Am I doing this right?

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Bob Reynolds

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Looks like you have your first coat. It does take some practice. What you want to do on the first pass is have enough drywall compound under the tape to make sure that it is completely stuck. You do not want any air pockets or missing areas that will not stick. I don't see that you missed any, but it is impossible to tell from the picture.
 

oldognewtrick

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How many drywall blades do you have? 6-9-12 work well. Start with the 6, sand, 9 sand 12 to finish. The smoother you get it when applying the drywall mud, the easier it is to finish.
 

stevedam850

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Looks like you have your first coat. It does take some practice. What you want to do on the first pass is have enough drywall compound under the tape to make sure that it is completely stuck. You do not want any air pockets or missing areas that will not stick. I don't see that you missed any, but it is impossible to tell from the picture.
Thank you. There are no bubbles and all the tape seems covered and not dried out. I know there will be more coats needed to make it smooth.
 

Bob Reynolds

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Olddog is correct, you will have 2 more coats and you will need to sand each coat. Most drywall finishers wait a day between coats and/or sanding.

Once you have your third coat on and have completed sanding, you then will need a primer/sealer (light paint) coat on the entire wall. This will let you see where the imperfections are. You will then sand and fill for (hopefully) a final time.

Also while we are on the subject of drywall sanding....

A pole sander works wonders for sanding new drywall finishes. It's worth the $30 to get one. It will speed up your job and give you a smoother finish with less work.
 

bud16415

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My friend used to say if you can make a PB&J you could do drywall.



I use the self stick mesh tape and if you are learning I would suggest you try both and see what one you like better mesh or paper.



With paper you have to do a bedding coat and then get the paper tape to lay down into it and not stick up above the finished surface and also not have air trapped under it. With the mesh you can tape the whole room before you ever open the mud bucket. The holes in the tape let the mud to go thru and adhere to the drywall and the fibers then reinforce the joint.

In both cases get at least 2 knifes a 6” and 10” what I have. Use a mesh sanding product almost looks like window screen and a 4X10 pad sanding pad you attach the mesh sand paper to. I like the pad that you can screw a broom handle to and sand with two hands and work from the floor even on ceilings. Try and not sand a lot onto the drywall as it will raise hair on the paper surface.
 

Snoonyb

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Also, use topping for the 3rd coat, instead of drywall compound, which will alleviate much of the sanding.
 

Bob Reynolds

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Bud is right. That mesh tape is easy to use and very forgiving. Perfect for a DIY project. It just costs more!
 

bud16415

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Another tip I forgot to mention is buy a plastic mud box. Fill the box about half full and then use that to take mud from to the wall and scrape your knife clean. Working from a round 5 gallon mud bucket is hard and its next to impossible from a 2 gallon bucket.

Lots of time the bucket comes with a round piece of plastic on top of the mud a little thicker than sandwich wrap. Keep that and rinse it off and when you are done smooth the mud out in the bucket and put that back on. It helps a lot with it not drying out. I used to always buy the big bucket and ending up throwing half away and now just doing smaller jobs I buy the smaller buckets.

Painting tip with drywall mud. I sometimes add some drywall mud to ceiling paint to thicken it up. I have even added it to wall paint where I wanted to hide some imperfections better. It rolls on fine. Great way to use up some extra mud if you have leftovers.
 

68bucks

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So you guys thin your mud at all? I'm talking the pre-mix from a bucket.
 

ekrig

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So you guys thin your mud at all? I'm talking the pre-mix from a bucket.
The pre-mix does usually need to be thinned a little bit, at a minimum, to compensate for whatever water evaporated from the mix while the thing was sitting on the shelf. Note also that those things have roughly a ~1 year *optimum* shelf life from production date (see at the bottom of the bucket). I used it even after several years and its works, at least for the first coats, but it is coarser, harder to work with, and will have more imperfections once you're done.

One more thing, I suggest you do the thinning/mixing outside of the bucket it comes in, unless you plan to use it all and go at it with a paddle mixer. Otherwise I've found it is usually quite hard to mix everything consistently.
 

BuzzLOL

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Don't put leftover mud back in the bucket, it will contaminate it and cause it to mold...
Dry wall compound shrinks on drying so slap the first 2 or 3 layers on fast with drying time in between and then get the 3rd or 4th layer nearly perfectly smooth with the wall board with the wide 12" knife...
 

bud16415

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So you guys thin your mud at all? I'm talking the pre-mix from a bucket.
I never thin a new bucket and normally buy the original weight product. Lately I have been pulling out a bucket that’s 6-12 months old and half used and it has gone thicker and I will add some water and mix it with a drill and paddle mixer right in the bucket. Doing that you will always find a few chunks here and there from what was stuck on the sides and dried.

Like I said above I will also thin it with latex paint and use it as texture paint sometimes.
 

Fireguy5674

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Everyone has their own preferences, but I have never opened a bucket of mud that didn't need at least some water added. It works easier and gives a better finish if it is thinned.

If you have corners to finish, they make a a taping product that is stiffer and will give a nice sharp corner even for beginners. You can find it at any of the big box stores under different names. You fold it like paper tape and imbed it in the mud like tape, but because it is more rigid it helps you keep your corners neat. It costs a little more, but it is worth the money if you don't plan to make a living drywall finishing.
 

BuzzLOL

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I avoid adding water because it causes the drywall to then shrink more as it dries... and be weaker...
 

tomtheelder2020

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Bud, I am very intrigued by your tip about adding drywall mud to paint. Can you give me an idea of the upper limit for quantity of mud per gallon of paint or consistency of mixed product before the mud starts to affect color or ability to apply?
 

bud16415

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Bud, I am very intrigued by your tip about adding drywall mud to paint. Can you give me an idea of the upper limit for quantity of mud per gallon of paint or consistency of mixed product before the mud starts to affect color or ability to apply?
As far as color I normally add it to white ceiling paint so the color doesn’t change. As to adding color paint I think of it as tinting the mud away from white. For example a blue paint could be added to make a lighter blue even for a sky blue ceiling. I have also seen some people more skilled than me do a circular pattern out from the center where each row was tinted a shade darker and the finished ceiling looked like a dome. I have done quite a few ceilings where I mixed paint about25/50 to 50/50 with compound and put it on with a 12” knife and then swirled it out doing half circles (fish scale) that overlap with a 12” wallpaper brush. That’s about as fancy as I have done. The paint makes the compound much harder to sand also.



I normally don’t measure and just go by eye for color and thickness. When I do a ceiling I buy the cheapest paint I can find and they are normally thinner.

If you want to try it just try a small amount like 4 cups of mud and 1 cup of paint. Then add another cup of paint. And see what thickness works for texturing or rolling. :)
 
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