DIY Network

How to Apply Drywall Mud

Read through simple step-by-step instructions that show how to mix and apply both ready-mix and powdered drywall compounds.

More in Remodeling

  • Time

    30 Minutes

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Choose a Compound Type

There are two basic kinds of drywall compound; powdered and ready-mix. Ready-mix compound (Image 1) is pre-mixed and only needs to be stirred with a paddle to use. It must only be used in a 55 degree or higher climate so that it will dry properly. Apply bullets Powered compound (Image 2) sets-up in a specific amount of time, rather than by temperature. It's available in various drying times.

Step 2: Mix the Powdered Compound

Pour water in a bucket, then add one part powdered compound. Mix the material with a hand mixer or paddle. Add more water and powder as needed to achieve a creamy consistency.

mix compound with hand mixer or paddle

Step 3: Apply the Compound

Use a knife to scoop compound out of the bucket onto a hawk or into a mud pan (Image 1) for transport to the wall. Apply a small amount of the material on a knife. Run the knife along the wall at an angle, using two fingers to put pressure against the back of the knife (Image 2). Continue to mix the material while working by turning it over occasionally with the knife. This process is the same for either kind of drywall compound.