Old 12-16-99, 10:51 PM
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I am going to be repairing a bedroom ceiling and I am thinking of using sheetrock or drywall. Are they the same thing and are there any hints I need to know of?
Old 12-18-99, 01:12 AM
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Sheetrock, "rock", drywall, and wallboard are the same.

The word "repair" leaves the impression that one or two sheets will be replaced at most.
If that's the case, it's easier to replace an entire sheet than to do chopped up patch work.

A two or three inch carbide scraper will come in handy for removing most the old joint compound and tape. Afterward use 36 or 60 grit sand paper, then smooth the old work with finer sand paper.

Use 1 1/4 inch drywall screws instead of nails for installation. Either rent a drywall screw gun (an expensive way for two sheets) or purchase a drywall tip attachment that fits into a common drill motor. In the later case two types exist. One allows phillips head screw tip replacement, the tip is fixed in the other one. Purchase two of the fixed tip types, because the tips soon wear out. Purchase spare #2 phillips bits for the gun or the other attachment. Space screws every 12 inches. Screws along the edges cannot be closer than 3/8 of one inch to the edge.

If you're less than 6' 2" tall assemble a 4 to 6 foot plank that will carry your weight plus 80 pounds safely. Also, have a helper on hand while you crank the rock in place. An 8' sheet of 1/2 drywall weighs almost 60 pounds. Building and using 2x4 "T" braces to hold the rock in place while it's being attached is not a bad idea either. Attach an angle brace on either side of the "T" cross bar that extends to the upright portion, forming a "Y" "T".

Before lifting the sheet, do one of two things to mark the joist lines:
The pro technique: with center to center joist measurements in mind (usually 16"),
hold the tape measure at 16" in one hand between your thumb and the middle of your index finger. Hold the tip of the tape with a pencil against it in the other hand. Run your thumb and index finger down the side of the rock while marking the lightest line possible on the face of the rock with the other hand. Pull both hands and arms at the same speed. Repeat the process for all joists (ea: 16" 32" 48"). A heavy pencil line will bleed through the primer and paint (use an eraser).

OR: mark the joists centers on the existing rock with a pencil.
After the rock is in place, with a screw or two installed, use a chalk line box filled with Baby Powder to chalk between marks. The Baby Powder will disappear, unlike standard colored chalks.

When the joints are taped All Purpose Joint Compound may be used from start to finish, however, Topping Compound on the second and third coats will sand easier. In either case mix and thin the mud with water first, but avoid beating air into the mix. A paint mixer drill motor attachment embeded into the mud while adding water on top works well.

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