Drywall taping is a critical step in the process of drywall installation. It ensures a smooth and seamless finish, hiding the joints between the drywall panels. One common question that arises during this process is whether to use Easy Sand for taping drywall and if so, which variant to use: 5, 20, 45, 90, or 210. This comprehensive guide will delve into this topic, providing you with detailed explanations, practical tips, and best practices to follow.
Understanding Easy Sand
Easy Sand is a type of joint compound, also known as “mud” in drywall taping lingo. It is a lightweight, all-purpose joint compound that is used for embedding the tape as well as covering the tape with the second and third coats. The numbers associated with Easy Sand – 5, 20, 45, 90, and 210 – refer to the approximate working time (in minutes) you have before the compound begins to set and harden.
Why Use Easy Sand for Taping Drywall?
Easy Sand offers several advantages that make it a popular choice for taping drywall. It is easy to mix, has excellent adhesion, and provides a smooth finish. It also comes in different setting times, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your working pace and the size of the job.
Choosing the Right Easy Sand for Your Project
The choice of Easy Sand variant depends on the size of the job and your skill level. For smaller jobs or if you’re a beginner, Easy Sand 5 or 20 is a good choice as it gives you less working time, reducing the chances of the compound drying out before you’re done. For larger jobs or if you’re more experienced, you might opt for Easy Sand 45, 90, or even 210.
How to Tape Drywall with Easy Sand: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Preparing the Joint Compound
The first step is to prepare the joint compound. You’ll need to thin the mud with water before you use it. The right consistency is when the joint compound drips in large blobs from the mixer.
Step 2: Loading the Banjo
Next, load the banjo with paper tape and thinned joint compound. The banjo should leave an even 1/8-in. thick layer of joint compound on the tape.
Step 3: Applying the Tape
Apply the tape to the seams, starting with the vertical seams, then the horizontal seams, and finally the inside corners. It’s okay to overlap the tape where one seam meets another.
Step 4: Embedding the Tape
Start at the center of each section and work towards the ends when embedding the tape. Transfer the mud that oozes out from under the tape back onto the surface of the tape as you go.
Step 5: Applying Additional Coats
Once the first coat has dried, apply additional coats as needed, sanding between each coat.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
One common mistake is using joint compound that is too thick or too thin. If it’s too thick, you’ll struggle to pull out the tape. If it’s too thin, the mud will leak from every nook and cranny.
Another mistake is not cleaning the tools regularly. Dried joint compound can cause trouble as it gets stuck under the tape or in the joint compound.
Best Practices to Follow
Always prefill the gaps between sheets of drywall with a setting-type joint compound and allow it to harden. Also, keep the banjo, mud pan, and taping knife free of dried joint compound.
Taping drywall with Easy Sand can result in a smooth, professional finish if done correctly. By understanding the different variants of Easy Sand and following the step-by-step guide, common mistakes, and best practices outlined in this article, you can effectively tape drywall with Easy Sand, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro.