Learn how to use drywall compound like a pro. These are simple things you need to know to use drywall compound successfully. It isn’t hard it just takes practice. There are many different variations of drywall compound. But in this post, we will talk about the most popular with homeowners: the all-purpose compound.

How To Use Drywall Compound All-Purpose vs Light All-Purpose

What Kind Of Drywall Compound Should I Use

When it comes to all-purpose drywall there are really two kinds…

  1. All-Purpose
  2. Light All Purpose

Most homeowners will choose the premixed all-purpose compound. The difference between the light all-purpose and the regular all-purpose is that the light all-purpose is easier to sand. Most professionals prefer the regular all-purpose because it provides a more durable finish.

how to use drywall all purpose
courtesy Fine Homebuilding

Before you use the pre-mixed all-purpose drywall compound normally you need to add a little water to it and mix it up. This makes it easier to use and takes out a lot of the air bubbles. You can put as much as you need in a drywall pan and use a paint stick to stir a little water in it. And I do mean a little at a time for a yogurt-type consistency

How many coats of drywall compound should I use?

For most applications, you will need to use three coats of drywall compound with 24 hours between coats. If the coats are thin they could dry in a few hours but letting each coat sit for 24 hours will let them fully cure.

How To Apply Drywall Mud (Compound) Smoothly

How To Use Drywall Compound

For the most part to apply drywall compound smoothly you first should repair the drywall compound as described above using water and stirring it with a paint stick in a drywall pan.

Then using a 6 Inch Drywall Knife put a small amount on the knife and push the drywall compound into the repair area. Then use the drywall knife to smooth it out. Let dry for 24 hours, sand lightly, and apply a second coat of drywall compound fanning it out past the first layer. Do the same thing with the third coat, then prime and paint.

Sand Between Each Coat Of Drywall Compound

Between each coat of compound you want to sand lightly to get the ridges out and make it smooth. Also with each coat feather the edges out further than the last coat making the last coat as thin as possible.

How Long Can You Keep Drywall Compound

This is a good question and the short answer is about a year if the drywall compound is kept in a dark dry place with the top firmly sealed. I myself have kept drywall compound in my work truck for that long under hot and freezing conditions.

I have found out that if the drywall compound freezes you can still use it when it thaws out by just using water and a paint stick as described above. Just note that drywall compound does come with a use-by date and using it after that would be at your own risk.

Can I Use Light Weight Drywall Compound For Taping?

It is not recommended to use lightweight drywall compound for taping. Most professionals won’t use it because light drywall compound has fewer binding agents than regular all-purpose drywall compound.

Why Does My Drywall Mud Crack

In my experience, the only reason for the drywall compound to crack is if you put it on too thick. I myself will slap it on thick if I need to fill a big void. I do this on purpose. It does crack because drywall shrinks when it drys. But with the second coat, you can fill in those cracks. Then the third coat will smooth it out.

I hope this helped you learn how to use drywall compound enough to do simple repairs in your home.

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