Common Mistakes To Avoid When Finishing Drywall

Even serious DIY lovers can encounter problems when it comes to drywall taping. This is especially the case when the process involves working with corners. You need the inside corners of the drywall to look just as aesthetically pleasing as the rest of your wall. But getting that proper finish requires some skill. While there are contractors who make it look so easy, many homeowners just can’t hack.

We will help you improve your technique as you prepare for a drywall project. Here are common drywall installation mistakes you should avoid.

1. Using Drywall Mud With The Wrong Consistency

If you are relying on using pre-mixed compound as it is, you are bound to encounter problems along the way. Make sure the compound has a good consistency and avoid using it when it’s too thick. You can always add a little water in pre-mixed compound. Using the thick compound can cause bubbles to form and the tape will not stick properly on the wall. If the compound is too thin it will cause the tape to tear whenever you squeeze it.

2. Applying Too Much Mud

The amount of mud that you apply will determine how smooth the finish becomes. When you apply too much the tape ends up getting too wet and rips off. When the compound is too little, the tape doesn’t embed on the joint well. You can press the tape to squeeze out any excess mud before applying the final coat.

3. Applying Too Much Pressure When Pressing The Compound

It’s very important to be very gentle when spreading the compound beneath the tape. When you apply a lot of pressure on the knife you will end up moving the tape or even cause it to tear. The tape binds well when you smoothen the mud gently.

4. Failing To Work On Inside Corners First

Deal with the inside corners first so that they have ample time to dry. Corners can be harder to work with especially if you are using nails or screws to keep the boards together. Use a wide knife with 12” to 16” if you want to make it easy to smooth the mud in the corners. If you apply the first coat well you will need very little sanding after the final coat.

5. Applying Thick Coats

You will probably need to apply 3 coats of joint compound when working on this project. At the second coat you should still be able to see the tape. If the tape is completely covered with the second filling, it could mean that your second layer was too thick. Making the coats thicker than they should be tends to create bulges and the surface will not appear as smooth as it should be. Try and work with thin coats.

6. Failing To Get Rid Of Bumps And Ridges

The worst mistake you can do when installing a drywall is failing to smoothen the surface by getting rid of bumps or ridges. Never try to cover these faults with a fresh coat of compound. Instead, scrap off the bumps of ridges using a putty knife after the compound dries. You can do this a day after applying the final coat.

7. Using The Wrong Knife

You need knives of different widths depending on the task at hand. For instance, if you want to get rid of bumps and ridges a small knife of 6” would work. However, to spread the final coat you may need a wider knife of 12 – 16”. Working with the right knife makes your work easier and also gives you a nice and smooth finish.

8. Working With Thick Mud

Thick mud will make your task ten times harder. For instance, if you don’t add water you will end up tearing the tape whenever you try to spread the mud out. Thick mud is also very sticky and you’ll need the right knife to spread it. Avoid thick mud if you don’t want the tape to start ripping.

9. Swiping The Wrong Way

Swiping the mud vertically or all the way down increases the chances of the tape ripping. The best way to do it is to swipe horizontally from one corner to the other.