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Old 07-21-2009, 08:09 AM   #1
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finishing drywall joints


Despite owning two books on it and using the powder stuff that sets up in 20 minutes and the wide knife and the wet sponges and the mud tray, I'm lousy at it, so I can't bid on jobs involving repairing drywall damage. And those tasks come up frequently.
Even my "hot patches" don't look that good.

How do I learn this stuff?

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Old 07-21-2009, 08:19 AM   #2
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Despite owning two books on it and using the powder stuff that sets up in 20 minutes and the wide knife and the wet sponges and the mud tray, I'm lousy at it, so I can't bid on jobs involving repairing drywall damage. And those tasks come up frequently.
Even my "hot patches" don't look that good.

How do I learn this stuff?
Time and practice. I'm not trying to be funny but that is the truth. If you have read up on the process then it is time to practice. Stay away from fast setting compound while you are learning. There are a lot of variables involved in mixing and using them. Make sure you pull your tape coat tight. Don't fuss to much with your base coat, just get it on. When pull your skim coat pull it tight and feather out the edge. Patches are much harder to make look good than hanging new rock. I do "blow out" patches whenever I can as these finish better than most other types. That method should be described in one of your books.

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Old 07-21-2009, 07:32 PM   #3
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Time and practice. I'm not trying to be funny but that is the truth. If you have read up on the process then it is time to practice. Stay away from fast setting compound while you are learning. There are a lot of variables involved in mixing and using them. Make sure you pull your tape coat tight. Don't fuss to much with your base coat, just get it on. When pull your skim coat pull it tight and feather out the edge. Patches are much harder to make look good than hanging new rock. I do "blow out" patches whenever I can as these finish better than most other types. That method should be described in one of your books.
Thanks for the info.

If I don't use the fast setting stuff, should I buy a bucket of the premixed compound?

It occurs to me I could also Google for videos on this subject; it can't hurt.
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:58 PM   #4
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finishing drywall joints


Yeah, just buy the pre-mixed light-weight joint compound. You can even add a touch of water to the pre-mixed to make it a little more workable....careful,not too much!
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:25 PM   #5
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finishing drywall joints


If you are learning it's best to stay away from hot mud. If you have a small patch and don't want to make 4 trips, tape and fill coat with hot mud. Let the hot mud fill coat start to setup then scrape the edges and lap lines with your 6 in knife. Skim coat over that with all-purpose, making sure to overlap your edges by at least 3 to 4 in. come back the next day sand and texture. This will help you learn to use hot mud and keep you working in these tough times. practice practice practice. finishing drywall isn't something you can learn from a book.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:28 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info.

If I don't use the fast setting stuff, should I buy a bucket of the premixed compound?

It occurs to me I could also Google for videos on this subject; it can't hurt.
Yes, I use the heavyweight for tape and base. The lightweight for skim. You can go to jlconline.com they have some videos there.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:54 PM   #7
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I definitely have some "homework" to do. Here's a quote from a link. . .

First of all, why is it called "hot mud"?

When the first commercially available, quick-setting joint compounds came out (I think in the 60's or 70's), they had a peculiar feature.

When a batch of newly mixed quick-set mud reached its set time and began to harden, it got warm. This was due to the chemical action of the material. It gave off heat. Hence, people started calling it "hot mud".
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:48 PM   #8
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Yeah your "setting type" ,"easy sand" compounds of today still get hot.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:32 PM   #9
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I haven't done drywall joints, but I have patched a lot.... I would stick with pre-mixed stuff and just keep practicing. It will come eventually. It took me years to be able to patch a large hole flawlessly. I can't help but think that finishing drywall joints has a similar learning curve....
good luck!
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:05 AM   #10
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Once I bought a curved trowel and learned to use it my life got a lot easier. It makes it much easier to feather/hide butt joints compared to a regular taping knife.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:08 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
I definitely have some "homework" to do..
One thing you'll find is the method/procedures that work for others may or may not work for you.

For example:
-- I LOVE my little 6" knife...it's been used enough that the blade end is nearly razor sharp. It has the flexibility and balance I like. I have other favorite knives I use up through different sizes.
-- Some like to use the mud pan, I prefer a hawk. The pan has it's place...but I get better performance from a hawk.
-- Some like thick mud, I prefer the mud on the thin side.
-- Some leave ridges and globs of mud all over, I prefer to leave the surface clean, a quick once over with a knife before the next coat and it's good for another coat.
-- I like to keep a small spray bottle of water handy, if the mud seems a bit stiff on the wall, a quick spritz is all you need to add a bit of work time to the pre-mixed easy sand.
-- I LOVE the 20 minute mix hot mud for patches and small areas...love it.
-- I've come to really like the durabond product...I'll never use pre-mixed again for bedding tape.
-- Tried fiberglass tape didn't like it...so I leave it alone.
-- The pole sander I use only has none mesh tape, for me it leaves a smoother finish.

I NEVER sand more than once. I hate to sand, and will almost go overboard to ensure I will not have to sand each application.
Taunton Press publishes a fantastic book on drywall and finishing...if you're a book type reader...I'd highly recommend it. It seems like I learn another tip/trick when I pick it up.

You'll get it...but as others have said...it takes time practice. I know it'll sound weird, but there's almost a zen-like mentality you have to reach before you realize that if you try to fight the mud it will win. If you coax it to come along with you, you will achieve fantastic results.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:21 AM   #12
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I agree that on small patches rapid dry mud can be a life saver. You still need to allow it to dry for 24 hours before painting or bubbling of the paint can occur. Trying to learn how to finish with rapid dry mud from books and videos is a set up for frustration. They can be very unforgiving especially for a novice. I concur on the book by the previous poster. The author is Myron Ferguson. Probably one of the better books on the subject.
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:09 PM   #13
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Thanks, folks. . .

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