Gypsumboard Tips

by Joseph Hardly


WALLS Anatomy of a Gypsum board Wall Gypsum board is a plaster like material that comes in 4x8 foot sheets (standard). The gypsum core is wrapped in thick paper. The paper protects the gypsum and provides a smooth surface that is resistant to cracks.


Gypsum board is easier than plaster to apply to the framing members of a house, which is probably why its use is so common. Gypsum board sheets are nailed to the studs and rafters with gypsum board nails, and fastened every 16 inches on center (usually the spacing of the framing members). and the nails are spaced from 2 to 4 inches apart.

The edges of the gypsum board are slightly tapered. The taper compensates for the thickness of gypsum board joint tape that is applied over the joint and nails with joint compound. The compound is similar to spackling. Inside and outside corners of gypsum board walls often have a metal strip nailed to the gypsum board, and the strips are embedded in joint compound.

The strips add protection to the corners, especially the outside corners, and provide a straight and fairly square edge. Gypsum board varies in thickness: When making a patch or replacing a panel, know its original thickness. If the replacement material does not match the original, you will have a depression or projection.

Anatomy of a Plaster Wall Plaster for walls and ceilings is applied over a wire mesh that has been nailed to the framing members. If your house is old, the plaster may cover narrow strips of wood called "lath." Plaster is continuous in that it is not in sections as are gypsum board panels. Nor is plaster covered with a paper wrapper, as is gypsum board. When you dig into plaster, you are instantly into the wall. You can patch plaster ss ith plaster. Unless holes are huge, you also can patch plaster with spackling compound which probably will be easier for you to buy than regular plaster.

Repairing Small Dents If the damage is not deep enough to hold even a small patch. you will have to en-large the problem area. If the wall is of gypsum wallboard. use a razor knife to score the paper covering the gypsum core, making a square or rectangular cut. Just cut enough of the paper to surround the entire damaged area. Then, using the knife blade, peel the paper back to the scored lines. Again with the razor knife, remove a quarter inch or so of the gypsum core, making a little void in the core. This area need not be smooth and finely cut; it is better to leave it rough because the rough edges will hold the patch better. After this point the procedure is the same for plaster and for wallboard repair. Mix a small amount of spackling com-pound in the mixing container.

Add spackling to the water and stir it with the putty knife until the mixture is about the consistency of putty. Balance the mixture on the putty knife and press the spackling into the hole. Fill the hole with spackling. You can probe into the patch with the tip of the putty knife to compact the mixture. When the hole is full, use the edge of the knife to smooth the fresh spackling. The putty knife serves as a trowel. Leave the patch slightly higher than the surrounding surface of the patch. The spackling will shrink as it dries. Let the patch set for about two days. Once the patch has dried, lightly sand it, working away the rough spackling and blending the patch in with the surrounding area.

Spot prime the patch with paint. Let the paint dry. Sand the area lightly again, and then apply a second coat of paint. If the , all has not been painted for some time, ou may have to repaint the entire wall to hide the patch, since the new paint will not blend in with the old paint.
Nail Hole Repair Mix a small amount of spackling compound with water. The spackling should

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