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Old 05-04-2006, 03:30 PM  
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Default Drywall joint question

1. When I go to the local homecenter to buy joint compound, they've got "general purpose", "lightweight", lightweight in a box, and lightweight in powder form (I think). I've visited USG's website, but can't wade through all the marketing to get the straight poop. What're the differences?

2. Paper tape, or mesh?

Just trying to refine what I'm doing. Thanks!

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Old 05-04-2006, 05:29 PM  
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1. You're going to get a ton of opinions now!
For general patching and repair work, light remodeling work and small rooms (garages, bathrooms, single rooms) I like general purpose. I even like to do my finish coats with general purpose.

Lightweight in powder form and in a box, New construction, large remodeling jobs. Powdered is best for guys who haul it around everywhere, job to job. The weight savings from not having any water in it, alone, is an advantage.

There is also fast set. This comes in "time to set" formulas. This stuff sets HARD. It's best used for the first 2 coats where you need to pile it on to get the low spots built-up. Then use something easier to work with to finsh up and do the top coats.

2. Paper or mesh. My opinion

Mesh; anything deep, tapered edges, ceiling to wall corners, all corners for the extra strength. When I suspect an outside corner will give me a problem, I use mesh down the edges of metal corner beads.

Paper; butt joints, patch work where appearance is most important (near light fixtures). If the drywall joint is well supported (both sides fastened to the same stud/joist all the way down an edge), paper is fine. For joints where the drywall joint is spanning from stud to stud/joist to joist, paper is OK, but I prefer mesh for the added strength.

There are many situations that I have not covered, and many that I have not encountered. There are so many opinions, even on patch work and general drywall, that I dare not claim to be solefully and singly right. I am anxious to hear the other opinions too.

Tom in KY, where drywall work is referred to as; "%!@#ing old drywall $#*@!!!!" (edited for content, this is a family oriented forum)

Last edited by Square Eye; 05-04-2006 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 05-05-2006, 12:11 PM  
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Thanks, Tom, that's exactly the sort of input I was looking for. I've always been one for using the general purpose stuff. BTW, your porch looks AWESOME. We're thinking about doing something similar to our place.
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Old 05-06-2006, 09:01 AM  
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powder stuff is ok but sanding it is a PIA.
"if I am out here busting my butt for a word then my word is topping
topping or finishing is the stuff. For your last coat it makes all the difference in handeling and sanding beats the %@%(** out of all poor-puss
Tapping is thick and sticky - to put the tape in for 1st coat
LITE or light is just a bit lighter weight (body)then the other stuff

Last edited by asbestos; 05-06-2006 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:57 PM  
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Okay, so adding a bit of water to the general purpose compound isn't the same thing as the lightweight compound?

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