5 Beginner Mistakes to Avoid - Taping and Finishing

As with learning anything new, starting out in drywall can lead to common beginner mistakes. Learn about drywall beginner mistakes here and how to avoid them!


TapePro Compound Tube

1. Joint compound is too thick or too thin

Getting a consistency that is just right can help eliminate problems with the tape later on. If the joint compound is too thick can lead to bubbles that prevent tape from sticking to the drywall. On the other hand, if the compound is too thin the tape could rip when you embed it. When you’re mixing the joint compound, you generally want to aim for a peanut butter consistency. However, if you’re using a machine to apply the mud (like an automatic tapercompound tube, etc.) and you find it isn’t flowing through the machine smoothly, try mixing in a little more water.

Applying Joint Compound

2. Using too much joint compound

If you find your tape is ripping and you’ve ruled out a having too thin a consistency as the cause, then it might be about the amount of joint compound you’re using. Too much mud could get the tape too wet and lead to tearing. Apply enough that the tape sticks to the drywall, and then squeeze out any extra by running your knife horizontally from one side to the other using light pressure.

Adding Coats

3. Coats are too thick

For a smooth, uniform wall, pay attention to how thickly you’re applying the second and third coats. Using thin coats will reduce the amount of sanding you need to do and will lend itself better to feathering with the rest of the drywall. How can you tell if your layers are thin enough before you get to the end? You should be able to see the tape through the second coat.

Different sized Knives Blades

4. Using the wrong size knife

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to taping and finishing. Make the job easier by using knives in a variety of sizes. When you need to cover a larger area, for the final coat for example, a wider skimming blade or finishing knife will give you smoother results and in a shorter amount of time. For smaller areas try a smaller knife.

Adding Joint Compound

5. Adding more joint compound to bumps (instead of scraping it off or sanding)

Instead of adding compound so build up the wall to the bump, scrape or sand it down. Once the compound is dry, scrape the small bumps and ridges away with a small knife. Smooth it out with some light sanding with a sanding sponge as needed.

Are you new to drywall? Have a question you don’t see here?


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