After setting up your drywall sheets, you must link all the pieces together to create one cohesive wall before priming and painting. Drywall taping tools – specifically drywall banjoes – are designed to streamline and speed up this process. A drywall banjo is particularly beneficial for beginners because it also helps avoid loose and bubbly tape. Before purchasing a banjo, it’s important to know how it functions.
How to Use a Drywall Banjo
Here are the steps for operating a drywall banjo:
• Step 1: Get Joint Compound Ready: The first action you want to do is prepare your joint compound. To make things simple, choose premixed all-purpose joint compound. Use a mud drill to mix your joint compound until it’s a smooth, creamy texture. Then, slowly add more water to it. The joint compound needs to be thin, but not watery, when you put it inside the banjo.
• Step 2: Adjust the Banjo: Load your banjo with a roll of paper drywall tape and the thinned joint compound. Pull out about a foot of tape and check the back. There should be a 1/8-inch thick layer of joint compound. Run a few tests on a scrap of drywall.
Bonus Tip: If there’s not enough joint compound underneath the tape as you try to stick it to the wall, adjust your banjo by widening the opening. If there’s too much joint compound oozing out, reduce the size of the banjo’s opening.
• Step 3: Apply Tape to the Wall: Some joint compound will seep out on the sides as you press the tape onto the wall. Smooth out this excess joint compound with your drywall knife. If there’s not enough joint compound from under the tape, apply a thin layer on top of the tape with your drywall knife.
Be sure to keep your banjo, mud pan, drywall knives and other drywall taping tools clean and free of dried joint compound. Crusty lumps can form if you let your tools stay unkempt. Keep a bucket of warm water and a sponge nearby to wipe off your tools.
If you’re going to be working on a drywall project, consider getting a taping tool such as a banjo. It’ll save you time and make the process much easier. Check out our How to Tape Drywall Joints guide for information.