Updated on January 4, 2023
I need to do a few more things on the kitchen before I reveal the finished room. Today, I thought I would post about our spackling project. That is pretty much all my life was consumed with for many, many weeks. I was up to my eyeballs in the spackling of it all. I had to even take week-long breaks from the spackle so as not to go crazy.
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- Sheetrock All Purpose Joint Compound
- Sheetrock Paper Drywall Joint Tape
- 10″ Drywall Knife
- Various Putty/drywall knives (not all shown)
- Inside corner tool – I didn’t find this tool to be very helpful
- Drywall Sanding Sponge
- Other sanding tools
Please note, I am no drywall expert. I am a complete amateur. Amateurs should probably not spackle. It really is not a fun job and it is much harder than it looks! I did, however, get a lot of useful information here.
The first step in how to cover seams on vinyl walls (or a joint seam taping project) in a manufactured home is to wash down your walls. My house is at least 10 years old, so there is a lot of built-up gunk on the walls, especially since this is the kitchen.
Note: We had tried to just cover the seams originally with just spackle, and no tape. This was not a good idea. So, in some of the pictures, you can see the old spackle.
For the straight seams, you can use the self-adhesive mesh joint tape. The only tricky part of the mesh is that if you don’t cover it well with joint compound, you will see the mesh outline under your paint. We have a few spots in our house where the old homeowners did repairs and you can see the criss-cross pattern.
The above picture shows the mesh tape added over our previous spackling attempt. Before starting, I sanded most of it off. Add a nice big helping of joint compound over the mesh tape.
Smooth it down with your large drywall knife.
Allow it to dry. Once dry, sand with a drywall sponge or other sander. As a personal note, this drywall sanding sponge works well but did not hold up for very long. It is nice because there is much less spackle dust being flung about, but the “sanding” part of the sponge came off after only a few uses. I ended up switching to regular sanding blocks.
After one coat of spackle, your wall should look the picture shown below.
You can see streaks in the joint compound because of the wet sanding sponge and it wasn’t completely dry. Now you can see after the second coat of spackle, dry and sanded. Looking better already, right?
You have to add one more coat of joint compound and then sand it again. This will be your finish sanding, so pay special attention to this final one. We actually had some really awful seams that needed almost 5 coats of joint compound to make them look right. Ugh! I think at this point I was so sick of the whole project there were no pictures being taken of anything, so I apologize for not having a picture of the third coat.
The finished seam once primed and painted turned out really great. You would never know there used to be a seam there.
Some tips I learned from experience with this whole project:
- Do not use self-adhesive mesh joint tape in the corners. It does not work. At. All. The paper tape is not all that hard to work with. You lay down a coat of joint compound. Lightly wet the paper tape. Smoosh (that is a word, right?) it onto your seam. Cover the tape with more compound. Smooth it out with your drywall knife.
- Make sure to do three coats of joint compound. It gives the project a professional look you won’t get with slapping one coat of joint compound on it and calling it done. Plus, if you only do one coat, there is a possibility of the tape lifting from the seam over time. We are having this problem in our bathroom where the previous homeowners must have only done one coat. I promise you will thank me for it when you are done. (Although feel free to curse this recommendation profusely while working on your project).
- Drywall joint taping should be done before the rest of your house is finished, molding installed, etc. But, you can make it work if you have to after the fact. There is hope for you, if like me, you have had to look at hideously ugly vinyl wallpaper for five years or more.
- The corner tool does not work if you have walls that are not level. I don’t think we have one plumb/level/square wall in our entire kitchen.
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