When you’re finishing a newly built or freshly renovated room for the first time, you’ll have a lot of questions along the way. What is involved in taping and mudding the drywall? How many coats of mud on drywall?

Check out our list of top drywall questions and discover answers that should help you finish your project with the quality and eye appeal you want.

How many coats of mud on drywall?

The number of drywall mud coats you’ll need depends on the time you have, the type of mud you’re using, and the level of finish you want for your walls. As we will mention later on, you’ll need an initial coat to fill in the seams prior to taping.

After taping the seams, cover them with a thin coat of drywall mud and scrape it smooth, taking care not to damage the tape itself. Pay careful attention to the drywall screws as well, applying extra mud if necessary to conceal their heads.

Once the first coat of drywall mud is fully applied to seams and corners, scrape it smooth and let it dry overnight. The next day, check the color of the mud to see if it’s thoroughly dried. Damp sections will look off-white or beige, while white sections are dry.

Sand the surfaces that you mudded the day before, especially corner areas. Apply a second coat of compound to every seam and screw, and let it all dry overnight again. Repeat the process with a third coat of compound and another night of drying.

If your wall has distinct crevices, cracks, or textured areas, or if your brand of drywall mud isn’t offering enough coverage, you may have to do a couple of additional coats of compound. However, in general, you’ll need one coat to fill in the seams and three more coats after taping.

What is involved in taping and mudding drywall?

Mix up some drywall compound, also known as drywall mud. You can mix the mud yourself or purchase it pre-mixed.

Experts advise that your first coat of drywall mud be a little more watery than the following coats. It should be soft as sour cream, or a bit softer. Scoop some drywall mud onto your putty knife and smear it over screw heads and along cracks. Be sure you’re getting the mud deep into the drywall seams.

Next, using drywall tape, seal the joints or cracks between the panels of drywall, as well as the corners of the room and the seams along the ceiling. Once you’ve finished taping, scrape the tape smooth with a clean putty knife to ensure that there are no bubbles in it. Now you’re ready to apply the next layer of drywall compound.

How do i prep the drywall for painting?

Once your drywall installation, taping, and mudding is all done, sand everything one more time and wipe the walls with a damp cloth. Your next step will be applying a couple of coats of primer to prepare the walls to receive fresh paint.

Since your walls are brand-new, you don’t need an expensive stain-blocker or super-sealing primer. Try the Zinsser Drywall Primer Interior Latex product, or Benjamin Moore’s Interior Latex Drywall Primer. Be sure to ventilate the area with fans and open windows while you’re applying the primer to your drywall.

Finishing a room is hard work, and it requires a significant time investment. Take your time to do each step carefully and correctly. The higher the quality of your work at the drywall level, the better your ultimate result will be. When you see the final product—a beautifully finished, painted room—you can take pride in the fact that your hard work paid off.

Thomas Luttrell

Specializing in building and renovating homes, Thomas Luttrell has worked in homebuilding since 2002. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English from Iowa University.
Thomas Luttrell

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