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Finish Your Basement for the Holidays – Mudding Drywall

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You’re in a frenzy to turn that unfinished basement into a spare guest suite before the holidays and you’re running out of time! Don’t panic. Time Equipment Rental & Sales is here to help. Follow these easy drywalling instructions and you’ll be ready for your in-laws before you know it!

Just getting started? Begin with Hanging Drywall before diving into this Mudding Drywall tutorial.

What you’ll need:

  • Mesh drywall tape
  • All-Purpose Joint Compound
  • 3 Putty Knives of varying widths – 4-inch, 6-inch & 8-inch work nicely
  • Taping Banjo
  • Porter-Cable 7800 Power Sander

Taping Drywall

You’ve hung your drywall and you’re roaring to go. The next step is to add a little mud to your walls to cover your seams and ensure a clean finish when you texture. Before you dig into the messy stuff, prep with mesh tape. The purpose of the mesh tape is to cover the “joints” where your drywall sheets meet so your wall looks smooth and seamless when you’re finished texturizing.

  1. Starting in the corner, line your mesh tape up with the drywall joints or seams. As you cover the joints, use a putty knife to apply pressure over the taped area and securely adhere the tape to the drywall.

  2. Repeat this process until all of your joints are covered.

    TIP: Reaching seams on tall walls and ceilings can be tricky. Use Drywall Stilts to safely tape and mud out of reach areas without the hassle of a ladder. For more information about renting Drywall Stilts, check out the Time Equipment Rental Catalog.

  3. Make sure none of your drywall screws stick up high enough to catch if you were to run your putty knife over the drywall. If they do catch, use your drill to drive them in until they don’t catch.

Mudding Drywall

Now that your prep is done, it’s time to get dirty. Before you get started, open your All-Purpose Joint Compound and stir thoroughly.

  1. Using your smallest putty knife, scoop up some of the joint compound and spread a thin layer of compound over your taped areas. Make sure you cover all of your tape.

  2. Once you’ve covered the tape, take your putty knife (scrape off any excess compound so your knife is mostly clean) and apply slight pressure the back while running it smoothly over your mudded seam. This will prevent ridges and flaws in the mud later on.

    TIP: Save time with a Taping Banjo. It combines the taping steps with the first step of mudding by applying everything for you in one easy step. To use a Taping Banjo, apply your tape down your seams, periodically pressing the tape to the drywall to make sure it sticks.

    DO NOT scrape it with your putty knife as recommended in the Taping directions. DO make sure you keep the tape tight to prevent wrinkles and excess tape. After you’ve covered your seam, then apply pressure with your putty knife, smoothing out the mudding and ensuring the tape is secured.

    Contact Time Equipment to learn more about renting a Taping Banjo for your drywall project.

  3. Repeat this process over all of your seams, working each section one at a time.

  4. Apply a small amount of mud over each screw, scraping your knife over each with slight pressure to create a smooth surface.

  5. Let the mud dry. Refer to the directions on your All-Purpose Joint Compound for specific drying times. Once the first coat is dry, gently scrape over each seam with a clean putty knife to remove any dry, flaky extras.

  6. After your first coat is dry, follow the same process to apply your second coat. This time, use your mid-sized putty knife to cover the first coat and an additional half inch on either side of the covered seam with fresh mud. Smooth the second coat with applied pressure and let it dry. Don’t forget to apply a second coat of mud to the screws as well.

  7. Repeat step 6 once to twice more, making each coat wider than the last. Don’t forget to scrap off any dried extras before applying a new coat of compound. The final coat should be smooth and flat.

  8. Once your final coat of compound has fully dried, grab your Porter Cable 7800 Drywall Sander and follow these detailed instructions to create a flat, seamless surface.

  9. Thoroughly wipe down your walls and room to remove any lingering dust from the sanding process.

One step closer, your drywall is hung and mudded and ready for some drywall texturing!

Let’s do something together! Time Equipment Rental & Sales offers a wide selection of equipment for rent, including landscaping, concrete, flooring, excavation, and home improvement equipment. Contact us for more information about the tools and equipment you’ll need to get your home improvement project done.


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