Message to Our Customers

Taping Joints

 
Taping Joints
 

The drywall may be up, but the job isn't done yet. Now it's time to turn all those pieces of drywall into one solid wall ready for priming and painting. The long edge of each drywall sheet is beveled, purposely made thinner than the rest of the sheet. This creates a trough when the edges are put together. Seams of butt joints with beveled edges get a strip of paper reinforcing tape and three coats of joint compound. Each coat is slightly wider than the previous coat, and the final coat is 24 inches wide.

 

Preparation

 

• Determine the number of seams between adjacent sheets of drywall that need to be filled and taped to
  determine the amounts of tape and compound to purchase.

 

Safety

 

• Wear appropriate respiratory protection (dust mask, etc.) when sanding drywall to prevent inhalation of
   the dust.

• Use plastic or canvas drop cloths to prevent the sanding dust from damaging nearby furniture or
  spreading beyond your immediate work area.

 

Savings

 

• To save time and energy, consider using a wallboard joint made with paper tape instead of fiberglass tape 
   joints. The fiberglass variety can crack at about half the stress it takes to crack the paper joint tape and, if it 
   does crack, you'll have to strip off everything and start from scratch.

• Consider using a damp sponge to smooth the joint compound surface to save time on cleaning up the 
   huge amount of fine, white dust that sandpaper can leave behind.


WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS JOB:

TOOLS:

MATERIALS:


 

Step 1: Fill the troughs along the sheet edges

 Fill the troughs along the sheet edges Build up about an inch of joint compound on a 6-inch knife, and fill the trough with compound.   
  

Step 2: Put tape in the trough

Put tape in the trough Put paper drywall tape in the compound in the trough, pushing it in every foot or so to hold it in place.
  

Step 3: Pull the knife along tape

Pull the knife along tape Pull the knife along the tape, embedding it in the mud. If you start in the corner and work toward the middle of the room, the tape will pull loose.  Start in the middle and work towards the corners, at least until you have the ends embedded in the compound.
  

Step 4: Apply a second coat

Apply a second coat Let the compound dry overnight and apply a second coat of compound with a 10-inch knife. Let it dry overnight.
  

Step 5: Apply a third coat

Apply a third coat Thin the joint compound with water to the consistency of mayonnaise before you apply the third coat. The thinner compound goes on more easily, fills irregularities and is less likely to leave small pinholes as you spread it. Apply the compound with a 12-inch knife.
  

Step 6: Sanding

Let the third coat dry overnight and sand the surface smooth No coat of joint compound goes on perfectly. Let the third coat dry overnight and sand the surface smooth using a pole sander and 120-grit paper. Start by folding the paper around the ends of the pads and tightening the wing nuts on the back to clamp it in place. Run the pole over the joints until you get a smooth surface with no steps between the edge of the compound and the drywall and with no ridges or pinholes elsewhere in the compound.