Drywall Corner Beads

Installing a new wall or making an addition to your home means that you will need to become familiar with drywall and drywall corner beads in order to get the job done. Do it yourself drywall is not difficult once you get the practice down. If you've never hung drywall, you may want to consider taking a class at a local home improvement store to get the basics down before you begin your drywall project. Learning about drywall and dry wall corner beads before you begin will help the success of your project.

What is Drywall and Drywall Corner Bead

Drywall is the composite material of nearly all walls in your home and need to be installed before drywall corner beads. After the wooden frame was put up for your walls, insulation was added and then drywall was put on top of that. Drywall is what makes the walls solid. Any paint or finishing wall treatments go on top of the drywall. Drywall is made primarily from gypsum plaster mixed with fiber, foaming agents and other additives.

These additives decrease mildew growth on the drywall and also make the walls fire resistant. The wet gypsum is sandwiched between two sheets or heavy paper or fiberglass mats, depending on your dry wall preferences. When the core sets and is dried this construction sandwich becomes rigid and strong. Drywall is available in large sheets of a standard size at all home improvement stores.

Drywall corner beads are a finishing touch to the drywall job that helps smooth out corners that jut into the home. Corner bed is long preformed metal or plastic corner reinforcement. It helps create a sharp and crisp edge that looks professional. There are also paper corner beads available, and some homebuilders prefer the lightweight look of this type of corner bead. No matter what type you use, you will cover the corner bead with joint compound before you are finished.

Applying Drywall Corner Bead

Before you begin, measure the length of your outside corner that needs to be covered. The corner bead should cover the entire length space of the corner. If at all possible, avoid splicing two pieces of corner bead together. This will look sloppy and make your corner breakdown earlier than it should.

Fit the corner bead over the raw edge of your drywall corner. Adjust it until you have a tight 90-degree angle on the corner. Once you like the results you can put two or three nails or screws into the corner bead to hold it in place. Nail straight into the drywall until you countersink the nail head. Step back and make sure that the corner bead is straight and looks good. If it's in a great place, continue nailing in nails every 8 to 10 inches along the length of the corner bead.

After you have installed the drywall corner bead, you'll need to cover it with joint compound to finish off the corner. For the first coat of compound, you will need a ten inch putty knife. The second coat will be with a 12 inch putty knife.

Always point your finger down the center of the putty knife to give you more control over the process. Mix up your joint compound until it is a thin enough to work with. Use a drywall pan and load your putty knife. Spread a nice even layer of compound on one side of the corner bead, in a direction from the ceiling down.

You may need to load your putty knife two times to cover from the ceiling to the floor. As you pull the knife down the corner, apply pressure to the outside edge. Then smooth the ripple on the side of the wall by using your putty knife. Repeat the process on the other side of the wall and wipe down any excess compound. Let the wall dry according the joint compound manufacturer's instructions.