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A Look At The Different Types Of Joint Compounds


It is easy to be tempted to use the same joint compound for everything you do. Although this will save you time, it is not the best way to go. Your go-to compound will depend on the exact situations of your project. For projects that require slow precision, the slow setting compound will be a good choice. For quick jobs, you can go with the quick-set. Pre-mixed mud will be good for the fast patch jobs. This post takes a look at the different types of joint compounds as well as the situations they are ideal for.

Pre-Mixed Compounds

These are the air-drying varieties. They will give you the elbow room you need to work the mud and you don’t have to be pressured to work faster. They are ideal for when you are working on a whole room or job that requires extra time for you to put everything in place. You can store the compound in plastic buckets for a longer period without any degradation of quality. Cover the bucket with a layer of plastic to maintain the moisture levels of the compound. You may need to thin it with water later on.


When compared to other compounds, the lightweight compound is light both in density and weight. It works best as a finish overlay simply because of its ease of sanding. Some professionals avoid this compound because of the assumption that it doesn’t have enough adhesive agents.


This compound is made for the taping stages in the finishing process. It secures the tape in place. It shapes up very well under a knife. It also suffers from minimum chipping; a problem common with the all-purpose compound.


This can be used on almost every step of finishing processes. It does everything. It is, however, not ideal for every step of the finishing. The compound also works well as a texturing compound because of its extended set time.


Joint compounds available as a powder generally set faster, are hard and tough to sand. They set faster hence a great choice for repairs and urgent jobs. They are perfect for experts who can work faster. The compounds give out heat as they set. This is why they are considered to have a ‘hot set’. Keep the powder sealed else excess moisture will start the reactions.


Topping is yet another joint compound you can go with. This is a diluted mix with minimal adhesives in the mix. It is for this reason that it is not used for taping. It is fine and easy to sand. It has a whiter than white color. Its thin consistency makes it perfect for adding wall texture.

Hot Or Quick Set

Hot set is the authentic ready-to-mix compound. It sets fast and stays harder than the other options. It is more immune to scrapes. It is the toughest joint compound to warm and sand. Dry conditions cause it to set even faster.


This is like hot-set but recommended if you are not sure you can sand it fast enough. It is good if you are not sure your sanders can keep up.

When picking a joint compound, you have to keep your skill level and project needs in mind. If you are still not sure which compound will be best for you, liaise with the professionals.