This question has been asked before: can you apply joint compound to plywood? Article 1 Article 2 A good discussion

The general recommendation is not to do it because plywood cannot absorb it the way drywall does and it will have a tendency to crack. Others have reported durable results.

Well, I had to hang a TV and I had not choice but to use plywood (couldn't catch any of the studs) and now I have no choice but to apply joint compound:enter image description here

So I'm looking for the best way to do it! Any suggestions on what to use and how to use it? Would Durabond be better? Should I sand the surface smooth or rough it up? Should I use paper tape or mesh? Any other suggestions?

  • 1
    I don't think you need to take any extra measures. In my experience, joint compound bonds just fine to clean, dry pine. I'd tape the joint as normal and skim the entire plywood area for uniformity. Prime to seal, and paint. If you're really worried about it, use setting-type compound. It's more difficult to work with, though.
    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 15:06
  • @isherwood Should I prime the wood first?
    – Wynne
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 15:11
  • I'm torn on that one. Sealing the wood surface might reduce bond. That said, I've taped over painted/primed surfaces many times without issue.
    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 15:14

2 Answers 2


I personally would never recommend joint compound over plywood. You could wood putty all the screws and other defects as mentioned above or you could try one other idea. How much of a lip do you have between the surface of the sheet rock and the surface of the plywood? My suggestion would be to place a piece of 1/4 inch sheet rock over the plywood if the difference between the two surface is deep enough. Then you could just finish the perimeter with tape and joint compound.


You can use a wood putty to seal it or possibly even spackle. Judging by the gaps you have I would go with the wood putty. apply thin layers just as you would the joint compound, This will make sure you don't get cracks and its completely filled. I've used wood putty plenty of times in that situation and put a heat gun to help it dry quicker and it will sand right up and smooth down just as joint compound will. Only drawback is it may crack over time if you have a lot of movement with your slab. I have also built a wall mount with a 1x6 or 1x8 and made it long enough to mount to the studs itself and then used the bracket provided from the TV wall mount to screw into the 1x6.

This is the putty I use. It works very well because you can dry or wet mix it.

enter image description here

  • I take umbrage with "the gaps" :) The gaps were <1/64". What you see is the intentional mismatch in depth between painted drywall and 15/32" plywood.
    – Wynne
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 5:23

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