How to Finish Drywall with Joint Tape and Mud

I must say, that after you use your arms and your back to drywall a room, your back gets a rest, but your arms don’t. Because, once you have “drywalled” a room in your house, you’ll need to finish the job. The finishing touches are to cover all the seams of the drywall with joint tape and drywall compound. (Or “mud” as it’s commonly referred to.)

The first step is to choose which type of tape you’re going to use. You can use plain paper tape. Or, you can use self-adhesive mesh tape. To use the latter, just cut short strips of the tape off the roll and press it onto the seams of the sheetrock. (Short strips are easier to work with than longer ones.) Make sure you center the tape over the seams and that it’s flat against the surface.

To use plain paper joint tape, you’ll need to add another step to the process. Before the tape will stick, you’ll need to use a wide putty knife to apply a thin layer of mud down the joint. The drywall compound should be about the width of the tape. Again, make sure you center the tape over the seams and that it’s flat against the surface. Then, press the paper tape into the mud. Slide your putty knife down the length of the tape to press it into place.

No matter which tape you use, you’ll now need to use your wide putty knife to apply a second thin coat of mud over the joint tape. Smooth it out by feathering the edges. You can dip your putty knife in water to help make it easier to spread. Then allow the drywall compound to dry completely before you proceed.

Note: Be sure to, before you apply joint tape to a drywall, mud over the screw or nail holes in the walls and ceilings.

To finish drywall in the corners of the room, the process is pretty much the same. Just make sure that you place the tape evenly across both walls. (Folding the tape in half before you stick it on the corner can make it easier.) Use a corner of a trowel to push the tape securely down in the middle. Apply the thin layer(s) of mud with a wide putty knife.

Note: You should only mix up enough drywall compound at a time that you can use in about ten minutes or so. Otherwise, the mud will begin to set up in the pan. If your mud is starting to dry out, add a little more water and mix it in.

If the mud is too thick to spread on the walls or ceiling easily, you should thin it out a little with some additional water. Too thin? Then add a little more drywall compound powder into the mix. Make sure you stir the water or powder into the mixture completely.

Follow the directions on the drywall compound container for drying times. After both layers of the mud have completely dried, you’ll now need to use a fine sanding paper to lightly smooth it out. Before you start this final step, though, you should wear a mask over your nose and mouth. Once you start sanding, the dust is really going to fly, and you don’t want to breathe it into your lungs!

You only need to sand the drywall compound down so it’s not rough anymore.

Once you have finished the drywall with joint tape and mud, the room is ready for paint, wallpaper, or another type of covering. You can be proud of a job well done!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

four × = 16