Drywall Question

thomas1975September 21, 2012

I know there's a million drywall pricing questions on the forum, but I was hoping to get some answers for my specific need. I'm in Fairfield County, CT and here's what I've got going on:

1. Just had a contractor enclose a breezeway. Didn't realize the walls wouldn't be prepped for paint (which he doesn't do). What should it cost me to have someone come in and prep the walls (I can paint it myself). The area is approximately 4' x 10' with maybe 8 or 9' ceiling. Or is this such a small area that it's not worth someone's time and they'll want to do the painting as well?

2. Am thinking of re-drywalling my garage which is 22' x 23' with about 7' ceilings. One wall has the back of our fireplace which takes up maybe 1/4 of the wall, and of course one wall has the 2 garage doors. What should it cost for drywall and possibly prep for paint?

3. My contractor gave me a great estimate to drywall my basement, but of course I now realize it doesn't include prepping for paint. How much should it cost to have someone prep for paint? Dimensions are 20' x 30' with approx. 6' ceilings. Also, how much should it cost for an all-in-one installation and prep for paint?


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I am just curious what you mean by prep for paint? We have been doing our own drywall and I am sick of doing it (well, really I am sick of sanding it and dealing with the mess) and considering hiring someone to do the upstairs of the house. They gave us a price of $20 a sheet, I assumed this meant taped and sanded. Did your guy do this or did they just hang the drywall?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:33AM
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Any installed drywall should be ready for paint. Prep work usually involves trim and is often done by the painter.

I have found from painful experience that parts of CT are like a lost world in terms of construction technique.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 12:15PM
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Prepping drywall for paint has several different meanings. Because there are several levels of drywall finishing. And all levels have different costs because of the differences in labor.

Example: finishing a ceiling for a popcorn application is usually just a single application/sanding. One reason popcorn was used so much---much cheaper for the builder.

Example: Finishing a wall for gloss paint often takes four applications of compound and four very careful sandings. Because the gloss paint highlights any flaws and any hills/valleys.

If the paint is to be almost anything other than gloss paint, most primers can be used as 'prep'. Reason for the prep is because sheet rock paper and mud have different rates of absorbtion---no prep means different final finish looks.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Thanks for the feedback so far. Yeah, my bad, I just did some more research and realized there are various meanings of prep, etc... for drywall.

I had initially been thinking that in order to be paint-ready, the drywall had to be mudded all over. I now realized just the joints, screws, etc. need to be mudded. My contractor did in fact do that, and tells me the only thing left to do (that he doesn't do) is sand it and prime it, which I assume(???) is simple to do.

So aside from sanding, priming and painting is there anything else I'm missing as far as being 'paint ready'?

And if sanding is not as easy as I hope (especially for an entire basement area), is this something someone might do for me (or is it still too small of a job for them unless they do the painting as well)?

On a related note, if I do decide to hire a painter for the basement, do they charge a lot more because they'll need to sand/prime, as opposed to just paint (I assume they do, just wondering how much more).

We're just using regular paint (probably Benjamin Moore Aura) in an eggshell finish.

Sorry if I sound like an idiot with any of this, I've just never dealt with new drywall (I've painted many walls over the years, but never 'unfinished' drywall).

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 3:05PM
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You should not have to sand a wall; that should be in the drywall work. The primer should be in the painter's work. In 40 years I've never seen another trade doing work on the walls between these two trades.

In the Boston area there are only two standards of drywall finish: taped and veneer plaster (blueboard) and neither would need further work before painting if the hanger expects to get paid. Troweled textured finishes are very rare and spray texture (popcorn) is never done in a single family residence. Therefore wall finishers in this area are very skilled at providing smooth finishes. At one time they were mostly Irish and now they are mostly Brazilian. It's very hard work.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 4:40PM
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Prep for paint where it is new drywall should only involve wiping down all the mud with a wet sponge so the dust is gone (and that's a critical step).

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 8:09PM
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I agree with the guys above, but now you need to take what you have and move forward...

I would get a drywall finisher in there to complete the work (sand, and attend to any blemishes, etc.) Whatever their rate, it will be money well spent for you. Look under Drywall & plaster contractors and be clear about your state of affairs. Should be a piece of cake for someone.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 8:37PM
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"Prep for paint where it is new drywall should only involve wiping down all the mud with a wet sponge "

More like barely damp.

Pre-mix drywall compound will be softened by any significant water applied, and then the surface may be damaged by even a sponge.

One of the finish 'tricks' on pre-mix is to 'wet sand' it to smooth it out.
No dust.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 1:43PM
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"Sounds like the guy just taped without overcoating with all the needed coats. "

Only higher level finishes (5) get mud over the entire wall.
Routine 3-4 finish is tree coats over the joints and fasteners, with a light sanding to smooth out the mud joints (with less sanding if you are good).

the US Gypsum handbook has finish levels and what is routinely taken to achieve them.

It is NOT arbitrary.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 11:21AM
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