Drywall finishing in the office

Lee’s office drywall was completed late last year and we are pleased with how it turned out. It was a nice simple room to practice drywall finishing and we learned some important lessons for next time: don’t try to repatch faint burn-out spots from oversanding, worry less about the first coat on corners and seams, and spread the mud thicker on walls. By the end of the process Lee was much faster and more confident.

The walls have a smooth finish except for a light texture from the paint roller. We applied a level 4 drywall finish, and then skim coated everything with mud and sanded out the tool marks. The idea was to produce a smooth wall that’s not perfectly flat, much like an old plaster finish. It’s still very flat though, so I’m not sure if you can tell. The ceiling has a Sante Fe finish (sometimes called skip trowel). This was probably the most stressful part of the whole experience for Lee as it’s a bit of an art form and he couldn’t find any good YouTube examples of the technique.

Ceiling light

The wall color looked like an nice Arts & Crafts sage green in the foot-square test sample we painted, but turned out much brighter when applied to a whole room. Still, it’s been pretty amazing having a room where the light switch turns on a light and all the outlets work.

Walls and ceiling

We talked about repainting, and maybe we will eventually, but the green color is cheerful and has grown on us. An important skill in the world of DIY is knowing when to let perfection take the day off. A 1/8″ mistake isn’t the end of the world in framing, but can be ugly in trim work. Drywall finishing seems to be the extreme test of this skill. Looking back, it’s clear that at every stage we put too much effort into producing a flawless surface when the next step would have easily covered up the imperfections. Here’s hoping for a much faster round two when we start on the upstairs rooms.

This entry was posted in Renovation. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Drywall finishing in the office

  1. Ron says:

    It looks great. I like just about any shade of green. I always feel like after I’ve done something once, I realize what matters and what doesn’t, and it goes a whole lot faster after that.

    • lee says:

      Yeah, my office pretty much has to be green. I don’t prefer bright green, but our house can be a little dark so bright colors are a nice change. We have the same experience with second passes at things. It also means I’m committed to a certain plan, so there’s very little staring in books the second time around.

  2. Woody says:

    I like the ceiling finish. It’s way cooler than flat, popcorn or a knockdown. Y’all did a wonderful job!

    • lee says:

      Thanks. It was pretty stressful to do. That’s one step that probably won’t go much faster next time because I’m still not certain which combination of pressure, tool angle, and viscosity is ideal.

  3. Snowbrush says:

    Thanks for sharing the photos. I’m glad to see that you’re posting again.

  4. ShimFarm says:

    It looks fantastic! Love the colour, even if it turned out different than your expectations. The ceiling looks great, too.

    One thing is clear: we are our own worst critics. Once that room is furnished, no one will notice those “glaring” imperfections. At some point, you just have to get the damn job DONE! (Of course, I’m directing that at my husband, not at you Lee!)

  5. Looks great! Nice work!

    • lee says:

      Thanks. Robin just recently repainted this room, so I guess it lasted a year. We tried to live with it, but now the rest of the house has a cohesive palette, the eye-bleed green color was really bring down the joint.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *