How to Tape Drywall – Tricks and Tips

how to tape drywall

How to tape drywall? This is probably one of the most asked questions, due to the trending use of drywall in home decor. The drywall process of tapping and mudding are by far the most challenging parts of installing drywalls. 

Apart from this, another question is on how to tape drywall corners or fill joints? Even if you might have an initial drywall handling experience, but when one is faced with an entire 2000 sq. feet or more of drywall. This in turn can make the job endless. Taping drywall is indeed a fine art but fortunately, one doesn’t need to be naturally gifted to get a good hang of it. 

How to Tape Drywall – Tools Required

  • Taping Knife
  • Mud Pan 
  • Utility Knife

Materials Required to Tape A Drywall

  • Drywall Tape
  • Setting Type Joint Compound

Here are a few tricks and handy tips that will be your one-stop-shop solution for all the nitty-gritties that are a part of executing perfect drywall for your home decor. We have presented a 7 Step process for you to ease out the question of, How to Tape Drywall? 

Step 1 – Fill the Wide Gaps with Setting-Type Compound

how to tape drywall


You can start by mixing the powder setting compound with water in the mud pan. Mix it until a consistent paste is formed. Later, press the compound into the gaps and joints. Make sure that you focus on the wider gaps that are more than 1/4th inch since these can be the critical ones.  Keep the fill level slightly below the surrounding surface. 

Tip #1 – Do not overfill rather keep the fill flush with the drywall surface itself. 

Tip #2 – Make sure that your pace of work is quick since water in this scenario acts as a catalyst. This causes the compound to harden. 

The setting time for the same differs variedly so make sure that you set a start time of 90 minutes. This will give you plenty of working time to slow the hardening process of the mud. 

Step 2 – Spread The Entire Compound Over The Joints

how to tape drywall


Spread the compound evenly over the surface to fill all the joint pockets. When there is a case of tapered drywall joints, they usually have special edges that provide pockets for tape and the joint compound. 

Step 3 – Lay on the Tape

Lay it on the tape and embed the compound with a stroke using a taping knife. While doing so spread a thin coat of mud over the top to make light strokes with the help of a knife. 

Tip #3 – Avoid pressing too hard on the surface as this can flex the blade and depress the compound. Properly apply the tape to embed it well in the setting compound and fill the drywall edges to make the wall flat. 

Step 4 – Mud and Tape the Corner

how to tape drywall


Lay a ribbon by using mud along with each side of the corner. Make sure that it is ⅛ inch thick. Sharply crease the tap and tuck it into a corner. This helps in keeping the corner straight and crisp. By making quick and light strokes by using the knife you can ensure that the material is taped in the exact position. 

Step 5 – Bridge Corner to Wall

To create a smooth and crisp joint, rest one end of the taping knife on the tape itself and the other on the wall. Stroke down to embed the tape. There is a chance that some mud will squeeze out, but to avoid this you can leave a 1/16th inch under the tape. 

Holding your knife at a slight angle that is adjacent to the wall can be helpful. 

Step 6 – Fill the Outside Corners

how to tape drywall


Lay an ample amount of mud to fill the bead pockets. Drag the knife on one side of the bead and another on the drywall. Make sure that you are using light pressure for the same otherwise the mud will squeeze out and make it unstable. 

Step 7 – How To Tape Dry Wall Corners By Tape Butt Joints

how to tape drywall


As the butt joints don’t have tapered edges, you need to take the following steps to avoid any large bumps on the wall. 

  1. Cut Away the loose paper to prevent the formation of lumps and bubbles under the existing tape. Cut on both sides of the butt joint to create a V-Shaped Channel. 
  2. Apply Compound of about 4-inch wide ribbon of mud over the joint to fill the entire ‘V’. 
  3. Tape and Smooth by laying a tape and embedding it with a light stroke on your knife. Apply another layer of mud over this, by lightly stroking the same. After the compound is dry, taper all the edges by a foot or more to hide all the remaining bumps. 

Also Read: 14 Trending and Elegant Ceiling Texture Types

How to Tape Drywalls – Common Taping Problems and How You Can Fix Them

There are several common mistakes and errors that a skilled or unskilled labourer can make while taping drywall. Although these mistakes can be easily covered by simple methods. 

If the Inside Corner Look Ragged

Try using a metal reinforced corner tape. It is done by combining a metal angle with paper flanges to create a perfectly shaped corner. The use of metal also gives the drywall knife a smooth and rigid surface to work on. 

If the Outside Corners are Rough or Fragile

How to tape drywall corners, if the corner is rough or fragile? Instead of using standard paper tape, you can send a little bit extra for metal and plastic on the outer bead. Corner beads are much more eased out to install rather than a paper-only corner. You can save this paper tape for the outside corners that do not receive constant traffic. 

How to Tape Drywall if Mud Dries on Inside Corner

Before laying the mud, make sure that you cut your paper tape to the length and then pre-crease it. This will help you better in the later stages. In the case of a metal reinforced tape then make sure that you cut it with precision before mudding the corner. 

If Drywall Tape is Showing Through The Mud Layer

Remember to apply at least three coats of mud that is a tape coat, a filler coat, and a final coat. The tape should be visible from the filler coat. To cover your first final coat well, you can apply more coats by keeping them thin. 

If Drywall Seams Cracking

The reason for the cracking of drywall is many. They often crack due to the movement in the wall framing. The best solution for this is to make use of taped joints and ensure their durability. 

Some drywall prefers paper due to their high-stress joints but if you use mesh tape then make sure that you are using a setting type mud. Setting type mud is much stronger than any other pre-mixed all-purpose mud. 

Any type of drywall can also crack if the mud is applied very thick or in haste. To prevent his, don’t overdo the use of mud and let each coat dry at its own pace. This way you can make your drywall and learn how to tape drywall at ease without any external help. 

For more architectural guidance and home improvement ideas, keep coming to Interiorcraze.

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