Professionally Finish Your DIY drywall project. Part 1


Hello, my name is Michael and I’ve been an Interior Systems Mechanic, as well as a bonded and licensed General Contractor for 16 years. I find it more than beneficial to understand our task completely before we begin. Mainly to identify the risks, & deciding what actions we will take to minimize these risks. Then, implement our plan of action.


When oxygen is combined with silicon, the resulting compound is the mineral known as silica. In fact, approximately 2/3 of the Earths crust is believed to be made up of silica. This mineral can be found in wildlife & even in vegetation.

Sanding or cutting drywall/concrete etc raises silica dust into the air; inhaling it traps it in the lungs where it settles. Lacerations & lung cancer are just two of the known risks

“Silica dust can cause silicosis, a serious and irreversible lung disease.”


A ventilation system is complementary to proper respiratory PPE. Both measures are necessary & highly recommended for the safety of anyone nearby. The affects of silica in your respiratory system may go unnoticed for a long time. So, prevention is always the best protection.

Safer practices pay real dividends


If you will be using sharp hand tools and creating possible pinch points while framing or installing the drywall, I suggest wearing mechanics laceration protective gloves. I use mechanic gloves exclusively because I find them less restricting to finger movement and the ability is not lost to feel tools and screws/nails that are held in the finger tips.

Every situation is not identical; therefore it’s important to address any and all possible dangers of your environment before you begin. Reassess your hazards often and always do so before changing tasks. It’s very important to perform a hazard assessment upon returning to your workspace after any length of leave. If you weren’t there you have no way of knowing if someone else was. It also gets your head back into the task at hand.

The most commonly used mud is the All-Purpose compound. Available as a premixed product or as a raw granule which you mix yourself. (More on that soon)

Slow drying time and a wide range of applications make it very versatile. Suitable for filling up to 3/4″ gaps as a con-full or embedding tape/trim without any consumer processing prior to applying.

The factory consistency is not unlike peanut butter or play-dough (depending on atmospheric variables). A noticeably smoother application is achieved when water is added. Mixed to achieve a consistency similar to pancake batter.

If the circumstance permits you to do so, I suggest trying different ratios of water to existing compound. Start with adding a small amount water and gradually increase it until you have a good idea of what works best for you.

All-Purpose Drywall Compound is great for nearly every situation; finish coating being the exception. Due to the compounds ingredients the All-Purpose mixture is difficult to sand. The “lite” version of All-Purpose solves this by decreasing the binding agent. Unfortunately it creates another problem by weakening the compound. My advice is that All-Purpose Drywall Compound and it’s variations should not be used for final coats. I don’t use it for the finish coat partially because of the extra sanding, but it also dries much harder than the Finishing Compound. Joints will crack much sooner than the Finishing Compound. Bringing us back to fix it in a few months at best.

Once you have your All-Purpose Compound and your Finishing Compound. You’ll need paper tape and medium-fine grit sanding sponges, necessary trims, and putty knives.

If ease of application, quality finish, and longevity are your priorities. Use the Finishing Compound for finishing.

Thanks for reading Part 1. Once you have the required provisions, I invite you back to read Part 2-Taping & Sanding Techniques.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I invite you to inquire in the comments so that your question will be answered for others to see as well.

Our Downfall

With our future not so certain, our present so unfamiliar, our past so shadowed with tales of science fiction, rewritten, misinterpreted or forgotten. What will cause the inevitable fall of civilized society?

War? Famine? Natural disasters with global, everlasting consequence? Nobody truly knows. Educated guesses can easily be made, as is expected. Still, there appear to be no tell-tale signs of what type of event will bring in the dark horse.

When there is a clear sign, my not-so educated guess is: It’ll be too late for such knowledge to make much of a difference.

A supernova could flash fry our planet like a kid with a magnifying glass on a sunny day. (In case you’re wondering, we are the Cellar Spider with its legs ripped off. Screaming insignificantly.) The other side to that coin, the danger of one of the thousands upon thousands of meteors that are large enough to trigger a set of events that concludes our existence, (if our paths were to cross) is ever-present.

Let us not forget that we are in the midst of a “New Plague”. I know, how could we, right? I’m sure people everywhere are debating whether it should be a case of murder-suicide, or just murder when it comes to relations in the home. If only to break the monotony that is the new norm.

I for one have a sneaking suspicion that our greedy, selfish nature that got us this far, will ultimately serve as the catalyst.

With people everywhere rushing out to gather up essential items that we all need. Exhibiting little to no regard for their inter-stellar siblings. Grocery stores are resembling a desert wasteland.

Now this, my fellow inhabitants of Earth, could very well lead to the collapse of the civilized society we know and love. Allow me to explain my thought process.

If my family is starving for days. While greedy Gus Glutton next door is sitting on a year’s supply of every food group. Guess what? If ol’ Gus isn’t too keen on sharing the local grocery store he squandered, I will be the first to say,

I’m kicking in the door and my family is eating!”

Welcome to our downfall.