Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
When it comes to drywall use and installation, the most challenging part of the process is applying “mud” to the drywall. If you use too much or too little mud or do it poorly, your drywall will not look good and can be a mess further down the road. How do you fix too much mud applied to drywall?
Here is how you can fix too much mud applied to drywall:
- Use warm water to soften and remove excess mud.
- Use a wall scraper or drywall knife to remove clumps.
- Sand off tough, dry mud using sandpaper.
Understanding how to fix too much mud on drywall can help make your project successful. So, let’s go through the steps for removing mud from drywall when you apply too much. I’ll share some tips and tricks and help you understand all the best ways to get a clean, smooth joint every time.
1. Use Warm Water To Soften and Remove Excess Mud
Assuming that your mud does not have any paint or other substance over it, you can remove excess drywall mud using warm water and pressure.
Apply warm water over the drywall mud you wish to remove using a damp cloth.
Give the water a few minutes to soak into the mud. It’ll usually take about 10 to 20 minutes before the mud will soften and break down enough that you can scrub off excess paste.
Once the mud has absorbed the water, you can use the damp cloth and pressure against the wall to take off the excess.
When you’ve taken off the extra mud, allow the remaining adhesive to dry, and it will appear as if you had made no mistake.
Still, this method only works if you haven’t painted or taped over the mud since any obstruction will repel water.
2. Use a Wall Scraper or Drywall Knife To Remove Clumps
If you have already painted over the wall and the mud has dried, you can use a sharp edge to remove excess chunks of drywall mud.
Place the scraper blade next to the excess clump of drywall mud and apply pressure to scrape or cut the drywall off.
Still, if you haven’t painted yet, you can use this method with a bit of warm water to soften the drywall and scrape it off evenly. If you accidentally scrape off more drywall mud than you meant to, you can always apply more mud.
Be sure not to damage the drywall itself when using this method. Use even pressure rather than sharp, quick motions.
If you cut into the drywall, you can apply a thin layer of drywall mud, but that’s pretty much your only option. This method works best if you have plenty of extra drywall mud to use up.
3. Sand off Tough, Dry Mud Using Sandpaper
The most popular way to remove excess drywall mud is by sanding down any extra mud.
If you have a relatively small amount of excess mud, you can use a sanding sponge or sanding paper to rub off rough spots.
If you have a significant layer of extra mud, you can use an orbital sander to get rid of it. Still, that will produce a lot of dust that you will need to sweep or vacuum up later. You can also use a wet towel to eliminate this dust.
It is also essential that you consider how heavily you sand. If you rub too heavily, you could damage the drywall below the mud, so be careful not to do this.
Generally, it is best to use 80, 100, or 120 grit sandpaper. As you sand, work in clockwise and counterclockwise circles, putting light pressure on the spot.
Be sure to consider how thick your layer of mud is that you need to remove before you go in with sandpaper.
Important Note for Removing Extra Drywall Mud With Paint
It is possible to remove drywall mud that you have already painted over. However, you will need to repaint the wall after the removal process. That’s because you’ll remove some of the paint with the drywall mud. So, be sure that you are ready to add an extra coat of paint after removing excess drywall mud.
What Is Drywall Mud?
Drywall “mud” is essential to consider during the drywall installation process. While some people have a general idea of what mud is, many do not know what it does. What is drywall “mud”?
Drywall mud, also called joint compound, is a wet, gypsum-based paste used to strengthen, smooth, and repair drywall. When you install drywall, you’ll usually join together several sheets, which is where the mud comes in.
The mud has two primary jobs. One is to serve as glue to keep drywall sheets attached, while the other is to ensure the drywall is smooth and nice-looking.
You can use drywall mud to join the drywall sheets, but you may also use it to fill in holes from screws and nails. By attaching these sheets and removing any gaps or holes in the drywall, the mud helps strengthen the wall and make it more aesthetically pleasing. The mud also helps with insulation and fire resistance.
When using drywall mud, people often accidentally apply more of the paste than is necessary, making the wall look and feel uneven, causing tiny bubbles to appear on the wall.
Applying drywall mud can be a complex, time-consuming process. If you’ve never used drywall mud before, it’s easy to misgauge how much to use, resulting in lumps and bubbles.
Still, if you apply too much drywall mud, you can use the warm water method, the wall scraper method, or the sanding method to remove extra drywall mud. You should also be sure to take proper safety measures when removing drywall mud.
While you can do drywall mud yourself, it is sometimes easier to hire trained professionals to apply drywall mud.
- PH&G: How to Remove Drywall Mud from a Wall [5 Best Methods]
- The Spruce: Choosing the Best Type of Drywall Compound
- Mr. Handyman: The Taping and Mudded Process in Drywall
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