So you’re feeling pretty good about these drywall sheets you’ve just installed in a newly studed basement, you now have to tape and mud the seams. You’ve got an expert and he does finishes it off lickety-split, so how hard could it be? Really. For any contractor worth his or her weight, there should be at least one mudding expert in their crew, but for my money I feel it i extremely important that you know how to properly tape and mud at the contractor level as well.
Let’s say you were handling drywall project on your own – it’s no fun smearing five pounds of mud then scraping off 4.9 lbs of it to get the perfect finish – it is not efficient, but it certainly is time-consuming. Here are some professional mudding and taping tips that will help you as a contractor understand the process to achieve the perfect finishing job.
Prepare Before Mudding
If you look at any professional taper mudding a drywall, you will notice that he/she spreads mud in long and sweeping motions. Tears on the drywall paper, protruding nails, screw heads, and rough edges will slow you down and will make it hard to apply the mud smoothly. As a matter of fact, you might end up spending more time removing mud ridges that are caused by these protrusions than you would if you had taken the time to get rid of them in the first place. To avoid this from happening, here are some tips on what to do before you start mudding a drywall:
- Run a 6” taping knife over fastener holes so that they are set below the surface. Dimple and hammer any protruding nails, and sink any screws that protrude.
- Using a heavy-duty utility knife, cut “V” grooves on both sides of each butt joint seams. This helps eliminates rough-cut paper edges while providing more surface area for bonding.
- Trim any rough drywall paper edges around things like electrical boxes that are located near a seam.
Choose Your Mud
Joint compounds come in many formulations. To get perfect results, professionals use the right compound for each coat – and there are basically three coats. Here is a breakdown on which compounds to use for each of the coats:
The First Coat:
“Hot Mud” or “Quick Setting Mud” sets up quicker than most non-setting compounds, meaning that you can start on the next coat sooner. At the same time, it shrinks less than standard joint compound and is much stronger. To fill “V” joints around butt joints and embed the tape in the first coat around corners and taped seams, use a setting compound.
The Second and Third Coats:
For the second coat, consider using a dry/premixed or lightweight sandable setting compound and a topping compound for the third one.
Save time Filling Screw and Nail Holes
- Filling each screw or nail hole individually can be time-consuming. To save time, consider filling the entire row all at once using the two stroke wiping technique. Here is to do it:
Scoop up your compound using a 4” or 6” taping knife
- Start with bottom fastener and turn the knife so that the handle faces your ceiling at a 45-degree angle
- Press the lower part of your knife’s blade against the wall and wipe a bead of the compound all the way through the row of nails or screws; then turn the knife to the right to skim off the compound
- After you have done that, press the whole knife’s edge against the drywall near the fastener at the top. With the knife’s handle facing down, apply some pressure and wipe the bead down towards the bottom screw.
The trick is to use your knife as a squeegee so that it fills the holes and removes excess compound. Do this for the second and final coats while feathering and widening the strip every time.
Scrape Off All Imperfections
Even professionals end up with globs and ridges of compound stuck on the wall. However, they do not waste time sanding them. Here is a quick way to find and remove globs and ridges:
Hold a light parallel to the wall and move it along all taped and filled areas. This way, it becomes easy to identify globs and ridges. Mark any globs and ridges you come across using a pencil so that you can easily identify them when it comes to removing them.
Place the sharp edge of your taping knife (preferably a 6” one) with the handle at an acute angle in front of globs/ridges before pushing the knife into them to cut them off. If you cut in too deep, apply a thin cover of the compound to fill the dent.
Following these simple tips could make your drywall taping job easy and fruitful. To enjoy the satisfaction of taping and mudding a drywall like a pro and to save yourself a lot of time, then consider these tips and use them when working on your drywall project.Tags: mudding, mudding and taping