BTC Student Workshop: Drywall Prep and Prime

| March 13, 2013 | 1 Comment

Prep to Finish recently launched it’s 2013 Student Workshop Series at the Barre Technical Center in Vermont. The students of the BTC Construction Trades Program, led by instructor Steve Coultas, have been building an entire new house inside their shop/warehouse. The home has been built in several large sections, and will be moved out of the shop and to a foundation soon.

The students have handled all aspects of the building process, and we are honored by the challenge of creating a workshop series to train the students on how to properly paint the interior of the home to a professional standard.

Working closely with Steve Coultas to develop the most genuine finish stage experience possible for the students, Todd and Scott came up with a multi-phase painting curriculum, which started with the Drywall Prep and Prime Workshop.

drywall sanding

BTC students spotting each other on the Planex.

Drywall Prep and Prime

In this drywall workshop, Todd and Scott taught the students about proper drywall sanding to prepare ceilings and walls for priming. The students had previously hung, taped, skimmed and sanded all of the drywall in the house – no small challenge. Prep to Finish taught the kids how to finalize their finish skim/sand sequence through detailed surface inspections. All of the drywall was power sanded using the Festool Planex supplemented by small orbitals, all attached to HEPA certified vacuums. With training, the students quickly learned how to sand efficiently and dust free.

When the prep stage sequence was complete, students worked in pairs to learn how to spray and backroll Benjamin Moore Super Spec latex primer on all of the drywall surfaces, using an air assisted airless sprayer with an HVLP rated spray gun. The students all suited up and respirated, they did an amazing job under the direction of renowned spray tech/trainer, Todd Pudvar. Second year students revealed to us that last year, they primed and painted the house they built with 9″ rollers. They were blown away that it was possible to spray the inside of a house.

prep to finishTodd led the students through all aspects of spray gun safety and technique, and the two man rhythm of spraying and backrolling. This was all on the first day. On the second day, a thorough round of “critical eye training” and post primer cosmetic skimming was the theme of the day.

Prep to Finish could not have been more proud and impressed with the patience, positive attitudes, work ethic and general morale of this group of future construction trade pros.

Stay tuned for the upcoming sequels to this introductory workshop. These sequels will include a workshop on spraying and backrolling ceiling finish coats, prep and finish on walls and trim, and a student field trip to our spray shop to learn about more advanced finish applications, as well as further exploration of paint industry career options.

This educational series is supported by paint industry manufacturers who care, including: Benjamin Moore, FestoolUSA, and Graco.




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Category: Barre Technical Center, Drywall Prep and Prime, videos

About the Author ()

Scott Burt is a paint contractor, writer and paint trainer from Vermont. He writes for American Painting Contractor magazine,, and is a featured blogger at JLCOnline.

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  1. BTC Student Workshop : Ceiling Spray & Backroll - Prep to Finish | March 16, 2013

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