Joint Compound Alternatives?


Old 04-28-13, 08:58 PM
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Joint Compound Alternatives?

Almost finished my current project, i.e. waiting for joint compound to dry, again, and again and again. But it certainly will not be my last project, especially now that I have a little confidence about this drywall stuff (and now that my wife knows I can do it).

I know there are plenty of alternatives to joint compound for bigger projects, but I've also seen opinions given that novices shouldn't use quick drying formulas. I certainly don't have the magic touch yet for handling the materials, but I don't think I do a horrible job with fairly little sanding when dealing with joint compound. Is there at least a baby step I can take to some product that might dry a little quicker?

Also, is it just how quickly it sets that makes some of these other products more difficult for a novice or do you also have to handle it a little differently when applying?

Edited to add: it's the generic, pre-mix type of joint compound I'm currently using.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-29-13, 03:07 AM
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The dry setting type compounds comes in 15, 30 and 90 minute setting times, I believe. You certainly don't want to mix up more than you can use in those time limitations, making a general drywall job impossible to do. I use the 15 minute stuff for punch outs to fix boogers. The 90 minute stuff for small jobs, like repointing where a window was replaced or a wall patched due to water damage, etc.

If you do your mudding job correctly and don't work the mud too much, you usually don't have to sand between coats, or sand minimally on the edges. As you recognize, it takes a "feel" for it, and it will come in time.
Old 04-29-13, 03:38 AM
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I use 20 minute mud and mix in small batches right in the mud pan. I use a small offset trowel that is maybe an 1 1/2" wide. It is off set to get low in the pan to mix. You more or less will get the hang of it after the first couple of pans. You already have worked with regular mud so you know the consistency you need to achieve with each batch.

Oddities are -

-you will be working and suddenly the material will not flow on the wall well, time for a new batch
-don't stop to answer the phone or you will be mixing a new batch
-If you use paper tape, moisten the tape first before setting into the compound so that it gets a good bond. Wet it and wring out between your fingers to remove excess water.
-even though it says 20 minute mud, you only get around 5 minutes in the pan before it starts to set up. It also usually takes longer than 20 minutes to dry. If not completely dry it clogs your sanding screen.
-for small patch jobs, use a hair dryer to speed the drying process so you can sand sooner

The only time I use regular mud anymore is when I have to spray texture on a wall. I always have a bag on my truck.
Old 04-29-13, 05:07 AM
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I like to use the 20 minute mud with the regular j/c for the final coat [it sands easier] and texture.
The setting times will vary some between brands. As noted above - only mix up what you can use before it sets! and clean up your mud pan and tools promptly. It takes a little bit of a learning curve but can speed up the finishing process - especially on small jobs or repairs!
Old 04-29-13, 07:21 AM
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Nothing wrong with setting compounds but it could also be that you're putting the joint compound on too thick - the thicker it is, the longer it takes to dry and, IMO, it's not a linear relationship, the time goes up faster than the thickness of the coating.

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