how to use wallboard joint compound


It is worth doing it right the first time. Most good applicators need very little cleanup behind them anyway, so clean up is minimal. After you've sanded, should anything be done to get the remaining dust off of the wall before you paint? Most work is done using normal pre-mixed joint compound, and for the most part an all purpose formulation is more than adequate. Common mistakes that most people make and that I addressed here. If using a fiberglass mesh tape, stick the tape to the drywall down the center of the joint, and apply joint compound over it with a four or five inch knife. Each of these steps is described in detail below, with photos and videos to guide you.

This type of mud tends to shrink less than all-purpose premixed mud but it begins to harden very quickly. When the bevels are fitted together, they form a small indentation, about 2 inches wide, along the joints. In such cases, it is common to use only two coats as the texture hides a lot of imperfections even on the butt joints. Wipe away excess mud with the knife. It doesn't really matter and seems more personal preference than anything. This imperceptibly builds up the wall depth over a wider area to reduce the appearance of a bulky butt-joint seam. Drywall pan is well worth the cost; for the average homeowner a plastic one is much cheaper than stainless steel and works as well. You should be left with a screw sized shallow hole filled with joint compound. If necessary, this step can be done on separate days, doing one side on one day and the other on the next day after the first side as dried.

Here, the goal is to cover the joint while maintaining the minimum crown effect. Hammer or screwgun (a cordless drill is perfect here). Do not discard the liquid; it is not simply water, but part of the joint compound. Everything is allowed to dry thoroughly between coats and excess dust removed. Let the wall dry completely and sand before applying the next layer. He ended up sanding off nearly an inch of joint compound, using a belt sander to do it, and nearly destroying the drywall underneath. This is a subtle trick to get people to call a professional and pay big bucks for something that you can readily do yourself. Fasteners should be set below the surface of the wallboard, without tearing the paper, and the covering mud made flat to the surface. Powdered drywall mud, also called setting mud or hot mud, contains chemicals that react when water is added to hasten hardening time. Apply a second coat of mud to the screw indentations, beveled joints, and inside and outside cornersinthe same orderas the first coatonly this time, use only mud. When I added a range for a basement renter I disabled the oven so he couldn't blow the main fuse every time they were both cooking. Using only two coats will make it much harder as a key is to extend that joint very wide. As you continue the stroke, slowly flatten the knife towards the wall, providing more joint compound to the wall. Corner joints to be taped with paper tape must have both sides done at once, and a corner knife is a very useful tool to have for that purpose. The inexperienced homeowner can do this if they use great care but putting mud on a wall is an art, not a purely mechanical task, and getting a really flat wall is not easy. Let all the mud dry before applying the next coat. Appearance will be greatly improved if the compound is spread over a wider area; the inevitable crown is not nearly as noticeable that way. Dan Harmon (author) from Boise, Idaho on January 07, 2012: Sorry, John, but I am not paid by anyone to push the hiring of professionals; rather I try to teach people how to do the work themselves. Either way, try not to scuff the paper on the drywall - roughened paper will flash through paint and show up in splotches on the finished surface. The flat joint will need one pass with the knife to apply the joint compound followed by one or two more to smooth the compound, remove air pockets, clean up the edges, etc. Most people prefer sandpaper, around 100-150 grit. i didn't use Spackle tape on a pint and now it's "moving". Anyway as regards filling over the heads, that's a good tip to keep the knife more vertical than flat to stop it flexing. When finished mudding fasteners, any sanding should be very minimal in order not to scuff the paper. It is my hope that it will help people. I don't mind taping and mudding drywall, but I hate sanding it.

This gap must be filled with a setting type of joint compound. But I do remember those thingies to screw into a light socket and plug a cord into while still running the light - had to be careful that the cord didn't rest on the hot light bulb. I've done this with one joint and then did the "torch test". I would not sponge the dust off at all. Make each coat as near to a finished product as possible, given what you are trying to accomplish with that coat. There should still be a definite taper on the flat joints after this process; you have another two coats to apply before the surface is to be flat. This is bound to add to the time and time is money. This one is exceptionally written: the writer has the learner in mind at all times. It must be not only set up but dry before going over it - don't cover it just because it is hard. After drying the block coat, you are ready to apply the final, skim, coat of joint compound. And I remember as a young teen putting a penny behind a screw in fuse; it blew up the street transformer and the power company had to replace it! To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Corner joints are best done over two days for the beginner. Fiberglass applied and ready for joint compound. But when done correctly, the result is a wall so flat that few observers can spot the seams beneath. Mud them as you did the beveled joints, taking care to use only as much mud as necessary to fill the joint and bed the tape. By educating yourself a bit with a good drywall book (check your local library) you CAN, contrary to what this article states, make your job look just as good as a professional's.

I use two fingers myself sometimes, especially with wide knives when I have to skim whole walls. Thanks! Normally the dust does not create a problem, but if you've done a lot of sanding it CAN show up as a "pebbly" surface after painting. The skim coat process is again the time for a final coat on nails and screws. I've been doing a lousy job of mudding for decades and never learned from anyone who was very good. Good tips - thank you! Below ground there is always the dampness to consider (which will degrade drywall) and above ground we put in either steel or wood studs, likely to provide for utilities. Premixed joint compound is just that: The mud has already been mixed with water to a smooth consistency and is ready to be applied. For a corner, fold the tape inward and place the folded edge directly into the corner, allowing the sides to fan out and connect with the sheetrock on either side. Take a few minutes to check out the installation of the drywall, correcting minor problems as you discover them, and you will find that the job will be much faster and easier with better results. The different types of tape are paper, mesh, and preformedand all three have their pros and cons. However, like any dry powder mix, it is susceptible to dampness, clumping, etc. Often times an entire row of screws are cover with one stroke, then the excess removed from each one individually or in one additional stroke. So I may try that on an inconspicuous joint and if it doesn't work out to well, I'll invest in a wider knife. @Wilderness I keep telling myself that, but my hands wont listen and the coats always end up thick. Feather out the edges of the swaths well with the knife for a smooth look. After the skim coat has dried it will need sanding, either with sandpaper or a damp sponge. With the 6-inch knife, apply a thin coat of mud to both sides of an inside corner, making sure to work it all the way into the center. Modern houses however are built using a double wall of 4 inch thick concrete blocks with a 3 inch cavity in-between which is filled with insulating slabs. After you've thoroughly prepped the wall, you're ready to start applying the tape and joint compound to your drywall. Hi, thank you for sharing this article on your blog. Now youre ready to paint or wallpaper! No. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/6\/6f\/Use-Joint-Compound-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Use-Joint-Compound-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/6\/6f\/Use-Joint-Compound-Step-1.jpg\/aid1355450-v4-728px-Use-Joint-Compound-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":485,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, Easy DIY Repair Guide: How to Fix Cracks in Plaster Walls, https://www.ferguson.com/content/trade-talk/business-tips/4-tips-to-minimize-dangers-of-dust-inhalation, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuS001pQNzI, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uFK8OGV2UM, http://dwfc.org/wp-content/files/2010_03_16_Joint_Compound_Drying.pdf. Incomplete drying can cause delayed shrinkage; pre-mixed joint compound will shrink as it dries and if a second coat is put over a layer of compound that is still damp under the surface that first coat will shrink later, causing the second coat to shrink or crack. The Arena Media Brands, LLC and respective content providers to this website may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. You will, of course, need joint compound and drywall tape. The preferred method is a quick set type of material as it has very little or no shrinkage. It's tough to add outlets, water or data lines into a masonry wall! No, we don't put drywall on masonry much. But do be aware that even though you did the "torch test" it is not the same as tangential lighting from a large window on a large wall. Thank you for the compliment. But within that category, youll find all-purpose mud, topping mud, and lightweight, all-purpose mud.. The object of the second, or block, coat is to remove any imperfections (there will be many) in the tape coat and to extend the width of the applied joint compound. nail pop yourself help repair compound joint drywall Follow the same procedure for beveled joints and corners as before. Do not, however, cover the tape with a thick layer of joint compound; just the minimum to cover the tape. The skim coat is quite thin, just enough to cover what is there and make a minimum depth coat further out. Some jobs require that the entire wall be skim coated to produce the best possible finish, so spreading the skim coat out some won't hurt a thing. If using paper tape, apply a thin layer of joint compound to the wall (see picture for how much) and gently press the tape into it using only enough pressure so that it stays on the wall without holding it. Receive free, no-commitment project estimates from licensed drywall installation and repair pros near you. wikiHow is a wiki, similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Sandpaper will be used, in 100 or 150 grit, and a small sanding block is handy. Use light stroking movements to bed the tape without dislodging it from the corner. Use the 10-inch knife for all screw indentations, seams, and corners. No need to add more tape! I have seen a professional apply drywall tape and joint compound to an entire three-bedroom apartment in less than 2 hours, but the average homeowner should expect to spend about 2 hours on a single room. Thanks for the comment, and I'm glad the hub was of some value to you. Again, check with a straight edge. sheetrock It is set with the angle at a little over the normal 90 degree wall angle so that when pressure is applied it is still just slightly over 90 degrees; this produces a layer of applied joint compound that thins as it gets further from the center of the joint. I'm not sure if a wet sponge is a reasonable idea or not. Wipe excess mud from the walls. Learn more Do you have to use some joint compound for a DIY project? I hope your project goes well this time. (Electric kettles were probably one of the first, meaning that a stove didn't have to be lit to boil water!) Thank you for a great article, by the way. if your project is over finished flooring, some kind of floor covering is absolutely necessary; applying joint compound is messy and you. Thanks for the hub. Cut and fit a piece of paper tape over the joint while the mud is still wet for a process called bedding. Use the 6-inch taping knife to gently smooth the paper onto the wet mud, working out bubbles as you go. But if dealing with ends that have no beveled indentations, its more challenging to get a smooth finish. sonfollowers from Alpharetta, GA on March 09, 2012: Good stuff. Second, why do many drywall workers frown on the idea of using a sponge to wet sand the drywall; after all, does not this dramatically reduce cleanup? Cut, fold, and fit a strip of pre-creased paper tape in the corner over the wet mud. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. Use the6-inch taping knife to smooth and work the mud evenly into the joint, filling the entire indentation and wiping away excess mud. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. It's always interesting to see different construction techniques and materials in differing countries and cultures. Use pre-creased paper tape for inside corners and preformed tape for outside corners. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 54,949 times. Every crack or joint I filled with spackle cracked right back open. I would note a couple extremely basic things that may help someone. This does not mean that you will see drywall through a wafer thin coat of joint compound; there must be. Remove all protrusions and any trash that has made its way into your work. Both "taping" and "topping" formulations are available, but I do not recommend them for the homeowner as they are different to work with and have a different feelstick to one formulation so that you can become more familiar with it. Smooth the paper tape carefully in the wet mud, using either a 6-inch taping knife or an inside-corner taping tool that features a preformed 90-degree shape for easy bedding. He has nearly always done his own repair and improvement tasks. So suddenly the light fitting became a socket for running the "wireless" or ironing. The skim coat should be at least eighteen inches wide over both flat and butt joints, and at least a foot each way on the corners. Be very careful to remove all the excess, whether it be a small ridge in the applied joint compound or a little nubbin of compound left where it shouldn't be. During the mudding process, tape acts as a bond to keep the finished wall from developing cracks along the drywall seams. Remove the lid from the bucket of premixed mud. A final thought about sanding: I once had a neighbor that begged some joint compound from me (I was the quality supervisor at a joint compound manufacturing plant for 22 years) to finish his basement, but did not ask for advice or help. Even if an entire house was to be taped and finished I doubt it would be worth the effort to learn how to use the automatic tools - A skilled experienced taper can tape and apply joint compound to the drywall in a 3 bedroom house in just 2 or 3 hours by hand. It may feel dry, but that doesn't mean that anything but the surface IS, and that would result in delayed shrinkage later on. Dan Harmon (author) from Boise, Idaho on October 01, 2012: Thank you Chris. Dan Harmon (author) from Boise, Idaho on October 28, 2012: You're more than welcome, John. The slabs I'm using have a foil moisture barrier at the back covered with corrugated paper for protection, plus a foil layer between the drywall and insulation (which I think is some form of expanded polyurethane). It is very difficult to apply joint compound to one side of the corner and then the other side without disturbing the first side, although the corner knife may be used again for the block coat. Flat joints are those that have the wrapped, tapered edge of the drywall meeting another tapered edge. 2022 The Arena Media Brands, LLC and respective content providers on this website. This is a powder that is mixed with water, and sets up rather than simply drying out - it is a plaster based compound. All I can add is that many people (including myself) often use two fingers on the blade instead of just one. Take a great deal of care to produce a flawless surface, without ridges, air pockets, or grooves from trash in the mud or on the knife. Mudding is a messy process, and splatters can sting if they get in your eyes. First, any decent quality straight knives are actually curved just slightly. Dan Harmon (author) from Boise, Idaho on March 09, 2012: A wet sponge is often recommended because it doesn't create dust to breathe in. Small patches of tape that are still exposed will cover with succeeding coats. Drywall tape also comes in two styles; a fiberglass mesh with glue on one side and a paper tape with no glue. No one I've ever seen likes it, though - it is very difficult to get a job that equals sanding.

The more vertical it is, the fewer air pockets will be produced and the smoother the surface, but also the more gouges you will produce with very small movements and changes in the knife. It cannot emphasize enough that preparation is necessary before you begin to apply tape and joint compound. Eugene Brennan from Ireland on February 17, 2018: The house I live in was built in the thirties and was then only wired for lighting, probably because appliances were few and far between. The convex side of the curve should always be the side pressed against the wall. You can avoid butt joints, which occur when un-tapered ends of a drywall panel are fitted together, by using sheets of drywall that span the entire room. It is preferable to mix lightly even if there is no separation; mixing changes the consistency somewhat and will make it easier to handle on a knife. Thanks a lot. Very thorough and well written.

Also known as mud or drywall mud, joint compound is a product that makes it possible to hide seams along walls, leaving the space looking finished and ready for painting. Wilderness, I got the chills reading this article. The tape is slightly rougher on one side than the other and you must make sure the correct side is to the wall. It is easier to pull under the knife and makes fewer air pockets, but also falls off both the knife and wall easier. Dan Harmon (author) from Boise, Idaho on May 27, 2014: In my experience it is very difficult to get as smooth a surface with a damp sponge, plus the sponge needs constant cleaning. Shake it up before use. any ideas? Probably reasonably safe for the wireless unless you touched the earth at the back, but definitely not safe for ironing in the days before GFCIs. This article is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge. Dan is a licensed electrician and has been a homeowner for 40 years. Sand all joints and nail indentations until the wall is perfectly smooth. Like, How do you fill gaps before drywall taping? HubPages is a registered trademark of The Arena Platform, Inc. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. Hope this helps someone. It had at least one outlet in every room and sometimes even 2 in the larger rooms! Any imperfection at all will show up in the final, skim, coat; it is not uncommon to lightly sand the block coat after it is dried to make a superior job. You will sand this coat when finished, but it will pay large dividends to take extra time during the application to produce as flawless a surface as possible. It is also considerably more expensive, so larger jobs usually use the paper type. For the most part I try to write for the homeowner, not the professional (who already knows what (s)he is doing and doesn't need my help). Just apply a thin layer of mud and wipe off all excess. This will help immensely in achieving a smooth finish, especially when skimming. If you don't get it now you will have to sand it out before the next application of joint compound or it will leave an uneven surface. Is there any reason why I can't just use two coats of mud, the first to cover the tape and then a finishing coat? By Glenda Taylor and Bob Vila | Updated Oct 19, 2020 11:42 AM. A skim coat is recommended even when anything but the heaviest texture is to be used. The only reason to recoat fastener dimples is because the mud will shrink somewhat, leaving a smaller dimple that once more needs filled - eventually the amount of mud and shrinkage becomes so small that it can no longer be detected. The two basic categories of drywall mud, premixed and powdered, are available in a handful of additional options that can make it tough to choose the right product when faced with a dozen different types in the DIY store. But, there is some question in my head that I need an answer. Not in the US, they don't! Block coat has been applied thin enough the tape can be discerned in places. When primer sealer is applied it looks great until it drys, when the dimple appears. If it is, though, you can simply add a very thing coat of mud over the area and sand it smooth. With a little time and effort, the average homeowner who is reasonably handy around the home can successfully do the finish work prior to painting. We refill and sand the holes and paint again - same thing, although a little less. Almost all the joints are between tapered, finished edges and I'm using the mesh, fibreglass adhesive tape. Copyright 2022 Acton Media Inc. All rights reserved. The three types of joints are treated somewhat differently, although all with the eight or ten inch knife. There is an art to applying joint compound and now is the time to begin learning. This time, each type of joint will get a full knife width on each side with a final pass again in the center to remove the inevitable ridge. Applied joint compound that has squeezed out from under the tape is scraped off using the same knife and can be reused unless it has picked up trash from the wall. I'll definitely be using it as a refrence down the road.

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