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Do you use a brush?


Borad's Avatar
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10-14-12, 09:58 PM   #1  
Do you use a brush?

I bought my first bucket of all purpose joint compound for fixing a bad plaster job from 25 years ago and for other things. The instructions say it could be smoothed with a sponge, so after using the trowel for a while, I fixed it up with a damp sponge. I'd like to try a brush instead of a sponge because the sponge leaves streaks sometimes and I saw a good plasterer using a brush on my ceiling.

I found a $6 smoother brush with tampico bristle, a $48 nylon flatting brush, and dutch brushes from $46 to $64. Any suggestions?

 
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stickshift's Avatar
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10-15-12, 05:22 AM   #2  
You're using joint compound, not plaster so the behavior is going to be different.

I don't think you'd get a smooth surface with a brush without considerable experience. I use a wet sponge or sandpaper to smooth joint compound (sanding pole tends to be the best tool for large areas).

 
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10-15-12, 05:32 AM   #3  
I agree. It takes some practice to get good at using a sponge. I like a wet sponge because it eliminates the drywall dust you get from sanding. Sanding does a better job of leveling out the j/c but as Mitch said you need to use a sanding pole [or anything that holds the sandpaper flat]


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tightcoat's Avatar
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10-15-12, 05:53 PM   #4  
I can trowel EasySand or its like almost as smooth as I can whitecoat. White coat is a lime/gauging plaster finish material. It can be troweled to a mirror finish but usually is not made quite that slick. Just as the EasySand sets spritz it with water to lubricate the the trowel and slick it down through the set. The setting process is a lot slower with the EasySand than plaster.
You watched a good plasterer who must have been working with plaster. Drywall mud is not the same. Put it on as tightly and smoothly as you can, let it dry, use a sponge if you like or sand it smooth and to work the edge down to nothing.

Save your money on any kind of brush. They are not for what you want to do. I use a wet towel wrapped around my trowel to work out the edges. This after the mud sets or if using regular JC after it dries.

 
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10-15-12, 06:58 PM   #5  
Just to highlight something here:
Posted By: tightcoat Drywall mud is not the same. Put it on as tightly and smoothly as you can, let it dry, use a sponge if you like or sand it smooth and to work the edge down to nothing.
the sponge leaves streaks
Not letting the JC dry before sponging it will often result in streaks.

 
Borad's Avatar
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10-15-12, 09:42 PM   #6  
OK, it's coming out good. I frequently clean off the trowel with a wet sponge and bucket of water, I keep my fan aimed farther away from the work area, and I let it dry a little before sponging. I think I can do as good a job as the plasterers I've had, except I'm slower and I do about one trowel-width at a time. Someone on this forum mentioned a technique where he does separate sections and joins them together when they're dry. For about one day I though I invented that.

 
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10-16-12, 05:20 AM   #7  
"I think I can do as good a job as the plasterers I've had, except I'm slower"

That's pretty typical of DIY - pro quality can often be matched but their speed usually cannot.

 
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10-16-12, 06:52 AM   #8  
"I let it dry a little before sponging"

If you're using regular compound out of a bucket, you want it to dry completely before using the sponge. You want to get your surface as smooth as possible with the taping knife in 2 or 3 coats. Cut any ridges off with a sharp 3" scraper knife between coats. The sponge is used to smooth the final coat instead of sanding. The the dry compound will dissolve when you wet it so you can erase the high spots and fill the low spots. Don't get it too wet though. I have several size taping knives but almost always use a 6" flexible knife. You can use a sponge but I find them a bit too rough. I like to wrap the sponge in a silky rag, like polyester. It gives a smoother finish.



 
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10-16-12, 09:13 AM   #9  
They also sell a sponge made specifically for smoothing out j/c - it looks something like a grout float and is sold most anywhere drywall products are sold. IMO they are easier to use than just a regular sponge.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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