How To Tape and Mud Drywall

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This step by step diy article is about how to tape and mud drywall. If you want to save money or you simply enjoy doing DIY projects on your own, this article will show you a few tips on taping drywall. If you want to get a professional result, you need to follow the simple steps. It would be also a good idea to practice on a small surface, so you learn the techniques.

If you want to prevent future cracks in the wall, we highly recommend you to apply an even coat of mud to the seams. Do not leave empty spaces, as there will form air bubbles. In addition, use proper tools for the job, if you want to get a smooth surface. Leave the layers of drywall to dry out properly before applying the next ones.




 Drywall sheet

 Joint compound


 Safety gloves, Eye protection, Respiratory mask

 Electrical screwdriver, Drywall saw

 Utility knife, T-square, Knifes


 Use a larger drywall knife every time you apply a new layer of mud

 Wear a respiratory mask when sanding the drywall sheets


 2 days



Step 1: Hanging Drywall



First of all, you need to hang the drywall sheets to the wall frame. Make sure you align the sheets with attention, leaving no gaps between them. Use drywall screws to secure the sheets to the studs.



Step 2: Mixing the mud



Next, you need to mix the mud. Thin the joint compound with a little water and mix it thoroughly, until it gets the consistency of pudding. Using the mud directly from the bucket will make it hard to spread evenly, so take the time to thin it a little.




Use a drywall trowel and a 6″ knife to check its consistency. If you can work with it easily, then it is time to start applying the joint compound to the drywall seams.



Step 3: Filling the drywall screw holes



If you haven’t worked before with mud, it would be a good idea start by filling the screw holes. Take some mud from the trowel with the knife and apply it over the screw holes. Make sure you spread the mud evenly, not too think not too thin.



Step 4: Tapping drywall seams



Next, apply the joint compound to the seams. Start with the horizontal seams and then go on with the vertical ones. Use the trowel or a 6″ knife to spread an even coat of mud over the seams. Make sure the coat is about 4-6″ wide. Check if the seams are covered with mud from one end to the other.

Apply the tape to the joints, keeping it centered. Press the tape over the compound, every feet or so. Use the trowel to keep the tape into place, while you use the knife to go along the tape and wipe off the excess. Start from the middle and wipe it off toward the end. Repeat the process on the remaining side of the seam. The excess mud should ooze out on both sides of the tape. If this doesn’t happen, then the mud layer applied to the seams is too thin, and you need to apply it again.

Next, you need to tackle the corners. Apply mud to the both sides of the corners with a 6″ knife.Fold the tape on half before applying it to the corners. Apply the tape to the corners and crease it down the middle, using your fingers. Use the 6″ knife to wipe off the excess on both sides of the tape.




If you prefer using fiberglass mesh, then remember that you should attach it to the seams before spreading the first coat of mud. The fiberglass mesh has glue on one side, so it is easy to stick it to the seams. Apply the mesh, making sure there are no folds.



Step 5: Applying the second coat



Leave the first coat of compound to dry from about 12 hours. Use a slightly larger 8″ drywall knife to apply a second coat of compound over the seams. Make sure you apply the second coat evenly, so that the second coat is 2″ wider than the first. Apply a second coat over the screw holes. Leave the second coat to dry out for 12 hours.



Step 6: Applying the third coat



Smooth the rough surfaces with sandpaper. Use 120-150 grit sandpaper for a smooth surface. Wear a respiratory mask to avoid inhaling the dust.


Large drywall knife


For the third coat, thin the compound with water. Aim for the consistency of mayonnaise. Use a 10-12″ drywall knife to apply the third layer of compound. Feather the edges 2″ over the second coat. Leave the compound to dry out for several hours.




Use a damp sponge to even out the surface. Now your wall is ready for priming and then painting. Make sure you understand the whole process before starting taping the drywall, so you get a professional result.



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