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Finishing Your Living Room Walls
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Finishing Your Living Room Walls

There are few home remodeling projects that are as exciting as re-doing the walls in your living room. After all, this is the room where the family, as a unit, will spend the most time; it's also the place where you'll entertain most of your guests. And more than anything other than the furniture, the walls are what will define this room's personality. For the sake of this article, let's say you've already made the commitment to re-do the walls, and you've got the drywall up. Now it's time for the finishing.

If it is indeed drywall you're dealing with, you've probably hired professionals.  At this stage, you'll watch as they cut and then fit the drywall sheets, and then screw or nail them in place. They'll probably tape the sheets and then mud all the joints.  Experienced pros will get this part of the job done in a matter of a few days. The mud takes the longest at this stage of the project, since it requires a few days to dry. After the hired professionals put on the first mud coat, and then it dries, they will sand and tape it. Then they'll apply another coat of the mud, and then allow another few days for it to dry. After all this, they will sand the drywall to make sure all areas are smooth.

For drywall, if you hire professionals to hang it in your home, you will see them cut and fit sheets of drywall, nail and/or screw the sheets into place, tape them, and finally mud the joints. While doing this alone or with a friend may take sometime, a professional crew can make huge accomplishments in a matter of days. The one aspect of hanging drywall that takes the longest is the mud because it takes about three to four days to dry. Once the first coat of mud goes and then dries completely, it is then sanded and taped. From that point, the next coat of mud goes on, again taking three to four days for thorough drying. Finally, the drywall may be sanded in some places to smooth it out, the dust is cleaned, and that portion of the project is done.

Another finishing that you might use for your walls is plastic veneer.  Although this is quite a bit different from drywall, it's fairly cheap and doesn't require any more work than what a drywall does. What's more, it tends to resist scrapes and dents better.  Here's how this process will go if you hire professionals to apply the plastic veneer to the walls. First, to all gypsum panel-joints, they'll apply corner beads & fiberglass mesh tape. Then they'll spread a base of plaster on all the walls and ceilings.  It will take about 24 hours for the the coat to dry. Then they'll apply a second coat, and wait for it to dry; and then finally, they'll apply a third coat.

Then it's time for priming and for coating. Regardless of the plaster that's used, it must be smooth and prepared for finish. Use only a quality primer. This will seal the walls so they hold up against dents and scrapes. Before you apply the primer, though, don't forget to take off the baseboards. After the dust has settled, put tape over wood on the door-jams, windowsills, doors, and other areas you don't want the primer to accidentally get on. Now you will put the first coat of the primer on the walls and then wait for it to dry. Then you may apply a second coat if you wish.

Only after your primer has completely dried should you start painting. This will probably require two or three coats, as you paint and try to cover the walls evenly. Finally, at the end of the process, add some stain to the baseboards, let it dry and you'll have your brand new beautiful living room.

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