Drywall 101

How to Tape a Drywall Joint

Taping joints of gypsum panels is the first step in the taping and finishing process. The concept is simple yet the technique used is important for providing strong joints that do not crack. Follow the step by step guide below to effectively tape drywall seams. This process is used to tape seams with paper drywall tape. Mesh tape requires a slightly different method.

mudding a drywall joint

Step 1

Using a six inch drywall knife spread a thin even layer of drywall mud over the area where the two sheets of drywall meet. Ensure that the mud is directly over the seam and extends 1 1/2 inches on each side of the joint. Be careful not to leave bare spots. Not having enough mud behind the tape is the cause of drywall tape bubbling.

place tape over mud

Step 2

Place a strip of drywall tape over the mud the entire length of the joint. Use caution to keep the tape centered directly over the joint. This may present a challenge since the mud is hiding the exact location of the seam. This is why it is important to ensure the mud is spread directly over the seam in step one. Cut the drywall tape by ripping it by hand or with the edge of your six inch drywall knife.

squeeze mud from under tape

Step 3

Beginning in the center of the seam lengthwise, work toward the ends of the joint; if you work from the ends of the seam it will drag the tape or pull it off the seam. Using medium pressure with a six inch drywall knife, smooth the drywall tape over the joint. Squeeze the mud from under the drywall tape so that mud comes out both sides of the tape. Once you have made one pass over the tape using medium pressure, repeat this step using firm pressure against the tape.

taped drywall seam taped drwall seams on wall

Taping drywall angles is similar to taping flat seams. Fiberglass mesh tape should never be used for taping inside angles. This articles discusses in detail how to tape drywall angles including some of the tools you may want to try

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