Home Improvement :: Learn About Mudding Drywall

Learn About Mudding Drywall

So you’ve installed and fastened your drywall and want to know what’s next? Well now it’s time for the taping and compound stage. This stage is important because the final look of your drywall depends on what you do in this stage.

Like the dry walling process, knowledge is also important to mudding drywall. In this stage it’s important to know your compounds and your tools.

You’ll also need to be prepared for this stage as well. Taking a little time to familiarize yourself with products and techniques before you begin a project will save time later and help produce better results.

Jointing compound is available as a powder or pre-mixed. You also have to choose from several textures. Taping compound is the coarsest and is generally recommended only for the very first taping layer. Topping compound is much thinner and smoother than taping compound. For this reason, topping compound is an ideal choice for finishing the surface of your drywall. There is also an all-purpose joint compound, which is halfway between taping and topping compound in both texture and thickness. This can be used in both stages. However, using the two compounds is recommended for the most professional look.

To apply the mud, you should use a taping knife. This tool comes in different lengths and each new layer requires a slightly longer knife.

It’s very important to make sure that all of the nails and screws are inserted properly. No screws or nails should be sticking out. You can check for nails that are sticking out by running a taping knife along all of the edges and seams. If you feel or hear anything touching the metal of the taping knife, then you need to go back and sink the nail or screw further into the drywall.

It is important in the next stage that you follow these steps carefully (and be patient):
Patience is so important because mudding drywall is a four-step, four-day process. Be sure to allow at least twenty-four hours of drying time between each application of compound.

First, there will be the taping layer. At this stage, apply the compound and then insert paper-jointing tape into the joins and smooth over with more compound. You’ll also need to cover up all nails and screws with compound (making sure, of course, that all of them are properly sunk in). After completing the taping layer, your surfaces should be filled and everything should be leveled.

Next, you will apply two layers of compound. This will smooth out your surfaces. But remember, with every additional layer that you add, you’ll need to use a longer taping knife. For the second and third coats, use a taping knife that is at least seven inches long.
Apply the compound by smoothing it over the joint. Then stroke each side and finish with a stroke down the middle.

Applying this compound can be tricky. It requires applying mud in different thicknesses and with different pressure in different spots. When doing side strokes, apply more pressure to the outside of the knife. During the center stroke, keep the pressure evenly distributed. But remember, this takes practice and patience to get right.

The final coat is the finishing coat. You will have to very careful to create a smooth, finished product. Start by scraping a wide taping knife over the joints to make sure all ridges and bumps are removed.

This is the stage to thin out the compound if you plan to do it. This is not a required step and is dependent on personal references.

As already noted, patience is perhaps the most important tool used in mudding drywall. Along with patience, consistency is an important tool for success in mudding drywall. You will probably be eager to be finished with dry walling and ready to decorate your project by painting. However, this is another point when patience will be an invaluable tool. Sanding comes next. Sanding will smooth out any ridges and vastly improve the final appearance of your drywall. Sanding is rough work and can be messy. It’s a good idea to wear protective gear. Covering your eyes and mouth is not only safe – it will also improve the comfort level of this difficult final stage.

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