Fix-It Chick: Taping, mudding rewarding during small drywall jobs

Taping and mudding new drywall is a job best left to the professionals, but for small jobs where perfection is not an issue, taping and mudding can be a fun and rewarding project.

Step 1: Use a 5-inch drywall knife to fill the drywall joint by knifing the joint compound in across the joint. Use a mud pan to hold the compound. Keep the knife clean by scraping it along the edge of the pan with each knife full of mud. It is imperative that the compound is well mixed and smooth before starting.

Step 2: Run the knife up and down the length of the mud joint at a 45-degree angle to smooth the compound; scrapping away excess mud along the way.

Step 3: Cut a section of drywall tape the length of the joint. Lightly press the tape into the mud with the center fold of the tape pointing in toward the joint.

Step 4: Hold the tape in place with one hand and use the drywall knife to smooth the tape into the mud. Start from the center of the joint and work up and down the length to eliminate air bubbles.

Step 5: Once the compound and tape are dry, use an 8-inch drywall knife to apply a second layer of mud over the joint. Feather the joint compound out 4 inches on either side of the joint by holding the knife at a slight angle with the far edge tight against the drywall and the inner edge slightly above the mud in the center of the joint. Pull the knife down the length of the joint until the mud is smooth and properly feathered.

Step 6: When the second layer of mud has dried, use a 12-inch drywall knife to apply a third coat of mud. Feather the mud as before, working carefully to create a smooth finish.

Step 7: Once the third layer of mud is dry, lightly sand the area with a fine grit sanding screen. Do not over sand the joint. When finished, wipe away the dust with a damp sponge.

Step 8: Apply a final skim coat of joint compound over the sanded surface by dabbing several dollops of mud along the joint. Smooth the mud across the area and wipe it away with the drywall knife. Seal the walls with a PVA primer before painting.

— Have a question? Email Linda Cottin at