Painting New Drywall

How to Paint Drywall that has just been Hung, Taped and Mudded

By Mark J. Donovan

After you’ve hung, mudded and taped your drywall, now comes the time for painting it. Before painting new drywall it is important to make sure you have properly prepped the drywall surfaces. Check the drywall for any imperfections in the installation and taping and mudding of it.

Touch up any areas with drywall sand screen, or if need be an additional layer of joint compound. When inspecting the drywall surfaces make sure to look at it at various angles and with proper lighting. If there are any ridges or imperfections in the drywall installation they will show up in the finished painted surfaces.

Materials Required for Painting New Drywall

To paint drywall you will need a drywall primer, paint, a paint roller and a couple of rolls, a paint pan, a paint brush for cutting, and a shopvac. Also have some drop clothes to lie around on the floor if your finished floor has already been installed.

Next, use the shopvac to vacuum the walls and ceilings to remove any dust on the drywall surfaces. You can also use a micro fiber tack rag.

Priming Drywall

Prior to painting new drywall surfaces it is critical to apply a drywall primer first. If you do not you will see splotches (a.k.a. joint banding) associated with the mudded areas, in the finished painted drywall surfaces. Joint compound has a different porousness compared to the drywall itself. Do not use any type of primer. Use a primer specifically manufactured for drywall priming or that is recommended by the drywall panel manufacturer.

First apply primer to the corners and edges of the drywall surfaces using your paint brush. This process is known as “Cutting”.

Then prime the rest of the drywall surfaces using your paint roller, and brush. Sweep the paint roller in large W and M patterns on the wall and work your way from the center of the drywall areas towards the floor and ceiling edges. After using the roller in the corners use your brush to wipe out any roller bumps that may have occurred on adjacent walls.

After the primer has dried you can then begin the actual drywall paint process. However just before painting the drywall make sure you wipe the primed wall surfaces down with a rag to remove any particles that may have collected on the primer while it was still wet.

Painting Drywall

Painting new drywall is done exactly in the same approach as priming it. First cut the edges and corners with the paint brush. 

Painting new drywall tips

Then go back and paint the main drywall surface areas with the paint roller, again working from the center to the edges.

Also initially apply the paint in a large W or M patterns on the wall, and then spread the paint into the surrounding drywall surface areas with long vertical strokes of the paint roller. Again, use your paint brush to wipe out any bump marks when rolling in the corner areas. You should plan on applying two coats of paint to achieve a perfect painted drywall finish.

For information on repairing a large drywall hole, see the “How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole” Ebook from  The “How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole” Ebook provides step-by-step instructions on how to repair your damaged wall so that it looks as good as new.

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