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What are the Best Methods for Drywall Taping?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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Drywall taping is one of the final touches used to complete the installation of drywall in a room. The main function of the tape is to conceal the gaps and joints that exist in the corners and at any point along the wall where sections of drywall panels are joined. While there are two types of tape that can be used in the process of drywall installation and finishing, the method for applying the tape is very similar.

Before engaging in any drywall taping, it is important to make sure the drywall hanging was done properly. Essentially, this means making sure the drywall sheets are secured to the wall with the factory edges of each sheet touching. This is because the factory edges are slightly narrower than the body of the sheets, a factor that will be very important if the drywall tape is to be used properly.

With the sheets in place, the next step is to determine what type of drywall tape will be used for the job. Professionals tend to prefer the paper type over the fiberglass kind. However, homeowners who are handling the drywall job themselves may find the fiberglass type easier to work with.

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If using the paper type, the first task is to assemble the necessary drywall supplies. You’ll need scissors to cut the tape to the right length, a putty knife, and a drywall compound that is commonly known as mud. Keeping a small towel on hand can also be a good idea.

To begin, use the putty knife to spread a thin layer of the mud in the area around the seam. Use the knife to smooth the mud so that it fills the slight indentation created by the union of the two factory edges of the panels. Once the mud is in place, center the section of tape over the seam and use the blade of the knife to press the tape firmly in place. As a last touch to the drywall taping, spread a thin layer of mud over the tape and feather it away from the seam until the area is smooth. Allow the mud and tape to set in place overnight. At that point, the wall will be ready for paint.

If the drywall finishing is completed using fiberglass tape, the same basic process can be employed. Because the fiberglass drywall tape has an adhesive back, amateurs may find it easier to set in place. As with the paper tape, use the blade of the knife to make sure the tape is smooth, then apply a thin layer of mud over the tape, making sure to feather the mud outward. If done properly, the result is a smooth surface that makes it virtually impossible to tell where the two drywall panels meet.

The same drywall taping technique can be used for corners as well. The one difference is that it is a good idea to fold the tape vertically, making it much easier to press the body of the tape directly into the corner seam. This simple trick to corner drywall taping will save a lot of time and frustration.

Before painting over the drywall taping area, use the knife or a light grain of sandpaper to take care of any small bumps in the dried mud that may be present. Use the hand to run over the surface where the seam was covered, making sure it is smooth to the touch. Wipe any remaining dust from the wall, then apply the pain.

Whether you are a drywall contractor or a homeowner redoing a room, drywall taping is one of the easiest tasks associated with the process. With a little patience and attention to detail, the simple tape and float approach to drywall finishing will result in a great looking wall that appears to be completely seamless.

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