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How To Finish Drywall

After going through drywall preparation, hanging, taping and mudding, you are now almost done with drywall installation. You will have to go through two more installation steps before you can consider your work finished. Finishing drywall is the second last step and then you’ll be at the finish line.


Before you start, the choice of drywall tools is very crucial here. Regardless of what you prefer, you should have a vast knowledge of how to use them and what best fits what and where.

  • Drywall knives:  Some prefer wider drywall knives but having more variety is preferable.  Hold the handle and the blade since they are flexible.
  • Compound: We have two types of drywall finish compounds. One is the setting compound that cures by chemical reaction. The other is drying compound which hardens through evaporation. You can find them in either powder form or ready mixed form. When it comes to the choice of drywall supplies, the ready mixed product is recommended.
  • Joint tape: These are of two types: the paper tape and self-sticking fiberglass mesh tape. Fiberglass is recommended since it eliminates the need for the first coat of compound.
  • Bucket-opening tool
  • Electric drill
  • Mixing paddle, respirator, drywall screws, corner bead, etc.

When everything is ready, you can now finish your drywall in these easy steps:

  1. Mix the joint compound even if the compound is readily mixed. This smoothens the compound making application easier. Start with the butt joints.
  2. Before application of any compound check for humps in the joints. And if there is you should go back to the previous step of mudding. If the joints have no humps, you can proceed.
  3. Apply the compound. Load 5-inch knife and be sure to start at the end of the joint. And work as smooth as possible, reloading the knife once you run out. The main goal is to make the wall as smooth as possible and hence apply a very thin layer of compound.
  4. After the compound is as smooth as you like it, cut a piece of joint tape to length and align the tape directly over the middle of the joint.
  5. After the tape is embedded, cover it with another coat of compound using an 8-inch knife.
  6. When all the butt joints are finished, proceed to the tapered joints. Fill in the tape using 5-inch joints.
  7. Once it’s smooth, embed the tape in the compound keeping the middle of the tape over the joint line.
  8. Smoothen the tape then cover the entire joints with the compound
  9. Fill the nail screw depressions with compound
  10. On ceilings, press the knife firmly as you move it along
  11. Remember to load only one corner of the knife to reduce compound squeeze-out
  12. Spread the compound on the opposite side of the corner keeping away from the opposite wall.
  13. Cut and fold the tape evenly from end to end along its center depression
  14. Press the tape into the compound and lightly embed it
  15. Fill the depression using the compound

With that, you are through with drywall finishing and ready to move to the last step.