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Horizontal joints and screws

1686 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  seephor
Hey all,

Couple quick questions I'd like to ask those with experience.
I have missed a few rooms and got my horizontals 95% done. Each topcoat I use a 10 or 12" knife and run it flat all g the joint and put hard enough that no mud builds up past the tapered joint. Today I had a seasoned drywalled help with a new room and he did his horizontals about 20" wide. Why?? I didn't want to critique his hell, but it seems like that is more work to taper the mhd similar to a butt joint when I thought horizontals didn't need the extra work since they are pre beveled?

Next, I will be doing an orange peel or knockdown texture for the well do the screws need covered? I have 3 coats on but scrape all excess mud off. There are a decent amount where I can see the white circle where the screw resides. I sunk them enough that mud fills over the screw but with the naked eye I can see where the circle is past my blob of mud area. I have seen some videos where people use a troweland run a skim coat along the whole length of screws in a row. Is that required if texturing or only for smooth walls?


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You need to mud wider than the taper---I usually do about 12 to 14 inches wide on tapers---perhaps 20 or so on butts.

I also run a long stripe of mud to cover a row of nails---it is just faster and less likely to show that mudding individual screws---although,if you sand carefully, individual screws wont show.
What's the idea behind wider mud? Just curious...I have put many coats possibly more than if I were to have a wider joint to make the taper 100% filled in and smooth with the rest of the paper finally. Not wanting to really widen it, but may widen the other room's horizontal joints that are not done.
I've found that if I try to use the edge of the taper as the stopping point for the mud--I can see the seam after painting---you need to over fill and go past the taper in order to sand to an invisible seam.
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On tapers when I used knifes I would apply last coat with a 10" then pull it off with a 12". On butts I would go at least 12" on each side of the joint.
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So really you are going for just enough to fill the seam like I am but then leaving 1/16 or 1/32 of mud to sand smooth and prevent the transitions from paper to tapered mud joint being so prominent? If I am doing a medium orange peel or knockdown, and priming the walls before paint is there still a concern with that seam being noticeable?
A friend of the family did what you were doing on his entire house. you can see every taper joint in every room on both walls and ceilings. I tried to explain to him how you need to taper/feather the joint compound past the edge of the taper, but... he is one of those guys that knows everything
Remember taper joints are tapered for a reason. When the taper is filled with mud and tape it should be level with the drywall surface. You should have neither a hump or a recess.

Uh-oh just thought of something by chance is this that crappy lightweight drywall? If it is that would explain a lot, the lightweight has small shallow narrow shoulders that make the tapers a biatch to mud and tape.
I believe this is normal half inch rock. I have it perfectly flat with the drywall plane currently. I guess I will have to have a slight mound over the joint to be able to feather the joint out further...? Seems silly to have a recess and end up mounding it, but I am a newbie so I'll go with the experienced method.
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So, the verdict is some leave the recessed joint just flush with the drywall, others hump it like a butt joint and feather it out past the taper?
I don't understand why anyone would leave a hump. It would always be visible after paint. And it is very easy to not leave a hump on tapered joints, harder to do on butts. That is why people started using butt boards on butt joints it turns them into taper joints so the hump can be eliminated.
Haha, I agree. Mr ToolSeeker, what do your final two coats look like on tapered joints? Just enough mud that fills in the seam? Do you fill in more than the 6" recessed area?

Even if I build up mud with my 10" knife and smooth it out with a 12" knife - I still have to sand the edges down to nothing so they are not visible, which would leave a tiny mound then over the original tapered seam. The only true flat joint would be applying mud and drawing every bit off that doesn't fill in the tapered area. I check with a knife 90 degrees to the joint and no light passes under the blade.
What ^^ They ^^ all said.

As for that knockdown? Don't do it. Harder to might hide defects....but I think it looks like crap.

One to two good coats of primer using a decent nap roller...and then your paint? You will have enough texture to hide all but the obvious stuff.

Once you get the first coat of primer on, you will see any obvious defects.

A drop light close to the wall is good for showing up issues.
When you apply your final coat then when you pull it off on the first pull put more pressure on the top of the knife. Then pull it again this time putting more pressure on the bottom of the knife. This should eliminate the high edge.

Some areas texture is fine other areas it's frowned on. I have lived in Fla. now for 15 years and have not seen 5 houses where the walls were not textured. This is not just homes but commercial as well. Most are knockdown and some orange peel. Personally I think any texture, even if done poorly is better than those God awful Faux finishes. So really texture or not texture is a personal taste thing.
Everyone has good tips but I'll add a few of my own. I mudded and taped my entire house with perfect results and learned a few things along the way.

The technique I used for the tapered joints is I filled the joints with hot mud twice using a 6" knife. Scraping the seam with my knife after it had cured to remove high spots between coats. This fills 90-95% of the joint. If you sand and paint at this point, the tapered seam will be visible after paint. I finish with regular all-purpose with a 12" knife. Yes, I go from 6" to 12". This final 3rd coat is slightly proud from the wall.

After the 3rd coat has dried, I begin sanding from the outside-in while I have a light source from one direction and use my 12" held at a 90 degree angle to the wall to see how flat the seam is by looking at how much light comes through any gap. I sand until I see no no light between my knife and the wall and my knife does not rock on the seam. If I find that I have a low spot, I fill and repeat. I get better results than a so called level 5 finish. Sure it takes a bit more time and patience but I get perfect seams that are completely invisible and I don't have to skim coat the entire wall.

One lesson I learned is that you can't assume the factory tapered edge is perfect in any way. I'd had cases where there was a high spot just before the taper began meaning that even if you filled the seam 100%, there would still be a visible high spot next to the seam.
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