How to Mud Drywall and Why It’s a Necessary Step
Mudding is the process of applying layers of compound to the joints on a newly hung piece of drywall. But why is mudding necessary? After an easy installation using a drywall clip, you’ll need to decide what finish level you want. For example, level 0 leaves it completely as-is after installation, whereas level 2 begins using compound. Each level after that uses more and more compound. If you’re looking to flat paint, wallpaper, or install a light to medium wall covering, you’ll need first to achieve a higher finishing level.
You’ll most likely want to achieve a level 2 finish at the minimum. So, let’s dive into how to mud drywall.
- Choose a Drywall Mud Type. Premixed compound is ready to be applied immediately, whereas powdered compound needs water to be activated. Premixed is generally better for covering large areas at a time. Powered compound is best for filling in gaps or smoothing over an area.
- Choose a Drywall Tape Type. Taping will come within the mudding process. Paper tape is most commonly used among pros but can be tricky for novices as it is extremely thin. Mesh tape will be more user-friendly, however it is thicker than paper tape, creating more noticeable joints.
- Get ready to mud drywall. Once you’re ready to begin the mudding process, take all of the necessary safety precautions. Cover the floor with a drop cloth to protect your molding and flooring from materials and damages. It’s always a good idea to wear goggles, a mask, and old clothes, as mudding can be messy.
- Apply the first layer of compound. At this step, your compound choice should be ready to go. If you are using powdered compound, follow any necessary steps as described by the manufacturer. When drywall is installed, there are small gaps between the pieces that are called joints. Fill the mud into the joints using a taping knife and wipe away any excess.
- Cover the mudded joint with tape. While the mud is still wet, cover the length of the joint with a piece of tape. Use a taping knife to smooth the paper over the joint to avoid any air bubbles. As you complete this, wipe away any excess compound.
- Repeat until desired finish is achieved. A level 2 finish will require the joints to go through only one round of mudding and taping. However, to achieve a level 4 finish, you’ll need to repeat this process two more times. Be sure the compound is completely dry before starting the next round of mudding. Any additional mudding does not require taping.
- Sand the finished mudding. Once your desired level has been achieved, sand all joints until the drywall is smooth. If you decided on a level 4 finish, now you’ll be ready to paint or wallpaper! However, if you’re not looking for a smooth, flat wall finish, there are a variety of drywall textures you can choose from. Some popular textures include orange peel, comb, sand swirl, and stomp brush.
Before you can get started with mudding drywall, you’ll need to install the piece first. While you can hire a professional or venture yourself with wood slats, screws, and drills—there is a simpler solution. DryClip is a hassle-free tool, DIY-friendly, and requires no other tools to use. Apply the drywall clips to the existing wall, then attach the new drywall piece to the clips. It’s that easy! If you’re looking to do a DIY drywall repair, check out our repair kit.