One Room Challenge Fall 2021: Week 5

Sometimes I think the most challenging part of the One Room Challenge is sticking to one room! But that’s exactly why I signed up as a guest participant.

There are just SOOOO many things in our house that need a little something, and I am so easily sidetracked. So focusing on one room means we’ll have at least ONE space that is done.

And for week 5, what’s done is…drywall! Plus mudding, taping, and in the case of the wall extensions, painting.

Week 5 Progress!

This means the fireplace is looking more and more fireplace-y:

Fireplace drywalled, mudded, and taped!

Who knew I would be so happy about drywall? But it makes the fireplace seem so much closer to done. Every step counts!

Here’s What It Took to Get to This Point

I don’t have a ton of experience drywalling, but I did learn some things when I had to do it a couple times at our old house. Apparently practice helps, because I am improving. And at least I knew how to go about it this time.

Here’s my supply list for this part:

  • 25mm self-tapping screws for attaching drywall to the metal studs
  • 1/2 inch mold and moisture resistant drywall
  • Drywall T-square
  • Utility knife
  • Drill & bits
  • Clamps
  • 4 sizes of taping knives & tray
  • Joint compound
  • Joint tape
  • Corner tape

Cutting the Drywall

To get started, I first cut the drywall using a utility knife and t-square.

Drywall, utility knife, and t-square

I actually did part of that right when in the store parking lot so it would fit in my SUV. Those 4x8ft long sheets were just a tad too long, so everything got cut in half.

Then when I got home I cut them to actually fit.

Cutting drywall is really easy. You just score the side with the paper on it (the finished side). Then you snap it from the other side. Once it’s bent, you can slice through any paper still holding it together.

I found it easiest to stand the piece of drywall up, stand by the unfinished side, and kind of karate chop close to where I wanted it to snap with my foot. There are probably more normal ways of snapping it but that worked well. (And was fun, too.)

Attaching & Finishing the Drywall

Once I had my pieces cut, I clamped one piece at a time into place. Then attached them to the metal studs with the self-tapping screws. (In some cases I did have to drill some pilot holes first when the screws wouldn’t cooperate.)

A few pieces were tricky shapes, so I test fit those first:

Test fitting drywall

And then cut more, and tried again.


Once all the drywall was hung, I taped over the screw holes and cracks where the pieces of drywall butted up against each other. I also added corner tape on all of the inside and outside corners. You use a little joint compound to give the tape a nice bed to attach to.

Corner tape is just special tape that you bend to give the edges a nice finished look. I chose to some that had a metal piece in it, mostly because that seemed to be the most popular one at the hardware store.

Using corner tape when drywalling

Mudding & Sanding

Once all the taping was done, I glopped on some joint compound over the wall to skim coat it. Then I smoothed it out with the taping knives, one size at a time.

It’s a lot like frosting a giant vertical sheet cake.

If you’re doing this and are tempted to just get one size of taping knife, don’t. Get 3 or 4, with each size being larger than the other.

You smooth over the joint compound with each size in turn, and it makes a HUGE difference. No idea why, but it does.

Once the first layer of joint compound is nice and dry, you sand it flat. (Don’t over sand, or you’ll tear the drywall paper.)

Then you do it all over again until you get a nice smooth finish. (Or in my case, a pretty smooth finish.)

If I’d wanted to, at this point I could have sprayed on texture. But I’m happy to not have textured walls in this house, so that was a no from me.

Here’s the wall that turned out the best:

Finished wall

You can’t even tell where the old wall ends and the new one starts. This is soooooo much better than my first try at drywalling, which was pretty much a disaster that I hid behind a large picture.

Now let’s jump upstairs real quick.

Chimney Barrier in Place

One more big step for this week was putting up a barrier around the chimney upstairs.

Basically the barrier just needed to be in place to prevent things from falling on the chimney pipe and catching fire. The inspector suggested multiple ways to do it, and I went with what seemed easiest: rabbit wire.

Rabbit wire used as barrier near chimney

I used some washers and screws to screw it in place along the walls and ceiling. So that was one more thing off the list, and it means we can still use most of the closet too.

We also now have a couch in the living room. And a coffee table! Such a huge improvement over camp chairs and boxes 🙂

Be sure to check out the other One Room Challenge participants.

Categorized as DIY

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