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
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.