Chapter 5

Finishing Drywall Systems

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Levels of Gypsum Finishing

The finished appearance of drywall largely depends on the quality of framing and care exercised in applying the drywall panels. The better the framing and cladding, the easier it is to achieve a near-perfect wall. The last remaining challenge is to finish the joints to meet visual appearance expectations. This chapter helps you determine the level of finish quality needed and shows you how to obtain it.

(Note that various organizations provide information about recommended standards or tolerances for finishing of drywall joints. See the Appendix for information about standards and tolerances.)

For instructions on the safe use of joint compounds, texturing materials and related products, see Chapter 13, “Safety Considerations and Material Handling.”

Contract documents traditionally use nonspecific terms such as “industry standards” or “workmanlike finish” to describe how finished gypsum board walls and ceilings should look. This practice has often led to confusion about the degree or level of finishing required for a particular job.

Five leading industry trade associations—the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industries International (AWCI), Ceilings and Interior Systems Construction Association (CISCA), Gypsum Association (GA), Drywall Finishing Council (DWFC) and Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA)—have ...

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