Okay, I'm really done now. I spent a few hours this morning trying to tidy up the ceiling seams and get it ready for priming tomorrow. It's not perfect, by any means, but I think it's "as good as I can get it." That's my mantra, anyway. This was our first drywalling experience and it wasn't easy, that's for sure, but we certainly learned a lot. Here's how I would sum up our lessons learned:
1) Rent a drywall lift. You may think, "Oh, we can do it. How heavy can 14-foot sheets of drywall really be?" Believe me, they're heavy. And, your friends will thank you for not taking advantage of them.
2) Have a comfortable ladder. You're standing up there a lot of the time and it's a good thing.
3) If it's your first time, practice mudding on a spare piece of drywall or on a wall first. I noticed it took me quite a while to get used to the intricacies of holding and feathering with the knives, especially as they got progressively bigger.
4) Definitely use three different sizes of knives. I thought this seemed excessive in all the instruction booklets but I totally get it now.
5) Take frequent breaks. Your neck and back will thank you.
6) Use a drywall sponge after the last coat instead of sanding. It works really well.
7) If you have money, hire someone else to do it (just kidding...but maybe not).