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A guide to drywall taping and finishing

DIY enthusiasts will find that drywalling is a great way to pursue a hobby and save money on professional services. Drywall taping and finishing are important aspects which are required to ensure a presentable appearance and good performance of the drywall installation. Read this guide to drywall taping and finishing for information on tools required and techniques used.

Tools and equipment

Drywall taping tools
For taping drywalls, knives of 5” to 6” width are ideal for joints. 3” wide knives are used for finishing indentations and corners. 10” knives are required for the final coat to help to feather the joint over a large surface. Corner beads are required for corner joints. The drywall mud is prepared and mixed in a mud-pan. Sanding
Sanding poles, blocks or sheets are required once the drywall is cured. Finishing tools are required to smooth the surface prior to finishing. Protective gear
Invest in good eye and respiratory protection since drywall dust is harmful. Spread sheets or canvas over other room items. Material
Drywall supplies like joint tape and joint compound are required. You may choose between paper tapes or plastic mesh tapes. Paper is a better choice for beginners since it is easier to work with, though plastic mesh is stronger and provides better reinforcement.

Areas for taping

The main areas where taping is required are: Joints
These may be the butt joints between panels or the tapered joints along the longer edges of panels. Inner and outer corners
Taping is required where drywall panels meet at an angle creating a corner. Fasteners
Indentations left by screws or fasteners need to be finished.

Techniques

Joints
Drywall taping of joints uses three mudding coats. The first coat is called the tape coat which is required to place the tape in position. The tape should be flattened from the centre to the extremities. A second coat is applied to conceal the tape, once base coat has dried. A final skim coat is required to smooth out the joint. Corners
Metal beads should be placed in position and secured using drywall nails or screws. Three coats may be required to finish the joint and should be properly feathered and sanded to create a smooth surface. Indentations
Indentations are finished by spreading mud with a 3” knife and scraping excess. This is repeated until a flush surface is created. Finishing drywalls
Priming and painting should be done once you have corrected and smoothed out any imperfections. Drywall textures may be used for aesthetics or improved acoustics. They can be applied using rollers or rented drywall equipment like spray rigs. Drywalling is an ideal DIY exercise and allows errors to be corrected easily.

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