If it's drywall, it's gotta be taped at some point.

Putting up drywall on a framed room is a huge point of transition - you're able to get a good idea of what the room is going to look like, and you feel like you've passed a huge turning point. Unfortunately, next up is taping the drywall so that everything seems like one seamless wall. This is not easy.

We've learned a few things over the past few weeks about taping drywall. Here's a few tips for you:

1. The Master Electrician, who is firmly steeped in an admirable DIY ethos, shook his head and chuckled when we told him we were going to tape drywall. "You guys are nuts. Everyone hires someone to do that for them." We have a better idea now why that is.

2. Taping goes a lot easier when you do a good job hanging the drywall. If you put together pieces of drywall that have slightly tapered edges, putting the drywall compound and tape up is easy as pie. If you need to join edges that are not tapered, you are creating a butted seam. This means you're going to have a slight raise where the tape and compound build up. Not the end of the world, but a lot trickier to deal with.

3. Our undisclosed location is experiencing some cold weather these days. To keep the as-yet-unheated studio room warm enough to dry the drywall compound, we've had to rent (and then buy) a forced air kerosene heater. This is good, but if you get one of those things, heed our advice: turn it on and off outside of your unventilated room.

4. Last but not least, we're on the third and final coat of drywall compound right now. While there's a strong temptation to rush through it, we've realized that the best approach is to take a few hours at a time and review a limited portion of the whole project. By focusing on one wall at a time, we're not overwhelmed by having to get the whole room finished and can deal with all of the small details that need attention (such as a difficult edge or a bubble in the tape).

Still, we'll be happy to get this phase behind us. Justin is having dreams about putting up drywall, and finds himself thinking about running a taping knife over a smooth surface as he drifts off to sleep. Not good.

Musical accompanyment:
Down in the Basement: Joe Bussard's Treasure Trove of Vintage 78s 1926-1937
Mambo of the Times - Tito Puente
Australasia - Pelican

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