Author Topic: advice on drywall taping and mudding  (Read 893 times)

Case

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advice on drywall taping and mudding
« on: March 22, 2020, 12:32:08 PM »
There is so much information (some conflicting) out on the internet on drywall taping and mudding, and I'm having trouble determining the best route for my situation.  This is a follow up to my last post; the drywall is all up at this point.  Time to tape/mud.

I have put in new drywall such that I have tapered edges (1/2" boards that taper at the edge to 3/8") coming up against 1/2".  I also have a number of places where I have gaps (sometimes 1/4 to 1/2" wide) due to imprecise cutting and trying to make non-factory edges meet.

It seems like there are 3 different categories of mud to consider.  'Quick setting' compounds, that cure quickly and shrink very little.  'All-purposes' which shrinks and takes a while to cure, but is the strongest and has the best adhesion.  And 'Topping Compound', which is easiest to sand and make smooth.

My plan is to fill the gaps/cracks with quick-set, and tape/mud with the all-purpose, and then finish with the 'topping compound'.

I see some people use all-purpose for everything, some use two different types, not many use more than that. 

I just want to figure out what will result in the best looking job, and minimize the amount of work (especially sanding which will send fine carcinogenic particles everywhere!).

Any suggestions for a DIY noob?

Jon Bon

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2020, 06:35:55 PM »
My suggestion?

Don't fucking do it! Pay someone!

I mean unless its just a single seam or two, but I have never been able to get drywall to look good. Sure I tape and sand and sand and sand (and sand) after my rotator cuff surgery I sand some more.

Then I paint, and I see a bunch of spots that need evened out. But I painted so basically im screwed and just have to live with it.

So as a very experienced DIY guy, and property manager I no longer sand drywall or do roofing. Its possible your better at this than me, but its just not worth it in my experience.




Papa bear

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2020, 07:42:18 PM »
Man, Iíve probably used it all.  Drywall is one thing that I always try to farm out, but I end up doing it myself from time to time.  Iíve seen tons of techniques and preferences.  I know guys that will use 5 and 20 minute quickset.  Some guys use all purpose and then topping for final coat.   Some only use all purpose. Durabond has been been popular in bathrooms and in plaster repairs.  Honestly? Iíve never seen a difference in the finish product.  I usually keep a bag of 45 and 90 in my drywall box because it keeps and thatís the timing Iím comfortable working with.  If Iím stuck, really stuck, doing a bigger job, Iíll buy a couple of buckets of all purpose just so I donít have to mix it on my own.

BUT of all their preferences. They all do the same basic thing.

Make sure you do many very light coats. First coat, get the tape in.  2nd coat, get it close. 3rd coat, skim coat.  Use bigger knives as you go, getting up to a 10Ē or 12Ē. Each coat should get wider to feather it in. Then sand at the end.  If you really want to get it perfect, go back over with your hand or shine a flashlight or work light down at an angle. Mark points that need more mud or sanding with a pencil so you can see it.  Keep going until youíre happy. 

The drywall guys make it look fast and easy. I donít.  Iíve been doing rehabs, remodel, and DIY work for 15 + years and learned from my dad 20+ years ago. I STILL donít like my results.  I can go back to any of my work and pick out my shitty flaws.  If you have a chance to pick up a finisher who is out of work right now, do it.  Be his helper, mix his mud, clean his stuff. If you canít find someone and need to go at it on your own, good luck and god speed.  Youíll pay the next time =)


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AccidentialMustache

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2020, 10:54:25 PM »
We did the basement tape/mud after a flood and drywall rip. We used an all purpose but low dust mud. I think we got pretty decent results, especially for first-timers. I ran mud, DW sanded. It wasn't fast. Mostly it was practice, practice, practice and layer layer layer. I didn't tend to use much over a 6 or 8 inch knife. I had a 12, but it didn't click with the brain and muscles. I got better results with the smaller knife.

The dust was less bad than people told us it would be, so I guess that was cool?

secondcor521

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2020, 11:11:03 PM »
If you texture the wall afterward, it can hide a lot of taping and mudding issues.  I'm fairly certain that's why most interior walls (around here anyways) are textured.

You can buy spray cans of texture at Lowe's / Home Depot.

affordablehousing

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2020, 10:36:35 AM »
PLEASE DON'T TEXTURE! Smooth wall is the only way to go unless you want to look like a clueless 90's flip or 80's "custom" home. I agree that it is enormously rewarding to hire out drywall. Their arms I swear have like 8 joints whereas everyone else only has three. We just went through a whole wall exercise where I tore out plaster, insulated and rewired one room, had a professional put up rock in that room, fix all the cracks in the buttonboard and plaster of another room, and then I went through and fixed the plaster cracks in two other rooms myself. For $3800 we got stepped ceilings and perfect smooth finishes in the two rooms the professional did, and for three weekends of my time I got pretty mediocre patches on cracks in the two bedrooms. If you aren't in a VHCOL area I'm sure someone would do that work for half of what we spent. It just is so much easier to hire someone who has done this 40 hours a week for 10 years.

But if you insist on doing it yourself, use 20 minutes to fill the voids, set the tape, and I use the blue plus 3 boxed mud for the covering the tape for sandability. Also, don't buy your drywall primer from Home Depot get it from a paint store, way better and get it on as soon as you finish sanding so you don't bump into the walls and scratch your smooth finish. Even for a basement, don't texture. It looks like crap and in five years will look like even older crappier crap.

Papa bear

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2020, 01:03:50 PM »
Iím not a fan of texture either.  But Iíve seen some decent finishes before.  Itís definitely more popular in the south and southwest. 

Ceilings? I usually like flat, but a knock down texture has been growing on me lately. 


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Fishindude

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2020, 01:19:06 PM »
Use all purpose for everything.

Do you have the basic tools?
* 6" & 12" knife
* mud pan
* utility knife
* Sanding pole
* Hand sanding block
If not, get them.

Watch a couple youtubes about how to tape joints.

Probably the best advice I could give a beginner is do numerous very thin coats, sanding each time, rather than trying to apply too much in a single coat.    Sanding is the worst part, so keep the coats thin, and keep sanding to a minimum.   Take me 3-4 passes of finishing to get it right and I've done quite a bit.   Six passes would not be unreasonable for a beginner.

Case

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2020, 02:55:18 PM »
Use all purpose for everything.

Do you have the basic tools?
* 6" & 12" knife
* mud pan
* utility knife
* Sanding pole
* Hand sanding block
If not, get them.

Watch a couple youtubes about how to tape joints.

Probably the best advice I could give a beginner is do numerous very thin coats, sanding each time, rather than trying to apply too much in a single coat.    Sanding is the worst part, so keep the coats thin, and keep sanding to a minimum.   Take me 3-4 passes of finishing to get it right and I've done quite a bit.   Six passes would not be unreasonable for a beginner.

I have those tools, except the hand sander (but I have some sanding sponges or whatever they are called).

What about filling large gaps?  Wont all-purpose shrink too much and require multiple fills?  Thatís why I got the quick set.  Im trying to figure out the most efficient way to return my tapered-butt joints to Ďnormalí

Telecaster

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2020, 03:02:42 PM »
I use wet sponge to smooth the joints.  You'll still have to sand some, but not nearly as much. 

Case

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2020, 03:45:26 PM »
PLEASE DON'T TEXTURE! Smooth wall is the only way to go unless you want to look like a clueless 90's flip or 80's "custom" home. I agree that it is enormously rewarding to hire out drywall. Their arms I swear have like 8 joints whereas everyone else only has three. We just went through a whole wall exercise where I tore out plaster, insulated and rewired one room, had a professional put up rock in that room, fix all the cracks in the buttonboard and plaster of another room, and then I went through and fixed the plaster cracks in two other rooms myself. For $3800 we got stepped ceilings and perfect smooth finishes in the two rooms the professional did, and for three weekends of my time I got pretty mediocre patches on cracks in the two bedrooms. If you aren't in a VHCOL area I'm sure someone would do that work for half of what we spent. It just is so much easier to hire someone who has done this 40 hours a week for 10 years.

But if you insist on doing it yourself, use 20 minutes to fill the voids, set the tape, and I use the blue plus 3 boxed mud for the covering the tape for sandability. Also, don't buy your drywall primer from Home Depot get it from a paint store, way better and get it on as soon as you finish sanding so you don't bump into the walls and scratch your smooth finish. Even for a basement, don't texture. It looks like crap and in five years will look like even older crappier crap.

I know a lot of people recommend hiring it out, though opinions seem split.  Itís also a little tricky currently with the shutdown status.

Cadman

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2020, 04:29:03 PM »
I'm also in the camp of 'hire it out', but then I'm a perfectionist and still 'see' the little imperfections on the drywall work I did 10 years ago. Where I recommend DIY is in the hanging of the sheetrock, which it sounds like you've got covered.

In the current market, you should have no trouble finding a moonlighting mudder on CL.

With regards to texturing, this seems entirely regional. Knock-down looks dated to me, but you would NEVER see non-textured walls here in the midwest. I'm a big fan of the sand finish myself.

Papa bear

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2020, 04:46:55 PM »
Use all purpose for everything.

Do you have the basic tools?
* 6" & 12" knife
* mud pan
* utility knife
* Sanding pole
* Hand sanding block
If not, get them.

Watch a couple youtubes about how to tape joints.

Probably the best advice I could give a beginner is do numerous very thin coats, sanding each time, rather than trying to apply too much in a single coat.    Sanding is the worst part, so keep the coats thin, and keep sanding to a minimum.   Take me 3-4 passes of finishing to get it right and I've done quite a bit.   Six passes would not be unreasonable for a beginner.

I have those tools, except the hand sander (but I have some sanding sponges or whatever they are called).

What about filling large gaps?  Wont all-purpose shrink too much and require multiple fills?  Thatís why I got the quick set.  Im trying to figure out the most efficient way to return my tapered-butt joints to Ďnormalí
If your gaps are large, get more drywall and stick it in.  Itís all going to shrink and crack, durabond will shrink the least.  If you are still going to try and fill in big spaces, get some 5 minute and start there.  All purpose will take forever to dry. Even 5 minute stuff might take 24 hours if you have too much there.

Note that durabond is a pain in the ass to scrape down or sand. So donít try to finish with the stuff.


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Model96

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2020, 05:26:24 PM »
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HyODAfDEuZo

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g_piASvH9Yw

The above videos will give you a good idea on the tools and methods, they are Australian and use a 3 step method. I use a scraper to smooth the dried base coats, and only sand the top coat. Often you will need a second top coat for minor holes.

Fishindude

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2020, 08:15:53 AM »
What about filling large gaps?  Wont all-purpose shrink too much and require multiple fills?  Thatís why I got the quick set.  Im trying to figure out the most efficient way to return my tapered-butt joints to Ďnormalí

Stuff some slivers of drywall in those gaps with some mud and tape over them, and / or tear the badly fit drywall off and re-fit it accurately.

affordablehousing

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2020, 11:46:54 AM »
Here in California the smaller drywallers spend all day every week doing smooth wall in older homes. I must have lived here too long to imagine anything else.

Case

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2020, 07:09:51 PM »
Here in California the smaller drywallers spend all day every week doing smooth wall in older homes. I must have lived here too long to imagine anything else.

This is the so called level 5 finish, eg skiming thin mud onto the entire wall?

affordablehousing

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Re: advice on drywall taping and mudding
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2020, 10:54:31 AM »
Level 5 is only for places where you need DEAD flat like a hospital, fancy building lobby, abortion clinic, or high gloss paint. The only space you might consider level 5 in a residential house is in a bathroom with harsh lighting. Level 5 is indeed skimming the entire wall. Level 4 (smooth finish) is the standard here and its two coats over the screws and three over all joints and corners, then sanded.