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.
Measure the space to make sure you have enough drywall to cover the area, making accommodations for sheets that you will have to cut and any mistakes they might make along the way.
Measure from the wall to the center of the nearest joist (Image 1). Using a utility knife, cut the first piece to the precise size (Image 2)
Make sure the end of the drywall falls across the center of a joist or stud. This will strengthen the drywall and produce a seamless wall later.
Hold the drywall in place while a friend screws drywall screws into the joists, about 8 to 10 inches apart, sinking each screw just below the surface.
The drywall bit helps sink the drywall screws into the drywall enough so that they can be mudded easily but not too much to tear through the drywall.
When the ceiling is covered, begin with the walls. Make notes of any obstructions like electrical boxes or lights that need holes (Image 1). Measure these obstructions from the studs and transfer the measurements to the drywall and mark them with a pencil (Image 2). Drill a starter hole in the drywall and then cut around these measurements with the keyhole saw (Image 3).
Start screwing the drywall to the wall studs (Image 4), sinking each screw below the surface of the drywall, spacing the screws 12 to 16 inches apart.
Mudding gives the walls a seamless finish and creates a blank canvas for texture and paint.
First, check that all the drywall screws are sunk beneath the surface of the drywall. Next with the 4-inch mud knife, load a small amount of mud into the tray and cover the screw dimples flush with the wall. When all the screws are covered, take the 6-inch mud knife and run it along the seam of the drywall, filling the crease completely.
Before the mud on the seam dries, tape the joints. Hold one end while a friend stretches the paper tape across the mudded seam (Image 1). Follow behind your friend, smoothing the tape into the wet mud with the 6" mud knife (Image 2). Then go over the tape again with more mud with the 10" mud knife.
When the dimples and seams are mudded repeat the mudding process again the next day when everything is dry.
Clean all tools thoroughly when finished; any dried mud could leave gouges in your walls the next time the tools are used.