Sharing is Caring

Sharing plastering techniques, Lydia Crowder, aka @drywallshorty, revolutionizes the industry through online platforms and hands-on inspiration. #DrywallMastery
Jeremy Mistretta
October 18, 2023
4 min read

“All drywall MUST be taped to a level 3 finish prior to plaster install,” is a bolden phrase that graces our estimates and contracts.  While the term “plaster” primarily conjures visions of lathe and horsehair in your grandparent’s farmhouse, to many it’s important to note that since the 1940s this has changed, and lathe has been replaced with sheetrock panels. As the result, plaster has transitioned to a decorative finish and less of a structural facade. Unlike the lumpy and multi-painted walls of yesteryear, modern plaster walls appear three dimensional to the eye, yet smooth to the touch by the hand.  To achieve this high-end finish, the drywall seams must be accurately taped and coated to create a flat surface for the plaster veneer to plane.

Throughout our travels, we’ve been fortunate enough to plaster over the impeccable Level 3 finish installed by Lydia Crowder’s team at Trinity Drywall.  We first met her in 2008 at a seminar where the 5’1’ Bozeman native was looking to expand upon her craft and add plaster to her trade cannon.  We were immediately taken by her kind demeanor and undaunted fear.  Enthusiastically entering the trades after a brief stint in college, she has been thriving ever since.  “I love drywall and can’t imagine another career,” Lydia exclaimed.

Thankfully Lydia has a father that was thrilled to pass his 30-year trade secrets down his family lineage.
“Many folks haven’t been so lucky” Lydia shared with us in an afternoon chat.  “It’s unfortunate that people have to fight for knowledge as many contractors keep their tricks close to their chest,” sighed Lydia.

Determined to share like her father, Lydia shattered this close-lipped tradition in 2019 when her husband Ryan encouraged her to spread their “skip trowel” technique in an online video.  The segment received thousands of views in its first day and @drywallshorty was born. Since its inception, her pages have garnered the attention of 200k+ followers on Instagram, and a staggering 500K followers on Facebook.  In just a few short years, @drywallshorty has cut through communication barriers in the drywall community and has contractors engaging with one another, and sharing tips and tricks from different regions and countries.

In addition to her social media presence, Lydia is a frequent guest on @thebuildshow podcast hosted by Matt Risinger.   Based out of Austin, TX “The Build Show” serves as an online hub to aid builders and homeowners alike throughout the construction of their projects, offering fresh styles on design and fabrication, while simultaneously encouraging its viewers and listeners to succeed amidst the trades.  @drywallshorty’s videos grace the show’s many platforms often.  Together, Matt and Lydia share their combined audiences and have turned the building industry into a virtual thinktank forum where creativity, connections, and education thrive.

Lydia hasn’t stopped at videos and podcasts.  Her notoriety in the trades has earned her liaison advertising rights with USG, ClarkDietrich, CanAm tools, TrimTex, and Duluth Trading Co.  Alongside these brands, @drywallshorty touts’ success that is steeped upon “dedicated time management, quality content, relevant information, and interactive communication” with her followers; all while running her company.

It’s no secret that social media is plagued with inherent and existential issues.  Thankfully, @drywallshorty’s pages offer a respite amongst feeds and are a testament to true alignments with other tradesmen and women. Her pages raise awareness on industry issues and create successful installations around the globe.

“Often times, it’s not the product that fails it’s the installation,” Lydia told Matt Risinger on The Build Show “And if I can help an installer somewhere, I’ve succeeded with my message.”

Her momentum won’t stop at social media and podcasts either.  Future plans include aspirations of hands-on road trips with pop-up shows around the country; sharing skills that are delivered with her authentic smile, as she inspires others to break into the industry just like she did.

In the meantime, while Lydia is still in Bozeman, we will cherish any job that is taped by her.  We know our plaster will shine atop a perfect Level 3, which according to Lydia includes a “full bodied finish” across the board with all butts, flats, and cornerbead properly filled twice.  Lydia claims that a Level 3 can have some minor imperfections, although we’ve failed to see any after almost 15 years of working together.

For more tips, tricks, and connections in the drywall world, be sure to follow Lydia’s online pages on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Youtube.  You won’t be disappointed.