Photo # 1. After all the mesh is cut, formed, and screwed solidly in place, the Masonite flat panels are all re-installed. At this point I am still using self threading screws to hold these panels in place. Later they will be equipped with regular panel fasteners.
Photo # 2. Obviously, we can not pad or upholster directly over the wire mesh. So we need to create a smooth and solid surface for our base. To do this I am using a fiberglass mesh material...commonly known as drywall tape (a roll of it is on the left in this picture). This is the fine mesh perforated tape which is sticky on one side and available at any hardware store. I cut this tape into various lengths and layed up my first layer applying the fiberglass tape directly over the wire mesh and then with my hands and fingers, worked lightweight drywall compound through the mesh tape. As the compound oozes through the tape it wraps around the wire mesh behind the tape and holds everything in place. I then smoothed out the surface as smoothly as I could with just hand pressure.
I discovered there is no better â€œtoolâ€ for doing this than just gobbing it on with your hands and smoothing it out with your fingers. Youâ€™ll quickly get a feel for the process...sort of like making mud pies as a kid. Itâ€™s a bit time consuming, but also fun playing around in the mess.
Photo # 3. Here is a close up shot of the first layer going on. Note that you donâ€™t have to achieve total coverage at this juncture and that you can see lots of voids and air holes through the fiberglass mesh. The purpose of this first layer is just to create a solid bond between the wire mesh and the fiberglass mesh. The voids will be taken care of in subsequent applications.
It should also be noted here that those who might be concerned with the drywall compound cracking in the future, you could also used resin for this step of the process. I have choosen to stick with drywall compound because it is much more forgiving to work with and much easier to clean up and sand later. At this juncture I am convinced the fiberglass mesh tape will prevent any probelm with cracking.