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Old 07-14-2015, 07:10 AM   #1
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Drywall finishing- How to get a flat butt joint with fiberglass mesh tape


In this how to drywall finishing video I'll show you how I finish a butt joint on a new drywall ceiling that I installed.
Butt joints seem to be one of the hardest things to get flat when mudding drywall seams. Whether you're contractor, tradesmen, handymen, or an HGTV DIY'er, with these easy tips and tricks you should be able to get a flat butt joint on your drywall finishing or drywall repair projects. I use the same technique for walls and ceilings, new drywall, ceiling repairs and wall repairs.



Good luck on your drywall project and let me know if you have any questions.

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Old 07-14-2015, 07:15 AM   #2
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Why not just use paper and not have to deal with it?

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Old 07-14-2015, 08:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Why not just use paper and not have to deal with it?
Deal with what?

I think a Do it yourselfer is more apt to get a flat butt joint with fiber tape then paper tape (ie: not having to bed the tape. That's usually what causes the hump right off the get go).
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:09 PM   #4
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Re: Drywall finishing- How to get a flat butt joint with fiberglass mesh tape


Some people are too lazy to do the job right haha Looks good Sir MixAlot
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:58 PM   #5
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Re: Drywall finishing- How to get a flat butt joint with fiberglass mesh tape


Thats a ton of mud, almost the entire ceiling.

I got the impression you have have switched muds after first coat? Any reason or preference? I usually use the powder and mix myself, havent had good luck so far with paper tape
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:09 PM   #6
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Re: Drywall finishing- How to get a flat butt joint with fiberglass mesh tape


Ive recently starting doing drywall in my basement, I use the self adhesive mesh tape. At first it was hard to get the butt joints to not be visible but i learned how to make it go away by using a technique like yours. Thanks for the helpful video!
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:25 PM   #7
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Re: Drywall finishing- How to get a flat butt joint with fiberglass mesh tape


Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinEF7 View Post
Thats a ton of mud, almost the entire ceiling.

I got the impression you have have switched muds after first coat? Any reason or preference? I usually use the powder and mix myself, havent had good luck so far with paper tape
LOL... I Like my butt joints flat!

Yes, I always use quickset joint compound (powder form) for the first coat of mud over fiberglass mesh tape (per manufacture instructions). Then, for the next two coats I used USG all purpose joint compound. The AP must skims smoother and sans much easier. That's why I like to use it for the final coats.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:31 PM   #8
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Re: Drywall finishing- How to get a flat butt joint with fiberglass mesh tape


Sir Mixalot, where have you been? Must be pretty busy down there in the Sunshine State!
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:07 PM   #9
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Re: Drywall finishing- How to get a flat butt joint with fiberglass mesh tape


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Sir Mixalot, where have you been? Must be pretty busy down there in the Sunshine State!
Yes I have. Been on a large custom condo renovation for the last 5 months. Been doing lot's of interesting stuff from curved ceilings to my favorite, inset baseboards using reveal beads and cement board.

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Old 03-27-2016, 08:43 PM   #10
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Re: Drywall finishing- How to get a flat butt joint with fiberglass mesh tape


OK that's nice, but to be fair it's not possible to get flat butt joints with any standard method. The only way to get a flat butt joint is to do back blocking. It's always seemed to me that most DIYers use mesh tape for the convenience, which it seems to me is negated by using a setting compound. But I suppose if you hate paper tape that much, it's probably worth it to a DIYer to use setting compound with mesh. I think FibaFuse would be the best of both worlds of course.
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:06 AM   #11
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Re: Drywall finishing- How to get a flat butt joint with fiberglass mesh tape


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnc View Post
OK that's nice, but to be fair it's not possible to get flat butt joints with any standard method. The only way to get a flat butt joint is to do back blocking. It's always seemed to me that most DIYers use mesh tape for the convenience, which it seems to me is negated by using a setting compound. But I suppose if you hate paper tape that much, it's probably worth it to a DIYer to use setting compound with mesh. I think FibaFuse would be the best of both worlds of course.
Flat as in no hump...
To be fair, even using back blocking it's not "flat".
You still have the build up of tape and joint compound on top of the drywall seams. It's no different than attaching to a framing member. Unless you also manually taper the edges of the two butts.

In my opinion it is much easier for a DIYer to get an "acceptable" butt joint using fiberglass mesh tape than it would bedding and applying paper tape.
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:21 AM   #12
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Re: Drywall finishing- How to get a flat butt joint with fiberglass mesh tape


Yes, what we're talking about is "acceptable" more so with one technique than another. There is always a "hump" with standard butt seams, but if you keep it low and spread it out wide, it can be virtually invisible.

The reason you can literally eliminate the hump with back blocking is because it's not done over a stud - you're receding the drywall backward slightly so it's concave, and the buildup of tape and compound does not make it convex, that's why it's different than attaching to a framing member. With a standard seam all you can do is reduce the hump and spread it out so it's difficult to see.

Here's a commercially made one, you can also make your own in different ways.
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:30 AM   #13
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Re: Drywall finishing- How to get a flat butt joint with fiberglass mesh tape


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir MixAlot View Post
In my opinion it is much easier for a DIYer to get an "acceptable" butt joint using fiberglass mesh tape than it would bedding and applying paper tape.
That's true, but I still think FibaFuse would be better still.

Using a commercially made back blocker would have the following advantages for a DIYer:

- Usually don't have to cut the drywall to fit on a stud - just install it wherever the drywall ends inside a stud bay. Saves time by eliminating a lot of cuts (the back blocker takes room so sometimes you'll still have to cut.)

- No hump to try to smooth out wide since it turns butt joints into tapered joints.

- No concerns about having just a sliver of a stud space to screw the drywall to, and having the screws crush the edge of the drywall.

- They can use paper tape if they want to with no worry about the buildup creating a big hump.

The downside is cost, but they could make their own version for less.

There are occasionally critical areas where a convex butt seam is not acceptable, no matter how skillfully tapered. For example if some sort of desktop, shelf or counter needed to go against a wall and be perfectly flat against the wall. A back blocker is the only way to get a seam truly flat.

Last edited by jeffnc; 03-28-2016 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:14 AM   #14
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Re: Drywall finishing- How to get a flat butt joint with fiberglass mesh tape


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnc View Post
Yes, what we're talking about is "acceptable" more so with one technique than another. There is always a "hump" with standard butt seams, but if you keep it low and spread it out wide, it can be virtually invisible.

The reason you can literally eliminate the hump with back blocking is because it's not done over a stud - you're receding the drywall backward slightly so it's concave, and the buildup of tape and compound does not make it convex, that's why it's different than attaching to a framing member. With a standard seam all you can do is reduce the hump and spread it out so it's difficult to see.

Here's a commercially made one, you can also make your own in different ways.
That's what I said. Not very DIY though.
Which is why I posted this video on a DIY site.
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:55 AM   #15
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Re: Drywall finishing- How to get a flat butt joint with fiberglass mesh tape


It's pretty easy to make DIY back blockers. It's shown at the bottom of Step 2 in this series.
http://www.diyadvice.com/diy/drywall...g/butt-joints/

That's the only way to get a flat butt joint. As I mentioned above, back blocking has a lot of benefits for the DIYer, and if you make your own, even the cost factor isn't an issue. IMO, homemade back blocking, along with FibaFuse and premixed joint compound, is the easiest way for a DIYer to get good results. Stronger then mesh tape, no bubbling or embedding of paper tape, no powder to mix up (and then have to clean the mixer and bucket), and a perfectly flat joint with no fuss.

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