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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Drywall Technique for Finishing Those Pesky Corners

I'm in the drywall phase at my garage conversion project. I'll admit that finishing drywall isn't one of my favorite parts of the job, however, it is satisfying to see the finished product and knowing that the quality of my work will be enjoyed for years to come.

I've covered my process for 'mudding' drywall in this post. I covered the basics of how to mud three times and then sand just once. Let's get a little more specific on how to mud the inside corners to get a sharp line without lots of sanding.

On the first layer of mud, the idea is just to embed the tape. It doesn't take a lot of mud. As I've mentioned before, one important thing to remember is to "make the edges disappear" by keeping it thin on the edges.

The second layer of mud I call the "build-up" layer because you'll use the most mud and it's when the joints get a thicker layer on them. Here's how I handle the corners:

1. Using a larger 10" knife, apply a liberal amount of mud down both sides of the corner.

2. Use a corner knife to run down the corner and get a sharp line. You might need to go over it a couple times so that the mud isn't too thick. This knife will leave lines of mud along the edges, don't worry about this yet.

3. Next, take the 10" flat knife again and smooth out the mud to nothing from the line left by the corner knife outward. It's tricky to describe this in words so hopefully the pictures will help. It's also hard to take good pictures of drywall mud!

4. When you've done it right, you'll have a slight ridge where the edge of the corner knife was. By "slight" I mean barely noticable. On the third coat of mud, you'll fill on both sides of the ridge to end up with a nice corner.

5. Let it dry well before applying the third coat, which I call the "thin coat" because it's just a thin layer of mud over everything to fill any small holes or lines that remain.

It often takes more than 24 hours for the second coat to dry. Make sure you wait on it or you'll mess up your beautiful corners and be a frustrated drywall finisher...


Remember to check out this post, for even more detail on how I finish drywall.

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