Mudding drywall screws (tricky little suckers got you screwed)

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Lakee911, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

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    It's easy to put a lot of screws in drywall. More the merrier right? I thought it would be best to err on the side of too many than too few. I mean, hey a little paper and gypsom to a sea of screws can't be all that bad, right? ;) Just kidding.

    Anyhow, I've gotten pretty good at mudding joints, but what about the fasteners? When properly nailing drywall, you get a nice approx 1" circlar dimple around the nail. Fills in nicely. When you screw it in you don't get that.

    Should I hump up the mud just smigen around the screw(s) or should I just fill in the 1/4" circle around the screw head flush?

    When I see professionally done drywall I see a long smear (for lack of better words) of mud around the row of screws. Isn't this creating like a little 'speed bump'?

    What should I do? I've got 750sq/ft of drywall to finish... *sigh*

    Jason
  2. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

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    I like to countersink my drywall screws, so the screwhead sits a tad below the plane of the drywall. When I'm all done, I go back and mud over the little depressions, screw head and all. If necessary, I sand these little spots when I'm sanding the seams nearby. No humps, no bumps!
  3. JohnyChevyEG

    JohnyChevyEG New Member

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    Location:
    Smithville, MO
    Verdeboy is right. Countersink them and try to put your nails or screws next to the seams, that way when you mud, you are mudding over the tape and the screws at the same time. If you put a couple screws in the middle of the drywall to make sure is doesn't vibrate during deep noises then you could do that as well.
  4. PEW

    PEW DIY Senior Member

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    487
    It will take a more than a couple in the middle, and don't get too close to the edge. Just be sure when you countersink that you don't break through the paper.

    If you have a lot to do, you would be best served by renting or borrow a drywall screw gun. They can be adjusted to set the screw to the right level every time. I have also seen, but not used the adapters, which fit on the end of a drill.

    Paul
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    [​IMG]
    http://www.dewalt.com/us/products/tool_detail.asp?productID=39
    A proper screwgun will recess the head of the screw just the right amount. There will be a smaller dimple than when using nails, so when spackled flush, it should be a very small white dot.Most drywallers use the technique of a sideways smear over a line of screws, but they come back over that with the 4" knife for a flush pass.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2006
  6. prashster

    prashster New Member

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    941
    A vs drill will work just fine. You'll get the touch pretty quickly. When properly countersunk, screws'll hide better than nails bkz they won't pop as readily.

    Hope you framed with dry lumber...I once framed a wall with SGreen and drywalled too quickly. The wall shrunk and a huge seam opened up.
  7. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    The "touch" prashter refers to is pretty critical. you have to sink the screw enough to ensure the head is below the surface, but not enough to break the paper. PEW's suggestion to rent a screw gun is a good one. There are various recommendations for how many screws, but I try for 8-12" between screws -- don't leave any large gaps. So far good. The key to easy hanging is proper framing, so you've always got a good place for the screw to grip without being too close to the edge.
  8. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    Location:
    San Diego
    The building codes do specify the maximum permitted spacing between scrwes or nails. I dont remember the number. When my condo had to sue the builder over some issues, the lawyers bring in construction experts to examine EVERYTHING. We didn't have any issues with drywall, but they just try to find anything to run up the tab. You need to get a lot of money out of the builder knowing that if a few drywall screws are 13" apart instead of 12", that money will go in the pot that the layers take 30% of. Hopefully, there is enough left to fix the things that really need fixing, like the roof!I remember these guys in coat and tie going over my living room walls with little magnets, marking each screw with a dot of tape, and then some guy with $10,000 worth of camera equipment takes pictures of it all!
  9. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

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    Location:
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    Ok ok ... Sorry I didn't word it right.

    My screws, all billion of them ARE countersunk nicely w/o broken paper.

    The two ways I meant to covey:

    First way: Filling the depression and smoothing flush w/ the surrounding paper.

    Second way: Filling the depression and humping it up, ever so slightly (like you would do w/ auto body filler on a body panel) around the screw. Mud covers a much larger area and isn't just a 'lil plug.

    When I saw pros do it, it appeared like they're doing it the second way because you see that big smear of mud down the whole wall for all the screws. Then after I did some the first way (and second way), I noticed that if I even wet the paper w/ the mud and scrape it all off, it still turns white!

    So, I guess the first way is best. Less sanding overall.

    Things are slow going cuz I got no stilts and I'm moving the ladder around. Hopefully first coat of mud will be done by Friday night. Then a little sanding.

    I picked up a Sand&Kleen MT800 (http://www.sandkleen.com/products.htm) last night from the Orange Box store. It's a piece of junk, but worth while for the price. $45. The problem with it is the vacuum. It elinates 90-95% of the dust, but with enough vacuum to grab the dust it sucks the sander into the wall and sands too hard. With less vacuum, it doesnt' suck enough dust. I think I'll sand the first couple of coats with it before switching to a borrowed Festool sander and HEPA vacuum on low speed w/ very fine paper for the last coat. The Porter Cable sander is out of my price range unless I resell it and I don't think I wanna hassle w/ it...unless I can borrow/rent someones sander :) :)

    Thanks for the advice,
    Jason
  10. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

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    Location:
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    BTW, my screws are 6" apart on the edges and 12" apart in the field. Sometimes my screwer would get carried away and put them 6" apart in the field. It ain't going anywhere. :)

    screwer = girlfriend. She's good at nailing and screwing--get your mind out of the gutter. She wields a mean circular saw too. :)

    Jason
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2006
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    It take 2 or 3 coats of mud over the screws. The first coat just fills the hole. When is it sanded, there will still be a depression. The second coat is wider than the first, and the third wider still. Sand between. The reason is to lessen the likelyhood of it being visible. If you only put one application on, when the wall is painted, every hole will show. The same principle is used when taping. First coat over the tape, each coat after that is wider. Note the coats are very thin and are sanded inbetween applications.
  12. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Sanding?

    My drywall god doesn't believe in it. He's finished my whole house, and doesn't even have sandpaper in his truck, I don't think. I can't believe his touch with a 16" blade. When he's done with a wall, it's ready for paint.
  13. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

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    Too late for you now but there is a little adjustable device that goes in your drill that you can set to get consistent setting of the drywall screws. It has a socket for the bit and disengages from the screw when it reaches the set depth.
  14. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

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    That'd be great. Sanding is a ^%^%^$%!
  15. prashster

    prashster New Member

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    You lucky dawg. My wife won't even step into my shop except to yell at me for making too much noise and dust. :(
  16. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Yeah, something happens when "girlfriend" turns into "wife".
  17. indyjps

    indyjps mechanical engineer

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    Location:
    indianapolis (fishers) indiana
    ill make a flush pass on the screw head in two directions to force mud into the recess, this will shrink some when it dries so i make another build pass then sand, i get away with about 2/3's of them look good on the first sanding, the rest require another pass.
    im finishing out my basement and the walls are not load bearing so i went ahead and used a couple of dabs of drywall glue on each stud to help the hold, without a load on the walls im concerned that they may move enough to pop some drywall.

    walls anchored with tapcons into the floor and shimmed tight to the joists.
  18. maddiemom6

    maddiemom6 New Member

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    :eek: Mikey I should smack you over the head with my new Dewalt nailer, or maybe my nice new ergonomic hammer! The only thing wrong when there is that big of a change from Girlfriend to wife is that you married the wrong woman!

    Personally my husband and I work together on all projects.. I plumb he does the wires.. he cuts the really big boards and i get him a beer. I hang wall paper and he stands under the ladder getting a great view... it wall works out if you marry the right woman :)


    Maddie, mom of 6
  19. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Hey, aren't those DeWalt nailers great?

    Mikey
    (in changing subject mode)
  20. maddiemom6

    maddiemom6 New Member

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    16
    I love my tools... I swear it's a sickness... we need a bigger or second air tank at this point.. but I have also been toying with the idea of one of the cordless finish nailers.. but I wonder about the kick compared to the type on the hose. I mean I know the kick on my clipped head framing nailer and i can do that but after a full day ...dang my arms ache!!!!

    Maddie
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