drywall tape questions

andrelaplume2July 30, 2009

Well I have not taped anything in almost 15 years. Now I go and see the old style paper tape and a variety of mesh tapes. This will be for a basement job. I am not expert so I will be working slowly and not likely attaining proffessional results but thats ok, its just an area for the kids to hang out...so ease of use as well as durability is key.

Should I use the old style paper or one of these mesh type tapes? If mesh should I use the regular white or the orange mesh for extreme temps...remember, this is for a basement---cooler, warmer, maybe more humid at times...its not really conditioned down there yet except for a dehumidifier. Also, would I use a self stick mesh or not?

A quick taping question. I saw a video on DIY and found a few others and a technique is described for beginners where you (if using the paper) lay on mud and embed the tape and let dry. They then show subsequent layers of mud being applied perpendicular to the tape with a knife and then scraped off in the direction of the tape. What do you do with stuff that comes out the sides of the knife...this did not happen in the video and perhaps thats a sign of too much mud being on there in the first place.

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Use whatever tape you like but the selfstick mesh might speed things up a bit. Use a curved rectangular trowel for the later coats and excess mud or visible tape joints won't be a problem. Google "curved drywall trowel" and buy one, you won't regret it.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 4:47PM
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Mesh tape is for setting type joint compounds.
For pre-mix use the paper tape.

You can apply the mud over the tape any way you want (across or along the tape) but make sure it is finished decently so you do not have to sand off all the mud you just applied.

Mud removed is put back in the mud pan for continued use.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 11:44AM
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Is the mesh any harder to use? It is self stick so you pop it up and start to finish. Is it any harder to cover?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 12:43PM
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Self-stick mesh tape is more expensive, but easier for a DIY job, in my experience.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 11:30AM
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Mesh tape is not designed for use with the 'bucket o'mud' compound.

It is designed for the powdered setting compounds.

It is not as strong as paper tape when used with pre-mix.
Setting compounds make up for the weaker tape by being stronger themselves.

You should visit the USG web site and look through the gypsum handbook.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 5:08PM
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wow, thanks, no one else mentioned this at the big box stores. The said to grab the self stick mesh and a big ole green top bucket of premixed joint compound!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 6:24PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

, no one else mentioned this at the big box stores.

Ha, big surprise there!!!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 5:12AM
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I would stick with paper tape, except for maybe the recessed joints where you can probably overcoat and keep your joint low. . For butt joints you want the tape overcoat as low as possible but if you skim too tightly with the mesh, you snag it and pull it up - then you have a big mess.

With respect to the video and mud coming off the sides. The mud simply lands on the floor where you skim it up and discard it (unless your floor is perfectly clean or covered with clean plastic - then you can reuse it). I don't worry too much about mud on the floor if I can do a nice job on the wall. Applying your mud so it is only a 1/2 inch wider than the tape can minimize the mud hitting the floor.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 10:26AM
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My last job (DIY) I used some perforated, self-stick paper tape. I have previously used the mesh tape, but I like this stuff better.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 2:40PM
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Well I have been playing around in what will be a closet area under my stairs; an area where my work will not be seen. Its way harder than the pros make it look! I started with a butt joint. I had trouble just getting the tape on! The next day I found the sides were not secured. Lesson learned there. Then I started trying to feather. The butt joint makes that hard. I think I am getting the hang of it. I found I was not feather it out enough so I had ridges down the sides that reall were too much to sand so I applied more mud and feather again...and repeated etc etc. I likely will have the hole wall feathered in mud soon!

Seriously, its going to take a lot of practice...good thing I have a few closets down there to try it before I decide if I want to get a pro.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 8:49AM
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I used to do drywall for a living; finishing drywall is definitely an artistic endeavor. The good pros have probably finished thousands of square feet of drywall by the time you seem them flying through a job. I am still impressed when I see pro guys, especially the commercial finishers. Their speed and touch is incredible! However, you can do a lot by sanding the end result, but the pros strive to sand as little as possible. Good luck! I hope it turns out well for you.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 11:05PM
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I don't know if this will help or not, but the best advice I ever got from a professional finisher (Curly, I think they called him) was that it's all in the angle of the knife. At the time I didn't understand what he was talking about, but as I got more experienced I came to realize that getting the right knife angle on each swipe is the main difference between a fast, smooth job and and slow, bumpy job. I'm not talking about an angle you measure with a protractor, rather the angle you "feel" is right based on how the material responds.

Curly also emphasized the importance of a sharp edge to your knife, way sharper than comes with a new knife. He also pointed out that the 12" knife is slightly bowed, and for feathering it's best to keep that concave side up as you spread.

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 1:19PM
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