Introduction to Drywall

Learn drywall composition, finishing level requirements, and common materials used to achieve quality drywall results. 

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Lesson Plan

Video Lessons · 55M

  • 1. Introduction to Drywall

    Meet your instructor Lydia Crowder, expert drywall contractor and business owner, as she discusses the transformative effect drywall can have on a space.

  • 2. History of Gypsum Board

    Drywall is made from gypsum, an ancient and multipurpose compound found in everything from Greek temples to modern toothpaste. Learn about drywall’s rise to prominence and why it’s such a great material to use in a home.

  • 3. Sizes and Types of Drywall

    Lydia walks you through common drywall thicknesses, and where to use each. Plus, learn about special types of drywall like prefinished and mold resistant.

  • 4. Joints and Jargon: Commonly Used Drywall Terms

    Drywall lingo is anything but boring. Learn about flats, butts, bastards, inside angles, outside angles, off angles, drywall shins, “No-Coat,” and belly bands.

  • 5. Drywall Finishing Levels

    Lydia walks you through levels 1 through 5 of drywall finishing, and what quality should be expected at each finishing level.

  • 6. Introduction to Drywall Compounds

    Drywall finishing calls for different kinds of compounds or muds. Learn about hot mud, air-drying muds, box mud vs. bucket mud, when to use mesh tape and paper tape, and how to mix your mud to the proper consistency.

  • 7. Air-Dry Compounds: Taping Mud

    Lydia explains the difference between all-purpose and lightweight taping compounds, and which to choose for your drywall project and skill type.

  • 8. Air-Dry Compounds: Coating Mud

    Lydia walks you through two different kinds of coating muds used for topping and coating—Plus 3 and UltraLightweight—and how to work with each.

  • 9. Air-Dry Compounds: Texture Mud

    Mud textures run the gamut, from orange peel to popcorn. Here Lydia explains the properties of two basic textures, All Purpose-Lite and CertainTeed Spray Texture.

  • 10. Drywall Tape: Mesh and Paper

    Lydia compares and contrasts the most commonly used drywall tapes: mesh tape and paper tape.

  • 11. Drywall Tape: Composite Corner Pieces

    Using specialty tape, Lydia shows how to drywall inside corners and framing that aren’t ninety degrees.

  • 12. Corner Bead

    To finish outside corners, you have to use corner bead. Lydia walks you through different corner bead materials: metal, paper faced metal, no-coat corner bead, and vinyl.

  • 13. Corner Bead: Three-Way Corners, Trim, and Specialty Pieces

    Lydia demonstrates various specialty pieces that can be used for corner bead to suit your style preferences and trim specifications, including bullnose, square edge, chamfer, and architectural beads.

  • 14. Wrap Up

    Lydia reviews drywall materials and finishing levels, and offers tips for continuing to hone your drywall skills.

Who it's for: This course is for apprentices, contractors, and even homeowners looking to get a strong foundation of the craft and feel prepared to pivot into this area of the trades. No prior drywall experience is required.

Key Topics

  • Drywall finishing levels

  • Types of drywall

  • Mud and tape

  • Drywall corners

  • Mesh tape and paper tape

  • Joint compound

Common Questions

  • What is Copeland?

    Copeland helps you further your career in the building industry with expert-led online education that will make you a better, smarter tradesperson.

    Our training courses give you a foundation in construction fundamentals and trade skills with real-world applications and best practices to help you grow on the job.

  • What do courses include?

    Online courses include professionally produced videos taught by leaders in the trades and supplementary learning material such as quizzes, assessments and downloadable materials to help you acquire new skills. Watch anywhere, always at your own pace. We keep lesson videos short so they’re easy to watch after work or on your lunch break. You can finish a course in one sitting, or space it out over a week or two.

  • How does the 30-day guarantee work?

    If you’re not happy with a course, let us know within 30 days for a full refund. Our goal is to provide maximum value for your career. If we haven’t delivered on that promise, let us know.

  • Can international students take Copeland courses?

    Students can take Copeland courses from anywhere in the world. Our courses are online, so if you have access to the Internet, you can watch our training videos. Courses are taught in English, with English captions and Spanish subtitles available.

  • Where did the name Copeland come from?

    Copeland was named after a legendary educator who promoted the idea that training in a specific trade paired with a knowledge of general business principles opens up a whole new world of career possibilities. We believe in the same powerful combination of skills and knowledge.