I just added fire tape to the drywall seams in my 1950s garage using two layers of this compound from USG. I couldn't find any reference to this question in their docs: Do I need to paint over the mudded seams after they dry, or can I leave them exposed? I live in the upper Midwest of the U.S., which sees pretty gnarly temperature swings and humidity levels throughout the year.

  • I have left garages un painted where this was a fire wall / wall adjoining to a habitable living space. Code may have changed since then.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jun 17, 2020 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


No, paint is not required for wall board on combustible (wood) construction. (See ICC Table 720.1(2), Items 12, 14, and 15.)

Note: Item 15 includes 2-hour fire rated construction too (two layers of gypsum board).

However, be aware that nailing requirements, type of plaster mix, etc. do matter. Most stud spacing is 16” on center, but I did see one with 24” on center (14-1.4 ) with gypsum board long dimension to stud, with 6d cooler nails or wallboard nails at 7” on center.

  • 1
    What is a "6d cooler nail"? I'm familiar with "6d", but have never heard the term "cooler" applied to a nail. Is that an autocowreck, a nail that fell into the drinks cooler, or an opportunity for me to learn something? Also, wouldn't screwing the wallboard up be preferable to nailing (just to minimize pops in the future)?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 13:06
  • @FreeMan Old term...here’s an article...scroll down 4 paragraphs.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 16:47
  • psst... where's "here"? :)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 16:47
  • @FreeMan Yes, I prefer screws too. However, you need to comply with what has been tested and approved by testing agencies, such as U.L. or Warnock. I’ve had inspectors approve screws, but I can’t find a U.L. Listing.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 16:51
  • @FreeMan Oops...try this: wconline.com/articles/87715-all-things-gypsum-cooler-nails
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 16:52

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