Drywall Taping: All You Need To know in 2023

drywall taping

Drywall taping and mudding refers to the process that joins drywall pieces into a single solid wall. Professionals use coats of drywall compound and drywall tape to conceal screws and nails and reinforce joints. When drywall taping and mudding is done properly, the wall appears smooth and flat, and you can’t see what’s underneath.

In this guild, we provide details on how to tape drywall mud, various types of mud and tapes used in projects, and proper technique for protecting the floor and surrounding areas during drywall taping mudding. So keep reading to learn everything you need to know.

Various Types of Drywall Mud

Various types of joint compounds are utilized for the process of mudding drywall. These options include both “dry” and “wet” varieties of mud.

  • Dry mud refers to a quick-setting powdered form of mud that is typically packaged in plastic-lined bags. To use powdered mud, it needs to be mixed using specific tools. This type of drywall mud hardens rapidly and requires several hours of drying time between coats. It is commonly employed as a sturdy base coat.
  • Wet or pre-mixed mud is ready-to-use type, requiring adding water to thin the mud to proper consistency before applying to the drywall.
  • One common form is All-purpose mud, which is typically used as a first coat. This type of mud contains bonding agents that improve the hold or adherence of the drywall tape. However, sanding All-purpose mud can be hard, which is why it’s not isn’t commonly used as a finished coat.
  • Other form of dry mud is a Topping mud, which is lighter than All-purpose mud and commonly used for final coats.
  • Another form is lightweight all-purpose drywall mud, this type has a lighter weight and also its sanding is easier than All-purpose joints compound.
  • Lightweight all-purpose drywall mud is specifically designed to be lighter in weight and easier to sand compared to standard all-purpose joint compound used for mudding drywall. It is suitable for both first and second coats on seams and corner beads, and it is commonly used as a finish coat in most application.

various types of drywall taping

Different Types of Drywall Taping Compound

Drywall taping can be paper, fiberglass mesh, and performed. Knowing about properly drywall taping enables you to effectively conceal imperfections, holes, and indentations on the drywall.

Below, we’ll walk through all three types:

  • Paper tape: paper tape is a non-adhesive and non-elastic form that need to be set within a layer of compound to stick to the drywall surface.
  • Fiberglass mesh tape: fiberglass mesh tape is a self-adhesive tape that has a high resistance to mold and adheres flat to the drywall surface.
  • Performed tape: performed tape is commonly used on outside wall corners to create a smooth and consistent appearance. It consists of plastic, thin metal, or other materials.

How to Mud Drywall for Beginners: Useful Tips for a Proper Approach to Drywall Taping

Below, we bring some useful tips that may help beginners to have a right approach toward drywall taping.

Typically, drywall mud can harden within 15 minutes, and sanding and finishing drywall can create fine dust that can be harmful if inhaled.

Therefore, we’ve provided some preparation techniques below to follow before mudding drywall.

  • Wearing appropriate protection, such as coveralls, a mask, or a respirator mask is necessary. Coveralls keep drywall mud off clothing, while a mask (or respirator mask) helps avoid inhalation of the dust.
  • To prevent sanding dust from damage nearby furniture or spreading beyond the immediate work area, apply plastic or canvas drop cloths or tarps.
  • Assemble all supplies you need for the job, such as joint compound, paint buckets, and mud pans.

Drywall taping preparation

Joint Mud and screw spot techniques to get a seamlessly finish

The long edge of each drywall sheet is beveled and intentionally thinner than the rest of the sheet. To create a joint, all these edges are joined together. To fill the joints and cover the spots where screws attach the drywall sheets to the studs, you can use a utility knife or paint scraper to apply approximately an inch of mud. Make sure to remove any excess mud.

How to tape drywall to create a smooth surface for joint mudding?

  • To hold the tape in place, position a piece of paper drywall tape over the mud in the joint and firmly press it in every foot.
  • Use drywall taping tool, such as utility knife, to run it along the tape and embed it into the mud eliminate air bubbles. To do this, start from the center and work the knife down toward the corners until all ends are embedded in the mud.

How to tape drywall corners and edges?

To do so, follow these steps:

  • Use utility knife to apply mud to both sides of the inside corners. Place a creased strip of paper drywall tape in the corner over the compound.
  • To push out air bubbles, pull the utility knife along the tape and embed it into the mud. To push the tape in the corner, use light strokes. Then, wipe away and remove excess muds.
  • Apply strips of pre-formed tape to the outside edges and corners. Use consistent vertical strokes to apply mud over the taped edges and corners. Then, remove any excess compound.
  • Allow the mud and tape to dry completely overnight. Once dry, use 100- or 120 grit sandpaper to sand the area for a smooth finish, completing the first drywall mudding task.

How to tape drywall corners and edges?

The second step of how to tape drywall corners

To continue the drywall taping and mudding process for corners and joints, follow these two steps:

  • Using consistent strokes and a 10-inch drywall taping knife, apply a thin layer of mud. Please pay attention to this point that in this step, there’s no need for paper drywall tape.
  • Remove all excess mud and allow the second layer to fully dry.

Apply the final coat

The last step is to apply the final coat, also known as a third coat, to fully cover any remaining imperfections on the drywall. Both lightweight all-purpose and topping mud are perfect options for the final coat.

To apply the final coat, follow these steps:

  • Empty the contents of the mud into a paint bucket and then add water.
  • Use a power drill with mud mixer attachments to create a thinner consistency of mud before application.
  • For applying the mud, you need a 12-inch drywall taping knife.

Sand the tape and mudded drywall

To complete the task, sand the surface to create a smooth area. To do so, you’ll need a 120-grit paper and a pole sandpaper.

To start the task, folding a paper around the ends of the sanding pads and clamp the wing nut in place, tightening it on the backside.

Pass the pole sander over the joints to achieve a seamless surface, ensuring there are no visible lines between the compound and the drywall edges, and no ridges or pinholes present elsewhere in the compound.

sand the drywall taping

Drywall Taping Mistakes

Here are the common mistakes in drywall taping:

  • Using thick mud
  • Using the wrong tape
  • Using the incorrect tools or no tools at all
  • Not priming before painting
  • Not sanding properly
  • Not applying enough mud or apply excessive compound than required
  • Exerting too much pressure while applying tape and mud
  • Starting in the wrong area (always start at corners and then work inward)
  • Not give enough time to drywall to completely dry

Starting in the wrong area:

Always starts at the corners and work inward because corners are the hardest place to work on, particularly if they have nails or screws.

Additionally, working on corners require more time for completely drying. Therefore, by starting at the corners, you tackle the most challenging part of the process first, allowing you to focus on the rest of the project with a peace of mind.

drywall taping mistakes

Exerting too much pressure

The other common drywall taping mistakes is to exert too much pressure when applying mud or compound, as this can easily shift or damage the tape. When taping, use controlled and gentle movement to avoid tearing or moving the tape.

Drywall taping mistakes: applying excess compound

Many unexperienced contractors use an excessive amount of compound instead of doing multiple coats using a small amount of compound. This is a common mistake that we see among new contractors frequently.

The right approach is that the first coat shouldn’t cover the whole tape completely. Also, you should cover the tape after two or more coats.

Applying excessive compound increases the risk of bulges and unevenness, compromising both, the appearance and durability of the final outcome.

Using thick mud

Another common drywall taping mistake is using thick mud, as it can complicate the installation process. Also, it can tear the tape and result in uneven and jagged spread.

Other drywall taping mistakes

Avoid swiping vertically or downward, as this may increase the likelihood of ripping the tape.

Final Bottomdrywall taping and apply joint

If you need an experienced contractor to ensure that your project goes smoothly, error-free, and within the deadline, contact us at Confirmed Contracting Corp.

We specialize in insulating basements, attic, and homes, and we’re always here to address all your concerns and questions.


How to mud drywall with paper tape?

  • Cut an appropriate length of paper tape based on the length of the joint
  • Use a 6-inch taping knife to apply a smooth, thin layer of mud over the joint
  • Press the paper tape into the mud, centering it over the joint.
  • Use a 6-inch drywall taping knife to embed the tape in the mud base.
  • Wait at least a day for the mixture to dry completely.
  • Lastly, sand the drywall to achieve the smooth and even surface. 

How to mud drywall with mesh tape?

To answer the question, please watch the video.

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