Taping and mudding with drywall mud for that professional look

Now it’s time to move on to the drywall compound or the taping mudding procedures of drywall. You will need to prepare the joint compound. I personally prefer the already mixed mud to the dry stuff.
The premixed mud will still need to be thinned down with water. This is a trial and error approach, but everyone is different in his or her preference to mud consistencies so you will have to find out how thin you like it.

joint compound

Taping is truly an art, which takes a lot of experience if you want to do an expert job. Fortunately, the owner/builder doesn’t need to spend years learning how to tape and mud to do a fairly good job.

The idea here is to tape the joints or seams and to spread enough layers of drywall compound (mud) over the tape, that the seam is completely invisible under a layer of paint or texture.

mudding techniques
Most of the tapers start out with a 5 or 6 inch taping knife. They will scoop up a little more than a handful of drywall compound with the knife from the palette. A thin layer of compound is spread evenly along the seam.

applying drywall
Next the tape is applied to the mud. It should cover the seam evenly. You will need to slide the tapers knife along the seam to flatten it and squeeze any air bubbles out.

You will want to make sure that the tape is exactly the length that is needed because splicing the tape makes a seam that’s hard to cover.

As you squeeze the compound out from under the tape, make sure to get all the wrinkles and blisters out. If you get blisters or little round bubbles in the tape, you probably aren’t getting enough compound on the wall before the tape goes on.

Make another pass with the same knife to get any excess mud out. Let this first layer dry for at least twelve hours. Once that coat has dried, you should use a drywall knife to scrape any burrs or high spots you may have created with the first coat. Be careful not to put gouges in the tape. If you do, just cover it in with mud.

Next, it’s time for the second coat or filler coat. This time you will use a 10-inch trowel. Spread an even coat of the compound over the first coat that’s as wide as the knife.

If the mud is too thick it will crack when it dries. It needs to be just right and sometimes it takes a few do-overs to get it right. Get it as smooth as possible.

Make repeat passes until it looks good and is free from high spots and bumps. Let this coat dry for at least 12 hours. Once this coat is dry, remove any high spots and bumps with a tapers knife.

applying joint compound
Now for the final coat or finish coat. Take a 12-inch finishing trowel and spread a light coat of mud over the second coat. Move with long steady strokes while feathering out the sides to make a gentle rounded cover over the seam.

You can apply more coats if the seam is still obvious. As far as sanding is concerned, it’s a dirty word to the experts, but to the rest of us, we sometimes need to go over our seams and do some sanding in a few places.

If you do it right the first time, sanding won’t be necessary.

Next, covering nail holes with mud

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