How To: Mud and Tape Drywall

Disclaimer-Captain DIY and highly recommend exercising extreme caution when attempting DIY projects. Not everybody can do everything, and some things should only be done by professionals. Keep your digits attached, and keep the insurance company off of your back. Do it right or call the right people!

Ok, you have your drywall up and screwed in tight, cut around all of the boxes, and it looks great. What’s the next step, you say? Time to Mud and Tape says the Captain! (But wait, you say, why are you doing an article on finishing your drywall before you do an article on actually installing the drywall? That’s a great question.)

Today we’ll be working with Guest Expert Tom the Knows-How-To-Do-Lots-Of-Stuff Guy. He will show us the tips and tricks that will allow us to give our walls and ceilings that nice smooth finish so no one will notice how crooked your walls are.

Just kidding, of course everything we do comes out great, we’re the DIYers! We take the time to do the job right, because we know that will save us money in the long run and we are proud of our work! Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get started.


The first thing we are going to do is crack open our bucket of joint compound, grab our hawk and our trowel, and load a glob of the good stuff onto the hawk. From there we will smear the compound onto the seam in a nice even layer, making sure the seam gets buried completely without making the compound super thick.

Make sure not to put too much compound on your hawk to get started, as you don’t want it starting to set before you get whence to use it. It’s also a lot easier on your arm if you don’t have five pounds of compound in your hand all day.


While we’re there, we’ll take some of our tape and lay it along the seam. We’ll smooth the tape out gently with our trowel to insure we don’t have any folds or wrinkles. If you do end up with a wrinkle, just pull the tape up and try it again. Once that’s down we lay a bit more compound on it and smooth it down with our trowel. First coat done!


When you lay the tape down, you can cut it to length by placing it where it needs to be, setting your trowel against it where it needs to cut, and giving the tape a quick diagonal tug.


What’s that you say? You have corners to do as well? Not a problem says Tom, We will do the same thing with the added step of folding the tape lengthwise on the conveniently provided crease before we lay it on the corner seam. It may take a bit of practice before it starts to feel natural, but by the time you’re done with the first wall you’ll be a pro!

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Now that we have that first coat down we need to let it sit for a day and harden before we come back and add some more layers. Hopefully we started our beer brewing project long enough ago so we have some to drink while we admire our handiwork. Captain DIY, while a whiz at the work part, is not so great at the planning part, and therefore has no delicious homemade beer to enjoy (sniff).

But we can still enjoy a delicious Lemon Space Cake IPA from Clown Shoes Beer!

As the project progresses at the Headquarters we will bring you the latest updates with more tips and tricks from Tom. Until then, give yourself a pat on the back for all of the hard work you have accomplished and all the money you have saved! A few more jobs like this and you may even be able to work on a side hustle to help you reach your financial independence goals faster!

4 thoughts on “How To: Mud and Tape Drywall

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