I'm done with my 2nd coat and still seeing plenty of light between outside beads and the wall. I swear I have used mud but it sure doesn't look like it. Some of them are filled but most are not.

I used no coat beads and some of the corners were definitely not 90 but after 2 coats it sure seems like I'm getting nowhere.

I've used all different types of knives. Probably have as many options as an actual drywall worker. 4 inch all the way to 14 and multiple brands of each because I keep dropping and dinging them. Can't use a trowel to save my life and everything else flexes even with all the pressure on the outside.

Anyway. Some are really bad and I'm trying to focus on the voids and where my pressure is at but its not working. I see a 4th coat in my future. Never had this problem before.

I can still see edges of the corner bead. If you've seen no coat, the part I can see is the paper part that bonds to the undercoat. The edges are covered but I can still see the bead. Maybe the light between the wall and the bead was a ton more than it should've been in the beginning and I didn't notice it.

  • 3
    What is your question? With A photo of your issue We may be able to provide pointers , right now we only have your experience and description.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 5:06
  • i think that you are the only one that can count the number of coats of mud .... the rest of us would only be guessing if there are 4 coats of mud or not
    – jsotola
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 6:38
  • Maybe it is time to call a professional dry wall finisher who can do the job correctly
    – d.george
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 10:26

2 Answers 2


You appear to be approaching this in a scattershot manner and expecting too much, too soon.

Odds are also great, given the foregoing, that you are overworking the mud trying to get it perfect (yes, I'm guessing.)

General mudding procedure anywhere: grab your narrowest knife, put on mud, stop.

Scrape off any high points, grab your next widest knife, put on the second coat, stop.

Repeat until you are at your widest knife and/or it looks good enough. If you have so many knives that this seems absurd, set some aside to make a reasonable progression (4, 8, 12, etc..)

Realities - mud shrinks as it dries. So, if you spend a lot of time and effort getting a perfectly level surface - it won't be when it dries, until you reach the point that you are only putting on a very little bit to fill the shrinkage from the previous coat, and it wasn't much shrinkage. "Hot mud" shrinks somewhat less, but requires mixing only what you are going to use each time, as it sets up rather than just drying out.

So if you are getting bent out of shape by the state of things on your second coat, you are approaching it with a very unrealistic attitude, and you'll be frustrated. Just accept that it takes multiple coats, and you'll waste a lot less time putting coats on "perfectly" if you realize that you're going to scrape or sand off any high imperfections, and fill any low imperfections on the next coat. Then the job becomes mostly waiting for it to dry so you can get to the next coat (and don't skimp on the dry time - if you are in a huge hurry, use hot mud.)

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    I would caution rookies on hot mud. Hot mud has a short working time and is much harder to sand but as far as slapping it on let dry sand and repeat with a wider knife I do the same. Working any air bubbles out.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 13:39
  • 1
    Good advice, but I don't agree with the small knife first approach. In this case that's a 4" knife, which has little value when doing typical taping. I'd always use the full-width knife. Even the initial applications should be feathered out widely.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 15:04

One reason this can happen is when the corner bead isn't installed centered on the corner. If it's pulled too tightly to one side there's essentially a bulge at the flange. Put a straightedge on the wall and see if the bead lifts it off the paper just slightly. If it doesn't, that's your problem. You might cut out the paper bead and nail on a conventional metal one. It might be difficult to use a tape-on bead as a repair.

Otherwise, you just have shrinkage and need to keep at it. Beads should be the easiest part of your tape job--you have two defined high points on which to ride your knife. Use your widest one and be firm but gentle. Make sure your mud is mixed well.

  • 1
    You are right that a off center corner bead can be difficult to cover, following some diy work I found it easier to cut the bead out and start over in some cases. + for using a straight edge (I use a level or the T square for cutting Sheetrock).
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 13:45
  • I think i was too worried about pushing too much of the durabond out from underneath and there is a lot underneath it. There is still some void so hopefully when that is filled it wont be an issue. I think when im pulling/smoothing the mud out im taking too much off. Im using a bigger blade than i put it on with to make feathering a 1 pass thing since i always load too much mud to start. I think the larger blade is flexing in the middle even though the pressure is on the outside.
    – Jay Bee
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 23:11

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