Working with Drywall

Learn the fundamentals of mixing compounds, hanging drywall, taping and installing corner bead, and how to successfully contribute to a project as a drywall contractor. 

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Lesson Plan

Video Lessons · 2H 37M

  • 1. Drywall Basics

    Successful drywall installation requires mastery of the basics. Your instructor Lydia Crowder explains the necessities that go into properly setting up a drywall job, such as securing the right materials, getting on the same page with the general contractor, and advocating for yourself if you’re self-employed.

  • 2. How to Bid a Drywall Job

    Estimating the drywall footing and costs — is your first step to securing a drywall job. Lydia explains several methods for compiling a bid: using the site plans, going onsite and measuring yourself, or submitting the construction plans to your drywall supplier and having them determine your footing for you.

  • 3. Prep: Pre-Drywall Inspections

    Before installation can begin, you’ll need to work through a pre-drywall inspection checklist. Lydia reviews security measures like screw inspections, liability insurance, and bringing necessary electrical equipment.

  • 4. Prep: Communication and Workflow

    As a self-employed contractor, communication with the other builders is essential. Lydia walks you through common situations that may arise on the jobsite, like working with painters and carpenters, and even the proper protocol for bringing your dog to work.

  • 5. Hanging Drywall: Overview

    Learn the basics of hanging drywall like staggering joints, hanging bolts, and how to work thoroughly and tidily to set the finisher up for success.

  • 6. Hanging Drywall: Screw Pops and Pre-V Butt Joints

    Lydia shows how to fix screw pops. Also, learn how to pre-v butt joints using a razor blade.

  • 7. Hanging Drywall: Things To Avoid

    To avoid mistakes, it’s essential to take your time when cutting and routering can lights and electrical boxes, minimizing butt joints and breaking flats over boxes. Also, Lydia gives drywall tips like ensuring the router is set correctly at the back of the electrical box when cutting drywall for outlets.

  • 8. Preparing to Tape

    Before taping, Lydia checks the screws for clicking and resets them with a screwdriver, angles edges on butt joints using a razor blade, and looks for gaps or spaces in the drywall that need to be pre-filled.

  • 9. Taping a Flat

    Lydia demonstrates proper pan scooping technique and recommends using a rounded bottom pan for better grip. Also, learn how to tape a flat from butt to flat to angle, ensuring everything is neatly sealed.

  • 10. Spotting Screws

    Lydia shows how to spot screws with mud using fire tape, and how to correct shiner screws and clicks with a screwdriver so each screw is properly filled.

  • 11. Taping Angles and Inside Corners

    Learn how to hand tape a three-way angle, which is an inside corner where three sides meet. Here, Lydia works with angle mud and gives drywall mudding tips: the thinner the consistency, the better.

  • 12. Installing Corner Bead

    Lydia installs various corner bead materials: paper-faced metal, vinyl, metal, and paper-faced composite.

  • 13. Drywall Tools: Hawk & Trowel, Pan & Knife

    Lydia compares and contrasts using a pan and knife, which she prefers for everyday drywall tasks, to using a hawk and trowel, which are effective when spreading larger amounts of mud, creating texture, and working with plaster.

  • 14. Mixing Hot Mud

    Lydia shows how to mix Easy 5, a hot mud that sets quickly and is ideal for filling butt joints. Also, learn about the benefits of Easy Sand 45, which is good for large jobs as it takes longer to set and gives you ample time to prep your walls and ceilings.

  • 15. Mixing Compounds

    Lydia demonstrates mixing Plus 3 with a drill and whip, and how to use water to achieve the right mud consistency.

  • 16. Basic Box: Taping Butt Joint

    Lydia walks you through applying mud, hand-taping with paper tape, and working outward from the center of the tape with your knife to complete the task of taping the butt joint.

  • 17. Basic Box: Taping a Flat

    Lydia demonstrates applying mud, placing the paper tape from corner to corner, and how to re-mud and tape if you run into blistering on the walls.

  • 18. Working on Stilts

    Ceiling work calls for drywall stilts. Lydia explains how to set your stilt height with wingnuts and shows you proper stilt fitting and walking techniques to use them safely.

  • 19. Basic Box: High Angles

    Lydia applies mud to the ceilings and walls, then guides her paper tape along the angle where the two meet. She advises spotting the ceiling screws while you’re on drywall stilts, so you don’t have to go up and down all day.

  • 20. Basic Box: Low Angles

    Learn how to apply mud and tape to a vertical angle, smooth out wrinkles in the tape using your knife, and ensure all the tape from various flats and butt joints are smooth and enveloped together.

Who it's for: This course is for apprentices, contractors, and even homeowners who need a deep understanding of the basics of drywall, step by step. Students will walk away with a knowledge of drywall basics and how to apply them on the job. No prior drywall experience is required.

Key Topics

  • How to bid a drywall job

  • Drywall inspections

  • Hanging drywall

  • Taping a flat

  • Mixing joint compounds

  • How to drywall corners

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.