December 1, 2022

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Ask Danny | Ep. 4: ‘The Drywall Guru’ Offers Expert Advice

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In this episode of “Ask Danny,” drywall specialist Mark Rutherford shares his suggestions and approaches. (3 Echoes Information Studio)


In Episode 4 of “Ask Danny,” I’m chatting with my longtime mate and drywall pro Mark Rutherford — “The Drywall Expert.” 


Danny Lipford and Mark Rutherford in the game room addition episode of Today's Homeowner TV
Mark Rutherford installs drywall in a basic episode of Today’s Home owner Tv. (3 Echoes Articles Studio)

About Mark Rutherford

Mark Rutherford has worked with drywall on new design and transforming initiatives for 40 a long time. 

I very first met Mark in 2007 even though functioning on a activity space addition for an episode of Today’s Property owner Tv. 

He presently lives in southwest Pennsylvania. 


Drilling a screw into drywall to repair a nail pop
To protect against a drywall nail pop from reappearing, change the nail with a screw. (3 Echoes Written content Studio)

Drywall Nail Pops

Why does a nail pop happen, and what’s the best way to right it?

Mark: Nail pops materialize when a nail or screw will come unfastened under drywall and produces a bulge or “pop” in the wall.

They generally take place with new design in just the first yr. That’s for the reason that almost everything is drying out and settling — the house is genuinely “finding by itself.” I usually say it is form of like a dwelling human being. 

Nail pops are frequent all-around stairways mainly because the recurrent stepping movement loosens up the nails.

To repair a nail pop, to start with tap it with a hammer. If it feels spongy, that indicates the installer skipped the stud. Pull it out, and drive a drywall screw into the stud or joist in the vicinity of the hole, with the head of the screw just below the surface. 

If you cannot extract the free nail, tap in a further drywall nail appropriate beside it so the head of that nail catches the present nail. This retains the nail from popping back out yet again. 

If a screw is leading to the pop, use a screwdriver to generate it in deep so it’s flush with the wall’s surface. 

When the nail or screw is below the drywall surface, use the back of a drywall knife to flush the drywall paper with the surface, and then go over it with a coat of drywall mud. 

Allow the mud dry for 24 hours, then apply another coat. Immediately after the 2nd coat dries, sand it and use a shop vac as you operate to suck up any dust.

Tip: Hold your nail pop repair space as tiny as possible — the fewer mud you use, the much less sanding you are going to have to have to do.


A water damaged ceiling with drywall puckering and rippling
Drinking water injury is the most common lead to of drywall puckering. (spyarm, Getty Pictures)

Drywall Puckering

How do you resolve drywall puckering?

Mark: Water harm is the most common result in of drywall pucker, but inappropriate installation can also bring about it. In some conditions, the installer didn’t leave ample mud remaining guiding or didn’t use any in that location. 

For big drywall puckering, clear away the tape to patch and repair service. Lay down mesh tape and utilize a clean coat of drywall mud.

For slight puckering, use the corner of a drywall knife to elevate the free tape and use a thin layer of all-reason mud below the tape. Easy the tape out and place a light-weight coat of drywall mud around the edge of the tape. 

For popcorn ceilings, use the similar strategy, but be additional mindful to not destruction the texture. 

If it is a sizeable crack or older ceiling, the popcorn ceiling texture will come off. In that scenario, you’ll want to use a coat of sprayed acoustic texture. 

You can get this content in a can, but it can be tough to use. Stick to the instructions and apply on a piece of cardboard initial. 

If you just cannot match the texture, simply call a professional.


Today's Homeowner TV host Danny Lipford uses a dustless sander on drywall
Make considerably less of a mess when sanding drywall by utilizing a dustless sander. (3 Echoes Material Studio)

Controlling Dust

What are some recommendations to limit dust when sanding drywall?

Mark: To decrease the mess while sanding drywall, I basically produce an oxygen tent. 

Utilizing 2-inch large masking tape,  I encase the location with plastic. I commence taping at the ceiling, then provide it down the wall and to the flooring. Every thing is connected. 

Then, I generate a doorway beneath to crawl into. When I’m completed sanding, I enable the dust settle, dust myself off and crawl out the doorway.

Always transform off your HVAC technique when sanding drywall. When the vents arrive on, the plastic and dust will blow about, and the dust will get the job done its way into your program. 

Final but not minimum, constantly have on a great mask whilst you are sanding. 


Stacks of drywall sheets
Recycling is excellent when you want to go eco-friendly, but making use of uncovered drywall is in no way a good strategy. (tanyss, Getty Pictures)

A Drywall Catastrophe

Some careers you do not have to assume 2 times about turning down. 

One particular time, a builder approached Mark at a position web page and asked him to appear at another property in the subdivision.

No significant deal, right? Very well, mistaken. The total property was hung with parts of scrap drywall. Turns out, the owners experienced been collecting the drywall from the dumpsters in the subdivision to construct the household. It didn’t make a difference if the drywall was a corner piece or angled, or even moist and damaged. 

“When I walked into that house, it seemed like a 2,000-piece jigsaw puzzle,” Mark claimed. 

The biggest piece of drywall in the home was possibly about 2×4 toes, and in some spots, there have been gaps as huge as an inch extensive in locations. 

“That was a major no from me,” Mark mentioned.


Fresh drywall on a house interior
With a small patience, you can put in drywall just as perfectly as a professional. (Spinkle, Getty Photos Signature)

Mark’s Drywall Strategies

  • If you are functioning in close proximity to cabinets or baseboards, set tape/plastic down to protect individuals locations.
  • Make certain you’re employing the proper drywall mud. Go with a eco-friendly lid or black lid bucket. Use an all-goal mud and read through the bucket. One particular sort of mud could be fantastic for coating but not for taping.
  • Be individual and perform in levels. Allow the mud dry then add further coats.
  • If you are pondering about reworking your dwelling, try hanging the drywall oneself. You really don’t know what you cannot do until you check out.

Even more Looking at


Check with a Concern! (Podcast)

Question a issue and we could remedy it on the “Modern Home owner Podcast!” We also could use it on our nationally syndicated radio broadcast or on todayshomeowner.com.

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