For all imperfections when hanging drywall, there is a type of thick plaster known as mud which serves to cover any holes and create a smoothed surface. The skilled process of applying this mud is known as drywall mudding, and is something that demands great patience and care.
Having said that, the process of drywall mudding itself, that is the application of the mud, requires a degree of skill and can be a very messy process indeed unless all due care is taken. In this article we will look at some of the key tips and techniques for drywall mudding, and the best ways to ensure its effective application.
When spreading the drywall mud, the most important thing to bear in mind is a smooth, thin finish. You are looking to spread the mud with a wrist action that promotes a thin scraping of evenly distributed mud. The mud must be thick enough to fill nail holes and other dents, but still thin enough so that it dries quickly.
Ensure you wipe off any excess with a damp towel or sponge using a dabbing rather than scrubbing motion. This way, you can be sure to remove the excess completely rather than spreading it into other areas.
After you have left the first coat to dry, which should be an overnight process, you should apply a second coat with great care and attention to complete smoothness. After all, this will be the effective surface, so it needs to be smooth and free from ridging. Make sure it is smooth all over, and apply as little as possible to cover the surface area.
When mixing the mud, it is important to ensure that it is damp yet not too runny. This is a process that requires some skill, and if you get it wrong, could prove to have disastrous consequences. Having said that, with a little bit of practice, you will notice the process becomes a lot easier, and you become more effective as time goes on.
It is of some importance to use the correct applicator when spreading the drywall mudding. Initially you should be looking to a rather broad knife (up to a foot). Not only will this save time in the same a roller will with painting a room, it will also make it easier to ensure a smooth finish.
You should only opt for smaller knives for the corners and for scraping certain excesses. Using this method, you are increasing your chances of achieving a smooth finish. After the mudding has dried, use a sand block to smooth further for a professional finish, before applying any primer to the surface for added professional appearance.
Some people consider drywall mudding like an art form; something which must be perfected over time, and something which one must practice. There are plenty of professionals specialising in this type of work, and if you are feeling less ambitious you may opt for their services.
However, it is also possible that you can do this work yourself with a lot of patience and determination. Above all, try to make sure you bear with it and keep practising; you will be surprised how quickly you can pick it up.