How to Mud and Tape Drywall

What You'll Need
Drywall Tape
Mud Pan
Joint Compound
3-inch and 6-inch Taping Knife
Sand Block or Sponge
Dust Mask
Cloth or Rag

One of the most important skills needed for drywall application is knowing how to mud and tape drywall. The process of mudding and taping drywall is a bit messy but it is not that hard to do. The right tools and the proper techniques will make the job a lot simpler than it looks. Here is how to mud and tape drywall.

Step 1 – Preparation

Make sure that all screws and nails are set below the surface of the drywall sheets. Use the wider 6-inch taping knife to check protruding nail heads by running it over the surface of the sheets. Make sure that the surfaces are clean as well. Use a clean cloth to wipe off any dust or debris that may affect the bonding effect of the adhesive from the surfaces of the sheets.

Step 2 – Applying the Tape

Apply the drywall tape to the joints of the drywall sheets. Start from one end of the joint and work the tape down to the end using your hands to press the adhesive firmly on the surface of the sheets. The tape should be centered approximately on the middle of the joint.

Step 3 – Mudding the Joints

Place a good amount of joint compound on the mud pan. Take the 6-inch taping knife and place a small amount of joint compound at a time. Apply a thin coating over the drywall tape one at a time until the entire tape is covered with the compound. Afterwards, take the knife and run it over the compound to smoothen it against the surface of the drywall sheets.

Step 4 – Covering the Nail Holes

Covering the nail holes with the compound is quite easy. Simply place a little amount of joint compound on the smaller 3-inch taping knife and run the compound on top of the holes. Scrape the excess material off once or twice.

Step 5 – Taping and Mudding the Corners

Run the tape over the center joint of the corners the same way as the other joints. Make sure that the tape is centered on the joint. Apply joint compound as well. Allow the first coat to dry.

Step 6 – Applying the Second and Third Final Coating

Before applying the second coating of mud over the joints and the nail holes, sand the edges and the surfaces of the first coating on the tape to even them up. Apply a thin layer of mud over the joints and the holes using a wider knife to widen the coverage. Let it dry and sand the surfaces once again before applying the third and final coating. Make sure that the final coating is wider than the second.

Step 7 – Finishing Touches

Allow the coating to dry and sand the surfaces once again to even them up. Wipe with a clean cloth or rag to remove dust and debris and apply paint as desired.