How to tape drywall like a Pro


Drywall is a construction material often used to create modern walls and ceilings using special drywall screws or nails. It’s also used to develop many architectural designs.

Taping is a crucial stage in a drywalling process that must not be taken for granted to ensure perfectly smooth surfaces for wall finishing. Applying drywall tape helps bond sheets of drywall.

Now, before you start your drywall taping, ensure to have a headcover and protective eyewear. Ensure the room is empty and cover the floor with a canvas drop cloth. The process is done in stages and does require some specific tools and materials.

Essential materials/tools for drywall taping:
Drywall muds
This material comes either ready-mixed in plastic tubs or dry in paper bags. This is used to strengthen and smoother drywall and drywall joints. Dry or pre-mixed compounds can be used for your drywall. “All-purposed is a pre-mixed type of mud sold in packaged containers. It can be used for all phases of drywall finishing, including embedding joint tape and filler and finish coats. “Setting-type compound” is perfect for prefilling gaps because it hardens quickly and ‘t shrinks as much as a regular joint compound. “Topping” mud is ideal for the final coat.

Corner beads
The corner bead is more spartan and resists cracks, and makes the outside corners firmer. Using corner beads is to prevent crashes when a piece of an item hits the wall corner.

Taping knife
A taping or joint knife is a drywall tool with a wide blade for spreading joint compounds (mud). It can be used to apply mud over screw indents in new drywall applications and use paper tape to cover the seams.

Paper tape
It will create stronger joints, especially at butt joints, typically the weakest areas in a drywall installation. Paper tape is better at preventing cracking along drywall seams. Paper tape can be applied with all-purpose drywall compounds, and professionals often use it because it is easier and cleaner to use.

Banjo Taping Tool
A banjo lets you easily mud and tape drywall seams and the inside corners of your drywall quickly and efficiently.

Corner Clincher
It allows you to attach protective corner beads on outside wall corners without nails or screws.

A hawk is a tool used to hold a compound or similar material so that the user can quickly and easily get more blend on the wall faster, especially as you get to wider joints.
Drywall Taping Step by Step

Step 1
The first step is to refill the gaps from top to beneath with a setting-type compound. Before applying the setting compound, cut off any broken or crumbling areas of the drywall, peel any pieces of paper left around the edges. This will enable a smoother application. The setting-type compound helps harden quickly. Take note not to mix too much to avoid wastage when it has set a bit but is not yet completely dry; scrape off any lump seen with a taping knife. Prefill the gaps and let them dry before you apply the tape coat.

Step 2
Apply the first coat of compound with a drying-type joint compound for embedding paper tape. The heavyweight of an all-purpose compound is more potent than other weight compounds. Cover the butt joints first, and turn your taping knife sideways to apply the compound. This way, you get just enough on the blade, and there is less chance of excess mud.

Step 3
Ensure to embed the tape. Getting a solid foundation does not only come with sanding or the finishing coats, but if you get the tape appropriately embedded in the joint compound, you create a strong foundation. Centre the tape over the beam once the combination has been applied. Try dipping the tape in water and squeeze the excess water out with your finger. Moisture the tape to allow the bond between the tape and the mud to form quickly.

Step 4
Press the end of the paper tape lightly into the compound every 15 inches or thereabouts to hold it in place. As the tape is centered over the joint, keep it tightly pulled. If you are taping seams close to the floor, use a vertical motion to push out any bubbles from the bottom to the end of the tape to avoid getting compound on the floor.

Step 5
Cut the drywall tape at the end of the seam, then push the edge of the blade into the compound type with your taping knife, then pull the tape across the blade, tearing it crisply. Wipe with the knife in the middle and work your way out to the corners when taping an entire wall.

Step 6
Tape the inside and outside corners. Paper tape is often pre-creased, and this is the reason paper tape is usually recommended. For inside corners, Embed the paper drywall tape lengthwise down the middle for the inside corners. Then, use a 4-inch-wide drywall knife to spread the joint compound on the sides of an inside corner. Set the drywall tape into the wet mix by hand, then use the 4-inch blade to press the tape tight to the wall. This helps squeeze out the excess compound. Spread more joint compounds over the tape and apply more significant pressure on the outer edge of the knife. Lastly, smoothen the mix from the corner joint.

Attach a metal or plastic corner bead to the drywall corner for the outside corners. Then apply the compound to the wall corners. Once the joint mixture hardens, sand lightly, then use a second coat of compound. Wait for the second coat to dry, sand lightly, and apply the final compound coat.

Step 7
The next stage is to apply more coats of mud. Apply tape coat, followed by the filler coat, and lastly, the final coat. Keep in mind that if your filler coat is too thick, it’s not the best because the tape should show through the filler coat. If the first final coat does not cover the tape, apply more coats, but not in excess. Use a topping compound instead of the standard mud when the final coat. Topping compound is smoother, and sands easier.
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