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Professional drywall tapers make the process of mudding drywall look easy. However, it’s a technical process that requires skill and knowledge to do correctly, so your drywall looks its absolute best. Sheetrock mud is an excellent tool for renovating or fixing your walls, but how thick should you apply it?
Sheetrock mud can be as thick as 4.72 inches (12 centimeters). However, you generally want the mud to be as thin as possible while still covering all screw heads and butt joints.
The rest of this article details the ideal thickness of Sheetrock mud, what to do if you have too thick of a coat, what Sheetrock mud is, when to use this substance, and how to mud a wall. If you have a wall that needs renovation, keep reading to get the best results doing the repairs yourself.
What’s the Average Thickness of Sheetrock Mud?
If you’re fixing or renovating your walls, you’ll need to apply a joint compound called drywall mud. If you use it correctly, the mud will dry quickly, and your drywall will look smooth and seamless.
The average thickness of Sheetrock mud is about a quarter of an inch (0.64 cm). However, you can apply it up to a thickness of 12 centimeters (4.72 in). It would be best to keep it flush with your walls, so the thickness may vary depending on the spot.
In general, you’ll want to apply the mud in the thinnest layers possible.
When using Sheetrock mud along the joints, you’ll want to make the mud flush with the face of the drywall. When using it on screw heads and butt joints, you also want a thin layer, but you need to make sure the tape is completely covered.
What Do You Do if You Put Too Much Mud on Your Drywall?
If you put too much mud on your drywall, you can fix the issue by sanding it with sandpaper or a wet sanding sponge. All you have to do is wait for the joint compound to dry, then sand down the bumps and bulges.
You can sand the wall using simple sandpaper, such as this Verones 90 Piece Sandpaper Set (available on Amazon.com). This package comes with multiple grits, so you’ve got everything you need in one box. It’s also durable enough for the job and has a high service life.
If you do have to sand down Sheetrock mud, there will be a lot of dust, so make sure you have a respiratory mask to avoid inhaling the dust.
A better option than sandpaper is to use a wet sanding sponge, such as this Onarway Sanding Sponge (available on Amazon.com). These sponges come in a 10-pack with different courses and grits, last long, and provide more polish than regular sandpaper. Additionally, using a wet sanding sponge results in less dust, so there’s less risk of inhalation.
If you use too much Sheetrock mud and don’t sand it down, you’re going to get cracks in your drywall. Cracks can also occur if you don’t wait until the first layer of joint compound is completely dry before applying another layer.
What Is Sheetrock Mud?
Sheetrock mud is quick-setting drywall mud, also called joint compound, that’s good for small patch jobs. Sheetrock is a brand that makes drywall mud that has become increasingly popular over the years.
Quick-setting drywall mud comes in a powder in plastic-lined paper bags, preserving the freshness and keeping any moisture out.
Hot mud is mixed with hardening agents to make this fantastic joint sealer. Then, it is sold in packages according to how long it takes to harden.
This mud is perfect for drywall installation since it is an ideal material to seal up paper joint tape, fill joints, top paper and mesh joint tapes, and repair holes and cracks in drywall and plaster.
This mud sets because of a chemical reaction, unlike other joint compounds that rely on water evaporation.
Sheetrock brand mud is a ready mix drying type joint compound with a hard-finish surface that can be applied by hand or with a mechanical tool. It would be best to store this mud at 55 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (12.78-35°C) in a dry location. When you store it properly, it has a shelf life of up to nine months.
When To Use Sheetrock Mud
Quick-setting mud is best for small patch jobs, jobs you need to get done quickly, or jobs when you need to apply multiple coats on the same day. Sheetrock mud, in particular, is best for skim coating, embedding tape, and filling and finishing.
You can buy US Gypsum All-Purpose Joint Compound (available on Amazon.com). This mud is an all-purpose mud, so you can use it for any joinery purposes, but it’s perfect for sheetrock!
You can also get Sheetrock Topping Joint Compound on Amazon.com. Topping compounds are best to use after applying two coats of taping compounds to a drywall joint. This mud goes on smoothly, has a strong bond, and reduces sanding time significantly.
The Wall-Mudding Process
Mudding a wall can be intimidating. However, I’m here to help you make the job simple!
So, let’s break the wall-mudding process down into some simple steps:
- Cover the floor to prevent Sheetrock mud splatter. Mudding can get messy, so make sure you protect your floor.
- Pre-fill any gaps using a setting compound. Using a setting compound makes the surface smoother, which will help you get as thin a layer as possible when using Sheetrock mud. Let the compound harden before you proceed with applying the joint compound.
- Apply a coat of Sheetrock mud to screw indentations and joints. When you fit drywall panels together, the angles form an indentation, so you’ll need to use the sheetrock mud to fill these indentations.
- Cover the mud with tape. This process, called “bedding,” will keep the mud looking smooth and prevent it from shifting as it cures.
- Tape inside corners and apply mud to outside corners. Be sure to wipe any excess mud from the walls every step of the way.
- Mud any butt joints. Butt joints occur when you fit untapered ends of drywall together. Make sure you only use as much mud as is necessary. However, the mud layers will likely be thicker at these points than anywhere else.
If this process seems completely overwhelming, you can invest in the help of a professional.
Sheetrock mud is an excellent tool for renovating and repairing your walls, especially if you’re in a hurry. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to use, too! If you don’t apply the mud too thick, your walls will look like they’ve been professionally done at a fraction of the price and in less time.
- Drywall 101: Different Types of Drywall Mud
- The Spruce: Choosing the Best Type of Drywall Compound
- Housekeeping Bay: How Thick Can You Apply a Joint Compound?
- USG Sheetrock: All Purpose Joint Compound
- Bobvila: How to Mud Drywall Like a Pro
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Giovanni Valle is an architect, designer, internet entrepreneur, and the managing editor of various digital publications including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place. He is the founder of BuilderSpace LLC.