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Finishing fast - setting vs. drying

2525 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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Try using a sea sponge while it is damp but not set, blending the edges to smooth taper (no sanding). I first coat, paper tape, coat over the tape, both with the same mix of 20 min. This coat should be thicker than drying type coats as you are doing one less step. Feather the edges with the blade, again, before it sets. Mix more 20, but thinner, feather edges and fill any remaining lows, follow immediately with a squeegee or knock-down blade (bigger to level better), no third coat, not required or needed if applied thick/smooth enough. Bend your blade to create an arc or use a trowel with a camber from the factory and a hawk. Wipe with the wet sponge as it is setting, just after cleaning mud pan/tools. Takes some getting used to, though it is very quick.

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