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Finishing fast - setting vs. drying

2530 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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If it's not a big patch use 5 minute mud for the first 2 coats smooth them well as you apply, just knock down any high spots or ridges don't need to sand. When dry top coat with that new ultra lite mud (puke green lid) can go on thin and dries fast and very easy to sand. If the patch is larger use 20 minute mud, if you mix it with warm water it will set faster. If you use the setting mud all 3 coats you will find it's harder to sand.
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. Second coat use the pre mixed in the bucket with the bright green lid that is all purpose and feather it out a little farther than the 1st coat and remember you don't need to leave a lot of mud. sometimes on 2nd you can still see the tape. You can use the all purpose for your final coat but it is a little hard to sand. For I think $12 you can get the ultra lite (puke green lid or # 3 blue lid) for your final coat. If you are going to do corners I would use paper tape the mesh is almost impossible to do corners with. 18 hours is going to be the hardest part so concentrate on the first and second and you may not need a 3rd.
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