Drywall consists of a thin layer of gypsum between two layers of heavy paper. It is both faster and cheaper to install than plaster and is, therefore, widely used today in most buildings on both ceilings and walls.
A Drywall Finisher must measure, cut and fit drywall panels around mechanical structures. Once the required fittings are made, the drywall panels are attached to the wood or metal framework using glue, nails or screws. One or more Drywall Finisher apprentices will work together to lift the heavy and cumbersome drywall panels into position to secure them to the framework. Oftentimes, a Drywall Finisher will use a lifting device when placing drywall panels on a ceiling.
Once the drywall has been securely installed, Tapers fill the joints between panels with a joint compound. Using the wide, flat edge of a hand held trowel, Tapers spread the compound into and along each side of all joints and angles with brush-like strokes. Immediately after spreading the compound, a paper tape is pressed into the wet compound to reinforce the drywall and to smooth away excess compound material. The same compound is also used to cover nail and screw depressions in the panel caused by the installation of mechanical structures.