Mud and Tape Drywall – How To Do it Like a PRO!

mud and tape

Mud and Tape drywall is often one of the final dirty stages to your project. Mud and Tape is a process that can’t be rushed, it is messy and will have drywall dust in areas you thought impossible. Follow the steps and you will create a smooth finish ready for paint application.

Just starting, learn how to hang drywall like a pro

Mud and Tape Choices

Try and use paper tape over mesh, mesh is easier costs more and harder to finish.
Drywall compound there is dry product or premixed, both need mixing just the dry lets you mix only what you will use. There is general purpose, light weight and high strength fast drying product designed for filling large gaps, installing tape or corner beads. This product is harder to get a smooth finish and hard to sand therefore not used other than first coat. Even premixed product should be mixed with a slowly with a paddle to drive out air and mix in any standing water.

Nothing without Tools….How to Mud and Tape

You will need a small knife, medium and large knife (trowel). The small is typically 4” wide, the medium is 10” and the wide 12” or anything close to those measurements. Most prefer metal trowels over plastic as the plastic often get burs which affects the finish. You will also need a small mud pan or hawk to hold drywall mud.Mud and Tape



In the Beginning….

Typically you start by applying corners both inside and outside as this takes more stages and by doing them first you allow more drying time.
Apply a heavy coat of mud
Install corner-typically use preformed corners made of metal/plastic or paper or some combination thereof.
Use small knife to push in corner and force out excess mud.
As with all steps don’t play with the mud, get it on and only worry about a smooth finish with the final coat.
Factory edges- A natural concave is present with two factor edges come together creating a perfect area to apply tape and mud. Simply apply the mud, push in tape and scrape joint squeezing out excess mud.
Butt joints- As there is no concave in the board at this joint, create one for more mud resulting in a stronger joint. Again apply a liberal layer of mud, push in tape while squeezing out excess mud.
Realize that in a butt joint the mud will result in a convex finish which is more visible under the right lighting conditions therefore butt joint placement should be considered when boarding.


Job for a helper!

Covering screws is a great job for an assistant and a great place to practice the applying and scraping action of the trowel.
Typically there is a row of screws and should be covered with mud by dragging a line across the entire row. Individual screw mudding will show more on the finished wall.

Break Time!

Once all tape to include corners has been applied it is time to let it dry. A fan moving air and an open window will increase dry time. High corners are typically the hardest to dry and often take more than a day, be patient.

Middle Coat syndrome

Prior to applying the second coat you will want to knock off any ridges by dragging your trowel across joints. If there is a really ugly joint a light sanding may be required, so is a mask!
The second coat is applied using the medium trowel widening the tape and creating a tapered edge on each side of the paper tape.
Corners are done one side at a time letting the first side dry before applying the second side.
Place a second coat of mud over drywall screws.

Break Time again!

Once the 2nd coat is dry you will want to put on a mask, turn on some load 80’s rock and sand all drywall compound to a smooth finish.
Repeat the steps of the 2nd coat however this time you will use the widest trowel creating a wide compound line with smooth edges.

In for the finish…. 

Your almost there, after a good dry and a light sanding take a light and look for any imperfections or you will be looking at them forever once painted. A good coat of quality primer and your ready for paint. 


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