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Old 03-15-2009, 01:02 PM   #1
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How to spread drywall compond smoothly


I am taping some horizontal joints and some inside corners for what will be my basement laundry room, I have 2 , 6 and 10 inch knives. Problem is when I try to apply a smooth layer of compound I get streaking or the finish ( smoothness) some apart if I stop and start again ( movement of the knife) or if I try to reverse the stroke from the opposite direction, so if I went top down and it was not perfect and I want to repeat it or go bottom up to complete it everything fails apart.

As I holding the knife at a 45 angle , pretty much.

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Old 03-15-2009, 01:37 PM   #2
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How to spread drywall compond smoothly


clem....make sure your mud is fresh and mixed good. With the 6" knife apply a liberal amount of mud to the seam. Stick the tape to the mud. Draw your knife accross the joint at a shallower angle and squeegee out the mud under the tape. You probably want to be at 15 or 20 degrees. When your knife fills up simply apply it to the top of the tape and smooth it out. It doesnt have to be pretty , its the first coat.

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Old 03-15-2009, 03:04 PM   #3
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How to spread drywall compond smoothly


Your post is a bit confusing. Are you in the actual taping stage or covering the tape?? And unless you need to apply mud to an area that only a 2" knife will actually fit, you have no need for it. I hope you're not trying to tape/finish your angles with it. A 4" knife would be the minimum to use. More info would help....maybe an "after" picture of what you're trying to accomplish?? And 12penny brings up a good point that your mud needs to be stirred and very likely thinned prior to use. Your knives are likely brand new. They will leave a "scratchy", rough, finish. (As a pro, I file/sand an actual "sharp" edge on new knives before use and it still takes several months to get them "right. I use stainless steel knives and am only on my second set in 35 yrs. of finishing.) The scratches you see will sand out of the finish coat.
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:32 PM   #4
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How to spread drywall compond smoothly


One trick that will help is to first cut the length of PAPER tape you need, then loosely wrap it around one hand. Dip that hand into a bucket of water for less than a second.

That dampened tape will be easier to work with, and will adhere to your bed coat of mud better, too. Also, keep your knife wet. That helps too.

On the inside corners, fold the tape (crease it lengthwise) before wrapping it around your hand.

That's it.... only one trick per post.
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:25 PM   #5
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How to spread drywall compond smoothly


Can't vouch for whether that would help or not, never tried it. It has been MY experience over the years though that the "wetter" the tape is, the easier it tears and it "wrinkles up" more when wiping it down.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:06 AM   #6
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How to spread drywall compond smoothly


Sorry if I mislead you , the concern or emphasis is not on applying the first layer of mud , applying the tape or applying the first layer over the tape.

I am just finding that if I load up say the 6 inch knife and try to apply it across a horizontal or vertical joint I cannot get a controlled application where the mud flows nicely and smoothly. I get skips, I try to fix these and I get streaks and of course sometimes you get something like bubbles. At the end of the day my joint is not smooth ( too much mud) and it looks like hell. I end up sanding too much and not getting a perfect finish.

I have done some analysis and I agree .

1) I may not be mixing mud properly
2) Dry hard pieces on the top area of the container may be getting entrained in the mud as I mix it hence the streaks, etc
3) lastly last night after embedding the tape in the mud and sealing it, I know know I do not have to fight over trying to cover the tape in one application. I had a light coating layer over the tape could still see it and was concerned I need to add more mud to completely cover it.

I would like to do my small dry wall projects so that they come out professionally or at least win the approval or my wife, then again that's translates into saying the same thing, right!

Di I say Thanks , thank you all very much
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:35 AM   #7
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How to spread drywall compond smoothly


Two to three thinner coats is much better than trying to cover in one heavy coat. And the mud is sort of semi-transparent when wet.....you may see the tape, but dry it usually covers. And if some tape happens to show through, as long as the joint is smooth it's ok. Tape is a paintable surface. The "trash"
in the mud will definitely give you problems. Best of luck!

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