Remember that taping can take a surprisingly long time. It’s not hard, but sometimes it takes up to three times as long as hanging the sheets. Taping gives the room a more professional, attractive look, and can help reduce the lumps and problems in your wall. If you don’t feel like you’re up to it, talk to a professional to do the job for you. It might be worth the investment for renovators who don’t have a lot of time, or aren’t secure in their accuracy.
The most important drywall supplies for this job are joint compound (“drywall mud”), drywall tape (a non-gummed paper tape) and a drywall knife of the right size. Make sure you get coarse and fine grit sandpaper for finishing, too. For large projects, an electric sander may be appropriate. The right supplies will help you make sure that you do a truly professional job.
Step one of the process involves applying compound over every joint in the drywall. This is usually done in three layers. Allow the compound to completely dry between layers, and sand it smooth before applying another one. It’s generally a good idea to apply the compound as smoothly and evenly as you can.
While you can sand it back down later, it takes more energy and is a waste of materials to do it this way. Good drywall contractors need to do almost no sanding between layers. You probably won’t get results that good as an amateur, but do your best.
Once you’ve sanded the third layer of compound, it’s time to tape. The joints will be covered with drywall tape over a layer of compound. It can take a little practice to get the tape up smoothly and straight, but the tape can be repositioned as long as the compound is wet.
Once you’ve put the tape on, smooth the tape with your knife. The excess compound will be squeezed out from under the edges of the tape, and can be removed from the knife. Finish by spreading a very thin layer of mud on top of the tape, You should be able to see the tape through it. Once everything is dry, use your sandpaper to smooth any bumps or rough edges. Start with the coarse paper, then blend the joint into the wall with the fine paper for a professional look.