Starting a new DIY construction project is extremely exciting, but you will need patience and quality materials to achieve a spotless finish. If you use drywall, the process can be quite messy due to the indentations in the new wall that must be covered with mud. The following step-by-step guide teaches you how to create a wall without any visible seams.
Tools and Materials:
- Cloth to cover the floor
- Drywall mud
- Safety goggles
- 6-inch and 10-inch drywall taping knife
- Paper tape
1. Get Prepared
First of all, make sure you wear appropriate clothes as the mud will most likely ruin your outfit. Use safety googles to avoid mud reaching your eyes, and cover the floor using old rags made of fabric, not plastic, otherwise they can become slippery.
2. Get the Mud Ready
If you choose a premixed type of mud, there’s nothing else to do apart from opening the lid. If you have a powdered setting mud, on the other hand, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix it. The final mud should be very smooth, so you may want to use a drill with a paddle.
3. Apply the First Coating on Beveled Joints and Indentations
Drywall has bevels on the long side that form a small dent when two panels are placed together. Use the smaller taping knife to put the mud evenly into the indentation. Wipe any excess.
Bedding refers to covering the wet mud you’ve just applied with a piece of paper tape. Use your taping knife to smoothen the tape and eliminate any air bubbles, clearing away any mud excess as you apply the paper.
5. Mud and Tape Inside Corners
After you apply the mud in the inside corners, use pre-creased paper tape over the wet mud. Make sure you cut it and fit it to the space. Carefully, smoothen the tape in the wet mud using the taping knife. Your movements should be as gentle as possible so that you won’t remove the tape from the corner, then clean the excess mud.
6. Mud and Tape Outside Corners
Use preformed tape corners and apply them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place the mud in the corner with a long stroke on each side. This will create an even corner.
7. Mud Butt Joints
Mudd the butt joints the same way as the beveled joints. You should try not to use too much mud – only what is necessary for filling and bedding.
8. Subsequent Coatings
The mud should be completely dried before you add another coating. Apply the mud in the same order as above but without adding the tape. Only one layer of tape is sufficient, all you need is a thin coating of mud and then wipe the excess.
You can also coat again the butt joints using the 10-inch knife. Place mud on two parts about 8 inches away from each other, but do not mud the original joint in order to avoid bulking. Use the knife to smoothen the edges of the swaths of mud. Finally, place a third layer of mud using the same instructions and order as above.
The final step is to sand down the dried mud around the indentations and the joints. Make sure you use your goggles and respirator mask.
All in all, mudding and taping the drywall can take some time, but the final result will surely be satisfying. Take your time and follow each step above to achieve a smooth, seamless wall!