I patched some foot square holes in the wall and would like to know when paper tape is applied:
- right after mud is applied
- after it has dried and is sanded
- with drywall patching.
Paper tape you apply mud first then bed the paper tape with mud still wet.
Fiberglass tape you apply before any mud.
Edit: One more tip....
For small patches like that I usually only worry about feathering the outside edges and will feather it out that edge to the width of my largest knife (12" I think.) When I'm done with that edge and everything is dry I'll come back and fill in the entire inside area over the patch with mud and level it out to the height of the mud over the tape. It makes the repair less noticeable. Instead of having a large outline of a rectangle of raised mud you have a square that blends in better.
The paper type drywall tape is attached to the wall with the first thin coat of drywall mud and then covered over with a thin layer of additional wet mud. Some installers may even wet the paper tape before installation.
The paper type is a pain to use though in comparison to the modern type of fiber glass screen mesh tape. This type comes with a glue on the back which allows it to be pressed onto the seam areas before any mud is applied. The open mesh allows the mud to flow through the tape making a much stronger joint.