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Taping Drywall

Materials List
Wallboard Joint Compound
Joint Tape
Sandpaper and sand screens
Corner bead
Tools List (click item to shop)
Putty knife
Wallboard knife
Pole sander
Tin snips
Corner knife
Mud pan
Patching Drywall

IMPORTANT: Read this before you start

Taping drywall is almost an art form. It takes practice and a lot of patience. A good taper can hide any mistakes that were made in hanging the drywall. To finish drywall, you must tack corner bead to all corners. Then, apply joint compound to all seams, nail and screw holes and corners. When joint compound dries – it shrinks. Therefore, 3 coats of compound will be needed with sanding in between coats.

Skill Level & Time To Complete
• Beginner - 4 hours
• Intermediate - 3 hours
• Advanced - 2 hours

Common Mistakes
Don’t hurry. Make sure compound is completely dry before sanding. Check material label for drying time.

Be careful not to over-sand.

Helpful Tips
Sanding drywall compound is a messy, dusty job. Close doors or hang thin plastic sheeting in doorways to prevent dust from drifting to other parts of your house.

Drywall compound can dry out and/or separate in its container during storage. You may need to mix it up a bit and possibly add a little water. You want a smooth and moist consistency, but not too wet.

Instead of dispensing the compound directly from the pail, use a plastic trough, which will allow you to move around faster and easier.

Don’t over-apply drywall compound. It is more effective to apply several thinner coats. Also, thinner coats will dry faster.


For corners

Using tin snips, cut corner bead and tack in place with nails spaced about 5” apart through the holes manufactured into the bead. The bead is designed to protect the outside corners of your room from dents.

2. On the outside corners, apply compound from the trough with passes toward the bead. Scrape off the excess in a downward stroke with the edge of the blade extending beyond the corner.
3. At the end of walls, apply compound in-between the two corner beads. Slide your knife down the beads to smooth.

Inside corners

Apply a thin coat of compound to the corner area wide enough to extend past the width of the tape. Using your knife, embed paper tape in compound.

5. Next, cover with compound on one side, and when it has dried, coat the other side. Use a corner knife to apply second and third coats with a light sanding in-between coats. Make sure to wear a dust mask whenever you are sanding.


Unroll sticky mesh tape across the seam where two tapered panel edges meet. Firmly smooth into place.

7. With a 4” knife, apply a uniform swath of compound to the tapered trough between the panes.
8. Fill nail dimples and other blemishes at this time. Pack in a dab of compound, and then level the surface with the knife.
9. Give the initial coat 24 hours to completely dry, then lightly sand any rough edges.
10. Give the seams another coat, this time feathering out to 6”. Again, lightly sand any rough edges.
11. On the last coat, add a little water to the joint compound for a thinner consistency. Using a wide knife, feather the final coat out to 12”. Now just finish the job with a light sanding over every area with compound.



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