets masked, doors get shut, um, you’re spraying a very wet mud. You get a workout in that day, don’t you? Uh, it’s like going into a wet sauna and working out for like six hours with no break. And we usually don’t eat on those days either cuz it’s is too hot.

Yeah I bet you get a serious good night’s rest after that day.

Oh yeah, yeah we usually need like a day to recoup after those, very labor intensive. That actually is a great question. I mean do, do you typically get, uh, is it usually every Monday through Friday you’re working? Does does that vary, where some weeks uh you might have two or 3 days off and other weeks you’re working six days in a row? What does your work schedule look like?

Yeah so especially here things are can be a little seasonal. So during the summer we are slammed, like I can’t even tell you the amount of July 4ths that I’ve worked. It’s very unusual for us to have any kind of downtime in the summer.

So typically summer, I mean, I’ve been super confused on what’s up, what’s down, what day the week it is lately cuz it’s just work, work, work, work, work. You’re making the bulk of your year’s wages uh in the summer months, yes, here in a snowy climate like.

Yeah and it’s, it’s really non-common for like January and February to be slow, especially February, especially if the builders haven’t planned out and they have not poured their foundations. They can’t really pour in the winter because it’s too cold.

So if they’re not getting themselves prepared, then we’re, you know, we could be sitting and it’s, it’s not uncommon to, you know, have a week or two off in February just because, especially if it’s super cold too, if it’s like -30 and there’s no heat, it’s really hard, you can’t start. Yeah you can’t do anything cuz all this is waterbased, absolutely.

And drywall is really, temperatures and a controlled environment are very important, like in the winter it cannot go below freezing because this mud will freeze and then all of your tape will fall off. Makes sense, so the nice thing I guess about drywall is is that you always are at least kind of in a climate controlled environment, like yeah if it’s really hot during the summer you’re going to be hot, but at least in the winter you’re not outside working in the snow.

You know what I heard is as a skier, I might actually have a little bit more time to ski in the winter time if I’m doing your trade here in Montana.

Absolutely, and there’s some great skiing not that far. Bridger Bowl is close by, I’ve skied there before. Yeah Bridger’s awesome, is really fun. Yeah we got Bridger Bow, we got Big Sky, we got Moonlight. There’s a lot of people do actually work construction that work really hard in the summer and then they, you know, if it’s a good powder day, they’re like “take the day off.” Yeah and they take the day off and that’s okay, yeah and that’s a beautiful thing about being in construction.

Yeah the other thing about your job that’s really interesting is there’s no clock in clock out, like you know you’re not, after you have to be at the job starting at 8 and at 5:00 you know the whistle blows and you’re off. You can really set your hours a little bit. Uh, and as a married couple, that’s kind of cool to be in business together.

I suspect there have been plenty of days when your kids were in elementary school and one of you left the job early maybe to pick the kids up from school, uh, or or go to a doctor’s appointment or whatever, there’s a lot of flexibility in your trade.

Absolutely, so like okay, say today once this mud is on, we’re done, we’re we’re done. Yeah, so you know if we want to go extra fast or we want to get everything done super quick, we can. Yeah, if you started this job at 8, you might be done today at uh, 2:00 let’s say on this 1800 square foot house. Uh, and you’re home, showered up and uh, and ready to go to the store and figure out what your, what what you’re making for dinner that night.

Exactly, which is kind of fun, you know if you’re not in the mood to be like gung-ho, you know if it takes you eight hours and you’re goofing around or you go outside and like enjoy the beautiful weather or you take a long lunch, like it’s okay, that flexibility is cool.

Yeah and you can always speed things up too, I mean that is kind of the nice thing about drywall and finishing. Like say we have a super tight timeline, you could just blast a bunch of heat in here and get it done too, makes sense, which isn’t always the funnest but it is, it is an option. Yeah makes sense.

All right Lydia, what do we need to do to get some work done today? We got some prep right?

Uh yeah, first thing I’m going to have you do is move a bunch of mud. So our mud here comes in boxes and we got to get those boxes into buckets and we got to get a mix station ready, don’t we? We do, because one thing that’s really important, especially with drywall is you want to try and keep things clean. So we always try and have a dedicated mixing spot, we put a scrap piece of drywall board down and then mix on top of that, so then we keep the floors at least somewhat clean.

All right, let’s roll, put work, let’s go.

Only one step into the house and yet my heart’s, my heart’s pumping after reading, I know right? These are, what do those weigh, about 35 to 40 lbs? I think I’m not sure that you need to go to Gold’s Gym after work after lugging these all day and carry them up a couple flights and you’re going to be feeling it.

Yeah plus we’re going to be working over our head today too with mud pans, there’s going to be some muscles going on today, we are. You definitely get strong, it’s definitely like shoulder and arm muscles, pretty, pretty significant. I can see that.

Yes, so I’ve never mixed mud before, what do I need to know? Well first things first, ours comes in boxes. So as you can see there’s some tape here, so we’re going to need to get that tape open. So you’re going to take that knife and you’re going to cut that top open, okay? Always use a knife away from you.

I do know that, yes. And our drywall knives are usually pretty sharp so definitely be careful. And I noticed that there’s green boxes and blue boxes on the job, what’s the difference and why are we mixing blue here?

So the blue that we have right here, this is Plus 3, it’s a more lightweight compound, it’s really made for coating. Uh the green stuff is made for taping. So typically on a job we’re using anywhere from two to three different kinds of mud.

Interesting, so we will tape with the green mud, with the all-purpose, and then we will switch to the plus three for all of our coat work. Okay, I’m not sure that I knew that if we’re texturing, then we’ll switch to a different one.

And back in the old days when I was a younger builder, this would all be in buckets like this size. But now it’s all boxes on the job site. Well, it’s boxes here. Depending on where you are will depend on if it’s buckets or boxes. So East Coast has buckets, we typically have a lot of boxes here. And you can buy either.

And we’re not getting this right out of the box and putting it right in our pan, right? You’re actually mixing it and adding something to it? Just water? Or just water? So when you look at this, it is pretty thick, like it’s not going to be super nice to work with. It’s not going to spread well, it’s just kind of thick and, yeah, clumpy.

And so we’re trying to get it smoother, and so that when we apply it to the wall on that top coat, or the block coat as I always called it growing up in the business, uh, it’s going to be smoother.

So how do I get this from the box into the bucket? I’m sorry to say I don’t even know. Just literally dump it upside down in the…? Yeah, pretty much. So you’re just going to take that box and you’re going to take it over to the bucket and you’re going to kind of smack it on the side and get it to fall in there. Oh my gosh, it actually mostly went in! Yeah, that was pretty good, how about that?

So then you’re going to take your bag and then kind of get it off the sides of the box. Okay. Alright, so my box is done now. And then you can take that bag and then just clean up the edges with all that extra mud that kind of got spilled on the side. Got it, cuz this mud is money, so we don’t want to waste a bunch of this mud, right?

Definitely. And you can just kind of, like, get those clumps off of there. There you go, got it. How’s that? Perfect, perfect, right, yeah, that’s good.

And then this, we’re going to throw away, yep. And what’s interesting, there’s a lot less waste than the old days when you had tons of drywall buckets in the dump. I know, right? And you can, you know, some people are even like really particular and will do like water in there and like wash out the bag, is that right? Yeah, it kind of just depends. We go through so much, it doesn’t really matter if we save like a little tenth of a box or whatever. Okay.

Break down too, which is really nice. All right, so you got your mixing drill, obviously just a little variable speed electric drill. And then this is what we call a beater bar, okay? Everybody has kind of different names for it, but this is like really the traditional style, just a square.

Okay, there’s a bunch of different kinds, but we like this number one because it fits in the bucket with other things. Um, some of them you actually literally have to have a bucket for them to fit in, and you’re putting them in the bucket so that you don’t have dried mud the next day, yeah, exactly. And that’s super important.

So as you can tell, we have it in water, the mud is wet on the paddle. So like say you left us sitting out, it’ll be all dried mud, and then it’ll get dried mud all over. But it’s not like concrete that’s going to cure underwater either, no, nope, it won’t cure. Okay, so if it’s wet, uh, it will rot, I was right? Over time we unfortunately don’t have any stinky buckets here for you to smell. I’m good, I trust you on that one, it’ll smell like sulfur. Okay.

So we’re going to chuck this, bit. Yes. And then am I adding anything to this mix, or am I just go ahead and and uh, mixing it without? You can just go ahead and mix it without first. And one thing that we do is we always chop it up a little bit with the beater bar, so you don’t have like a big chunk of mud just spinning in the…um, do I do I need to…let’s see, nope, we don’t use a chuck key with this guy, we just tighten it by hand.

Yeah, don’t tell anybody that Matt didn’t chuck it correctly. No perfect. Okay now you’re going to want to hold that bucket with your feet. Where did all that water come from? Did you put some water in there? No it was just in the bucket. Okay, I didn’t realize that. So yeah chop it up a little bit so you kind of pre-water the bucket a little bit.

Sometimes there’s just some stuff in there and then we’re going to take that brush. Actually oh I did it again. I’m sorry. Okay well what’s the brush deer and then the brush. You’re actually going to take and you’re just going to like get around the sides of the bucket so that it’s clean. Okay to get that in. So you can take some water out of there cuz everything that is going to be sitting or staying there is going to dry.

The biggest thing we want to do is make sure that our mud is fresh and it’s staying nice and wet. Cuz anything dry is going to make trash. Yep okay or like little hard chunks. Now I am a newbie but I realized that if I put this mixing bar too far up it’s going to, it’s going to sling mud everywhere, isn’t it?

Yes, and you also don’t want to hit the side of the bucket because then you’ll get pieces of plastic everywhere. Okay okay and how much do I need to brace the bucket too cuz this bucket can spin pretty good. yeah it’s going to spin pretty good. So go ahead and give a little [Music] bit. Hey, not bad, yeah, right? My first time mixing mud, I did all right. How long’s it take? About 20 seconds, maybe 30, a minute I mean, sometimes, depending on how smooth you want it, you can go for a lot longer.

And how smooth am I looking for here? Looking for smooth, smooth, smooth, okay, so like cake batter, yep, exactly, like we don’t want any lumps in there or any like nasty stuff. This is basically a glorified Kitchen Aid stand mixer at this point, yeah, pretty much, right? Ooh, that looks nice. And I’m bracing with my feet, am I doing that right? Yes, that’s good, yeah, cuz what’ll happen is if you don’t hold it, the bucket will spin around and hit you, yeah, let’s not do that.

Yeah, now you can do it all the way up, can you, all the way to speed, okay? If you didn’t have this handle, it would whip around on you, oh yeah, big time, yeah. Some people hold up there but I hold down there, yeah. I got, I got to wipe, don’t I, yep?

Okay, we’re getting that. Oh, and you got a little, you got a little bubble which is a little burp, it’s getting mixed up all [Applause] nice. You can lift the beater bar up just a little bit, there you go, you don’t want to go too far, yeah. But I want to get that top mixed into the bottom, don’t I, yep, exactly.

And sometimes what can happen is the bottom won’t get mixed in too, so you get down to the bottom of your bucket and it’ll be all really thick mud. Interesting, this def feels thicker, yeah, you can tell, can’t you? You can tell by the way it’s moving and the way it’s mixing up the, swirl pattern, yeah, okay. How’d I do? Awesome, it was pretty satisfying, right? It’s very satisfying. Sometimes you kind of just, you can make some like crazy patterns if you let the bucket wobble a little bit, it’ll do like big squirrles.

I feel like I’m back in high school in my clay pottery class where I’m, I’m getting ready to put this pottery up on the wheel, yes, absolutely, it’s kind of it, kind of feels like that, my hands being a little, all you did is mix mud, yeah, and I got a little dirty but not bad, it’s not all over me yet, no, not yet, not yet.

So what we’re going to do with this is we’re going to go ahead and wrap this up cuz we’re going to use this later, so we don’t want this to dry, yep. We want it to be as tightly wrapped as possible, and then we’ll just fold the box corners back in, but that way we can use it later, okay?

So no air, as little air bubbles in there as possible, y, exactly, yeah. We want to get it down as tight as we can and kind of give it our twist, perfect. So that’s exactly how it came from the factory, right? So we kind of want to re-seal it back up, okay, so that’s sealed.

And then the box is just, throw them in there, perfect, okay, there you go. And then we’ll use that later today, probably, yeah, y, exactly, okay, yeah. All right, now how does this go from the bucket to the wall? Well, you got to load up your pan, you got to get a knife, you got to put your, em, pan go. I got to go find my pan, it’s right over there.

Okay, I got my pan, I got my 8 inch taping knife, you’re going to want that one for sure, okay. And this is how I’m going to load it, yeah. And you’re actually going to use that to do screws too, ah, got’cha.

So we’re going screws with the big knife, we’re going to use both the six and the 8 inch knife, yeah, we might even use a 10, even a 12, um, you typically use a lot of different knife sizes, okay. And this is just scoop out of here and load it up, right? Yeah, that’s it.

And how, how loaded do, do I want to be? That depends on how much weight you want to carry, so about like that much, yeah. So the beautiful thing is you can make it as full as you want it, or you can make it as empty as you want it. And the biggest difference is you’re just going to be coming back to the bucket more often, okay.

So I typically use a 14 and we’ll fill the entire pan all the way, oh wow, yeah, that’s a heavy pan, yeah. So then you’re holding it but you’re having to go back to the bucket less, less. And then you’re getting more work done cuz you’re not going back and forth to the bucket, okay. Well I’ll start here and then I’ll go up from there, yeah, yeah. Let’s start you with a little easy.

I think we’re ready to put some mud on the wall, guys. Stay tuned for the next episode of Talking Trades. Lydia is going to actually get the mud on the wall. I suspect there might be a little bit on me as well. Talking Trades, we’re talking drywall, see you next time.

I want to say a huge thanks to my friends at Sashco for sponsoring this Talking Trade series. First off, if you’re not familiar with them, Sashco makes a huge line of premium caulks and sealants that I use every day on my high performance builds. They’re a family-owned company that makes their products in Colorado, but they also have been a massive supporter of trade school education.

Now if you are a trade school teacher watching this video, I want to tell you about their class pack program, which was designed for you to use in your classroom to educate students about sealant technology and application. Now I’ve been through a version of this program and it was really fun and educational. You can enhance your curriculum with their expert resources. Learn more at sashco.com/tradesupport.

Now if you aren’t a teacher, you can still make a difference in this battle to bolster our trade base. Take the Sashco challenge, volunteer at a local trade school in your town, capture the moment, share it on social media and tag Sashco, and your reward will be a free case of Lexel as a token of their appreciation for supporting trade education. Thanks again Sashco for sponsoring these videos.

I want to thank our friends at Front Door for sponsoring this Talking Trade series. If you’re not familiar with Front Door, they are re-imagining how homeowners maintain and repair their most valuable asset, their home. As the parent company of two leading brands, Front Door brings over 50 years of experience in providing their members with comprehensive options to protect their homes from costly and unexpected breakdowns through their extensive network of pre-qualified professional contractors. American Home Shield has approximately 2 million members and gives homeowners budget protection and convenience covering up to 23 essential home systems and appliances.

Now Front Door is a cutting edge, one-stop app for home repair and maintenance enabled by their Streem technology. The app empowers homeowners by connecting them in real time through video chat with pre-qualified experts to diagnose and solve their problems. The Front Door app also offers homeowners a range of other benefits including DIY tips, discounts, and much more. More information about American Home Shield and Front Door, visit frontdoorhome.com.

Now as the largest provider of home service plans in the nation and a network of approximately 16,000 independent contractors, Front Door is spreading the word and advocating to bring new talent into the pipeline by creating opportunities for young people as plumbers, electricians, and other highly skilled professions. Front Door has also been sponsoring organizations committed to the advancement of the skilled trades like SkillsUSA and BePro Be Proud. I’ve been to their events, those are amazing organizations. And huge thanks to Front Door for their partnership in this Talking Trade series.

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