Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tape And Spackle Wallboard Drywall Joints For Beginners

Wallboard with joints taped and spackled

Taping and spackling wallboard can be a frustrating job for beginners. Traditional paper tape must be applied smoothly with the right amount of spackle both under and over the tape and must be free of air pockets. However, there is an easier way for beginners to achieve professional results. The following will provide the materials and steps for an easier mesh tape application.


1. Check to be sure that all screws (or nails, which are rarely used anymore) are sunk into the wallboard. That is to say that no heads should be higher than the wall surface as the knife will hit them when applying the spackle and prevent a smooth finish. Screw or hammer any protruding heads so that a spackle knife will not hit them when dragged across.

2. Measure the joints and cut lengths of the self-adhesive mesh tape. Apply the tape, adhesive side against the wallboard, to the joints and smooth gently with your hand.

3. Use the 6 spackle knife to apply the first coat of spackle to the joints directly over the mesh tape. There is normally a depression along the factory edges of the wallboard where pieces are seemed together, which forms a channel for the joint compound on the first coat. (not every seem will have this as smaler pieces of cut wallboard need to be used to completely cover a room) Fill this using the 6 knife and then pull the 10 knife over the same seem to remove the excess. Do not attempt to achieve a smooth, finished look on this first coat (especially on the non-factory or cut seems). All you want is an even coat that covers the mesh tape.

4. Using the 6 knife, fill the screw head holes as you make your way around the seems in the room. Do this by pushing some joint compound into the holes and then dragging the knife across to scrape off the excess.

5. After the first coat has dried, repeat the spackling process again (no tape this time...that is only used on the first coat). Apply to both the joints and the screw head holes. Using a hawk to hold the spackle will be a great help!

6. After the second coat has dried, use the sandpaper to smooth any spots that are visibly rough or that have high ridges on the ends of your spackle lines. Brush the dust off wherever you sand.

7. Apply a third coat of joint compound. This time around, the spackle lines should be made wider than on the first two passes. The 10 knife will help to achieve this. Remember to use long, even strokes with the knife. Don't worry too much about the areas where the seems cross each other. This is the most difficult part, even for professionals, and you will be able to sand them smooth later.

8. lightly sand any high or visibly rough spots. Then use a damp sponge to smooth the entire job. The damp sponge will work better than the sandpaper at this stage and will make much less dust!

9. Don't forget to prime the wallboard before finishing. This step is also very helpful to see where you may need to touch-up your spackling job.

Tips Warnings


Adding a little water to the joint compound on the last coat will make it flow more easily.

A hawk will be helpful to hold joint compound in small quantities while you are working (rather than constantly going back to the container).


Can be very messy job...cover well and hand plastic over doorways to contain mess to room being worked on.

Flat paint will hide the most the shine increases, so does the need for perfection.

Tags: tape, spackle, wallboard, joints, beginners, first coat, joint compound, mesh tape, knife will, coat dried, damp sponge, head holes, knife will them, knife will them when