How to Tape and Mud Drywall

How to Tape and Mud Drywall


You can view all of my Posts by clicking on the following Link:


In this post, you will be instructed on How to Tape and Mud Drywall (Wallboard). The instructions will apply to both regular Wallboard and Greenboard.


Materials & Supplies Needed:

    • Sheetrock Lightweight All Purpose Joint Compound (or comparable product)
    • Self-Adhesive Mesh Drywall Joint Tape


In order to purchase any Materials & Supplies Needed, see the appropriate page in any of the drop-down pages under:  Home Products – Supplies  in my Top Menu.

Scroll down the list to find the correct item. You will find an explanation of that item, as well as, links under each item, which direct you to my Recommended Suppliers for you to check out their offerings.


Tools & Supplies Needed:

    • Safety Glasses
    • Mechanics Work Gloves
    • Dust Mask
    • Stanley Knife with Sharp Blades
    • Various sized Putty Knives (4”, 6”, & 10”)
    • Flathead Screwdriver
    • 12 ½” Aluminum Hawk
    • 12” Mud Pan
    • Rag
    • Sanding Block
    • Electric Sander
    • Sandpaper (course, medium, & fine grit)
    • Ocelo Sponge
    • Wet Sponge
    • Bucket
    • Shop Vac


In order to purchase any Tools & Supplies Needed, see the appropriate page in any of the drop-down pages under:  Home – Garden: Tools and Equipment List  in my Top Menu.

Scroll down the list to find the correct item. You will find an explanation of that item, as well as, links under each item, which direct you to my Recommended Suppliers for you to check out their offerings.




Step-by-Step Instructions


Please review the information included here in the first 5 Steps, and then review my page:  5 Steps for Project Management.  When you have completed those first 5 Steps, you can return here to continue on to Step 6.


Step 1 – Assess the Project


This should be an easy Assessment, since your Wallboard has already been replaced. Make sure that you have all of the Materials, Tools, and Supplies that you need.


Step 2 – Create a Materials & Supplies Needed Sheet


Based on your Assessment of the Project, order the appropriate Materials & Supplies Needed in order to complete your Project. Also, include any Tools & Supplies Needed.


Step 3 – Calculate Project Cost


(Follow the Instructions on the:  5 Steps for Project Management  page.)


Step 4 – Order Your Materials & Tools Needed


(Follow the Instructions on the:  5 Steps for Project Management  page.)


Step 5 – Inspect Your Delivery


After reviewing the information here, additional information to complete these first (5) Steps is found in the page:  5 Steps for Project Management.  Simply click on that link and you will be directed there.


Step 6 – Tape the Joints


Using your Wallboard Joint Tape, apply the Tape to all of the joints.


    • Using your Self-Adhesive Joint Tape, apply the Tape to each of the joints in all pieces of Wallboard that were replaced.


Step 7 – Apply 1st Coat of Mud to the Joints


Using your Sheetrock Lightweight All Purpose Joint Compound and 4” Putty Knife, apply the 1st coat of Joint Compound to your Tape.


    • Using your Stanley Knife, cut through each slot in the lid of your Joint Compound to the bottom edge. Then, take your Flathead Screwdriver, and pry the lid open.
    • Take your 4” Putty Knife and swipe across the surface of the Joint Compound to loosen it up a bit. (if you are using old Compound which has gotten slightly hard, you can soften it up by adding a little water and mixing it in).
    • Once the Compound has been loosened, add a generous amount to your Aluminum Hawk or your Mud Pan, whichever you prefer to use. Scrape your Putty Knife clean, and wipe both sides with a damp Rag.
    • Take your 4” Putty Knife and cut a fair amount from your Hawk or Mud Pan (but not an excessive amount) and apply it to your Joint Tape, starting at one end and continuing until the Mud runs out. Then, repeat the process until each joint has been lightly covered. You should always wipe your Putty Knife with your damp Rag before each application of Mud. This will make the application smoother. Hold your Knife at about a 30 degree angle and pull from top to bottom or left to right as needed, using slight pressure to spread the Mud evenly. Do not try to get it perfect, just do the best that you can. You can go over the area more than once to attempt to smooth it out, but do not overdo it. The second and third coats and the sanding in-between coats will clean up any imperfections.
    • Always keep your lid on the Joint Compound when you are not accessing it in order to keep it from drying out. You can always add a little water and mix it in if it does tend to start getting too stiff.
    • Each joint should be lightly covered with the 1st coat of Mud. It is OK if some of the Tape shows through in the 1st application. You will be putting on at least 2 more coats. Do not apply the coats too heavy, or it will require inordinate amounts of sanding, which will be very time-consuming.


Step 8 – Sand Joints


Sand all joints between Mud applications and after final coat. Sand until smooth.


    • It usually takes about 24 hours for the Mud to completely dry before you are able to sand. It may take even longer in high humidity. The Mud should be completely dry before you attempt to sand or you simply make one, big, mess of things.
    • You can either dry sand or wet sand between each coat of Mud. I prefer wet sanding, since it does not create any dust. However, it may take a little longer.
    • If you are wet sanding, you will not need a Dust Mask or your Mechanics Gloves. If you are dry sanding, then you should wear both. Always wear your Safety Glasses.
    • For wet sanding, fill your bucket with warm water, about ¾ of the way full. Dip your Wet Sponge and squeeze it out lightly. Your Wet Sponge has a course side and a fine side.
    • Beginning with the course side of the Sponge, begin sanding your joint until smooth. Do not sand too much or you will simply remove all of the Mud. Rinse and squeeze out the Sponge whenever it becomes too caked with Mud. If you have any areas that are really thick with Mud, you can moisten the areas with your Sponge and then scrape the excess with your 4” Putty Knife. Repeat the process as needed.
    • Once the course sanding has been done, rinse and squeeze out your Sponge once again, and go over the area using the fine side of the Sponge. You should not apply excessive pressure. The water and the Sponge should do most of the work. Sand until smooth, checking the edges for taper to your Wallboard. You should not have any high spots along the edges, or anywhere else for that matter.
    • For dry sanding, be sure to put on your Mechanic’s Gloves and Dust Mask.
    • You can use an Electric Sander if you like, or simply use a Sanding Block. Either way, you should tape up Plastic to cover all vents and doorways or close the door and seal up the bottom. You will be creating a lot of dust. Best to keep it confined to one room.
    • Use a coarser Sand Paper in the beginning to take down any high spots. Then, switch to a medium grade. Do not apply a lot of pressure when you sand. Let the tool do the work. You will need to bang out the dust in your Sandpaper from time to time. Be sure to feather out all of your edges.
    • Take a damp Rag or Oselo Sponge and wipe down the joints before applying another coat of Mud.


Step 9 – Apply 2nd Coat of Mud and Sand


Once your 1st coat has been sanded, apply a 2nd coat of Mud.


    • Apply your 2nd coat of Mud in the same fashion as you did the first, but use a wider Putty Knife. You should use a 6” Knife for applying your 2nd coat.
    • When the Mud has dried (usually 24 hours), sand the 2nd coat of Mud the same way as you did your 1st coat. Wipe down the joints before applying your final coat.


Step 10 – Apply Final Coat of Mud and Sand


Apply your final coat of Mud and sand.


    • Once your 2nd coat of Mud has been sanded and the joints wiped down, it is time to apply your final coat. This should be done with your 10” Putty Knife.
    • Make sure that your Joint Compound is nice and creamy, so that all small imperfections will be filled. It may be necessary to add a small amount of water to get your Compound to that consistency.
    • Once the Mud has completely dried, go ahead and do your final sanding, either using the fine side of your Wet Sponge or fine-grade Sandpaper, if dry sanding.
    • Wipe down your joints with a damp Rag or Ocelo Sponge if you have wet sanded. If you dry sanded, then you will need to fill your Bucket with clean, warm water, and wipe down the entire Ceiling and Walls, rinsing out your Sponge regularly and changing your water as needed.
    • Your Ceiling and Walls are now ready for Primer & Sealer and then Paint.


Once you have finished applying Tape and Mud to your Wallboard and have sanded the final coat, apply Primer to all Spackle spots and Primer & Sealer to any new Wallboard installed before you paint.


Please leave a Comment or ask a Question in the Comments section below.


Thank you,

CJ Dodaro


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