Understanding The Need For Drywall Mud And How To Apply It Correctly

When you have new sheetrock or drywall on the wall, you need to properly apply sheetrock mud or joint compound to it to finish the job properly. This is an important step for several reasons, and without it, the sheet rock will not stand up over time. It can be a little tedious to apply and if it the first time you have done it, keep in mind that practice makes perfect.

The Importance of Sheetrock Mud

Sheetrock mud or joint compound is a material used on the corners and seams of sheetrock or gypsum board seams to fill in the cracks, tie the sheets together, and make the wall seamless. When applied properly, it will be almost undetectable on the wall after it has been painted or textured. It does take a little practice to get just right but is a critical part of hanging sheetrock on your walls or ceilings. You can purchase the compound premixed in different size buckets or you can get it in a powder form that is mixed with water then applied to the walls.

Preparing the Joint For Compound

Before you apply joint compound to the wall, you need to go over each sheet and make sure that all the screws or nails are sunken slightly below the surface of the sheetrock. Do not tear the paper on the sheet or you will affect the structural integrity of the sheet. You want to slightly dimple the area around the fastener so you can cover it with joint compound. Once all the screws or nails are below the surface, apply a thin coat of joint compound over them using a wide putty knife. The wider the knife the better. You want a smooth coat that covers the screw and fills the dimple but with as little extra material as possible. Leave that to dry and head to the seams.

Taping the Joints

Look carefully at the sheetrock where the two sheets meet. You will see that they are tapered at the seam. Using the widest putty or taping knife you can, apply a thin coat of joint compound to the low spot. Run some joint tape along the seam pressing it into the joint compound them smooth it over with the knife and let it dry for 12 to 24 hours. Once the compound dries, you will need to apply another coat over the tape and let that dry for about 24 hours.

Sanding and Smoothing

Once the joint compound has dried, you need to look for any high spots in the material. The seam needs to be as smooth as possible or it will show when the wall is painted. You can do one of two things to smooth the joint when it is dry. The first choice is to sand the mud with a fine sandpaper until the seam is nearly perfect but this is very messy. If you have a lot of excess material, this is the best option. The second option works if there is a very small amount of excess mud. You can use a wet sponge and wipe across the joint to reduce the high spots and smooth out the wall. It is cleaner this way but only works if the joint is nearly perfect to start with. Once the wall is dry, smooth, and you have wiped all the dust off the surfaces, you can prime and paint the room in the color of your choice.   

To learn more, contact a company like Rio Grande Drywall Supply Co