One of the most prevalent ways in which joint compound (sheetrock mud) is used is to finish out drywall joints. For most home owners there is no more dreaded job than finishing, or applying tape and joint compound to drywall, but in fact, it’s a simple job that can make a big difference in how well the final finish turns out on your walls.

Way to Apply Joint Compound

Applying Joint Compund

You can easily apply joint compound to drywall, having it smooth and easy to manage.

Done well, the joints are unnoticeable once painted.

Materials & Tools:

Joint compound; drywall tape; drywall knife; cordless drill; drywall pan; sandpaper – 100-150, 200 grit

Step #1Take a few minutes to check out the installation of the drywall, correcting minor problems as you discover them.

Check for protruding nails and/or screws. Nails and screws should be driven just slightly under the surface of the drywall, but not so much that they break the paper surface.

Step #2First apply joint compound in a very thin layer along the seam. Your first layer should only be about 1/8 inch thick and will act as an adhesive for the joint tape, which you will apply next.

Step #3:  Apply drywall tape to the places surrounding where you are about to drywall. Apply the drywall compound from right to left. If doing a corner, apply from the corner out.

Press firmly down on the tape with your joint knife. Ideally, you want to see at least a small amount of joint compound coming out from both sides of the tape as you go over it with your knife.

Step #4:  After you apply joint compound and the tape, allow it to dry for at least overnight, preferably for 24 hours.

Applying Joint Compound over Tape


Step #5Than, go over it with sandpaper to give it the smoothest surface possible. You can use sandpaper (120-grit), to sand down the surface.

Step #6Once this first layer of mud and tape has been sanded down smooth, apply joint compound again, and spreading it in another thin layer about six inches wide over the taped joint. To do this, use a 4 inch finish knife. Be sure to feather the compound as you do this; feather the outside edges as much as possible.

Step #7:  Allow it to dry and sand it down using sandpaper – 120 grit.

Step #8:  Then apply the next coat by using an 8 inch compound knife. Feather this coat 2 or 3 inches past the edge of the coat you previously did.

Step #9Sand this down using 120 grit sandpaper. After this dries, apply a final coat, finishing it off by sanding it with 200 grit sandpaper.