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Finishing fast - setting vs. drying

2527 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  jeffnc
It's come up again - I have a drywall patch to do, and I need to get it done in about 18 hours. Normally I use premixed drying compound, and just wait 3 days for 3 coats to dry.

If I need to do something faster, I'll use a setting compound for the first coat or two. I don't do big production work, but I do take pride in how smooth the finished product is, and that means some sanding. I try to sand less, and finish smooth more, but still, I'll be doing some sanding.

So how can you get this done in a day? Even though setting compound sets up firm, you still can't sand it because it's still damp. Is there some secret I'm missing? For a tiny job you could dry it with a hair dryer or something, but for a whole wall, even fans take awhile.
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Well, when I say "patch" I usually mean something bigger, like a wall or half wall (including corners) that had to be re-drywalled due to water damage or something like that. Do you find you can put the first 2 coats on along all the seams without having any sanding? That would be a feat for me.
For a patch that size I would just use the hot mud-setting-for the 1st coat and to do any fill use it to set your tape wipe it thin and it doesn't need to be pretty the main thing is to leave no humps, ridges don't hurt. when dry take your knife and scrap any ridges off. Any low places will fill with the next coat.
This worked well for me today. While "set", it was still easy to scrape off any high points with my knife.

I don't have any trouble on the basic seems and corners. It's in the tight areas where I have to make "swirls" and unusual moves around switches, fixtures and trim that I have more trouble getting it smooth without sanding.
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I'm glad you reminded me because that's the other technique I've been meaning to try - sponging.
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