Blueboard vs Regular Drywall Paneling

Drywall in a room.

When putting up any type of drywall you may want to consider blueboard instead of regular sheetrock. The price is not that much different, but as far as the aesthetics of the finished product go, it is going to look far better if you use blueboard.

What is Drywall?

Drywall is made of gypsum and calcium sulfate. It has been used since the 1940s to build homes and offices. It comes in sheets of 4 foot wide boards with 8, 12, or 16 feet length options. You can cut it with a utility knife and fasten it with screws or nails.

When you are finished installing it, you need to put tape between the seams on the panels and cover it with a plaster material to make a finished product. It is easily bumped, bruised, and scratched. This is why it is also the leading cause of contractor callbacks because of dings, dents, visible joints, and so on. Before you paint it, you must first use primer. When you paint it, the paper may absorb the paint differently causing a shading process that is different in the light than what you wanted.

What is Blueboard?

Blueboard is a good answer to all the problems that are caused by regular drywall. It is essentially the same as drywall in the interior composition of gypsum. The difference is in the blue paper covering on blueboard. Hence the name. This paper is specially treated to bond with a specially formulated plaster. When you finish installing the blueboard, instead of putting the traditional coats of joint compound on the seams at the joining of the boards, you use a quick tape and then plaster is applied to the joints. Then the entire wall is covered with one or two really thin layers of the special plaster.

The Biggest Differences

The main advantage of regular drywall over blueboard is that the special veneer plaster hardens so well it resists dings, scratches, and holes. The appearance of the finished blueboard is far superior to that of drywall. The overall wall is smoother, the finish is more evenly toned, and the joints are less noticeable. The smooth, even texture of the plaster veneer is much more friendly to the application paint than the drywall mud.

The time required to finish the job is also a big difference. Drywall is a three day job. On the first day, you hang the drywall, apply the first coat of joint compound, and let dry overnight. On the second day, you sand the first coat and apply a second. And then on the third day, you sand it again. With the blueboard, there is no sanding, and no three day waiting period. Everything is done one right after the other with just a little drying time in between the veneer plastering.