I hired a company to finish the drywall job in my room. One of the things that sticks out like a sore thumb is the exposed edges of corner bead. I have never seen corner bead exposed like this. Isn't it supposed to be covered with a coat of mud or are you actually supposed to paint over it?


  • 1
    Are these the same guys who tore every dimple? – The Evil Greebo Nov 20 '12 at 1:37
  • Yep. I have never been so disgusted about any home improvement job I've ever hired any company to do. And these guys came from Angie's List with an A rating. – oscilatingcretin Nov 20 '12 at 2:06
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    Even on this poor resolution photo I can see how uneven and sloppy the finishing job was. This doesn't look like a professional job at all. On first glance I would assume it was the work of a careless DIY'er. – maple_shaft Nov 20 '12 at 13:15
  • I hope you didn't pay these guys in full up front. – The Evil Greebo Nov 20 '12 at 13:18
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    Please give them the worst review possible on Angie's List and include pictures galore. – The Evil Greebo Nov 20 '12 at 15:52

Examine any corner in any building and you'll find that the paint is on plaster, not metal. (Interior paint - even with primer - will scrape off of metal way too easily)

The plaster is supposed to just cover the metal corner, neatly.

In short - your drywallers (if these are the same guys who botched all the screws) suck.

  • Yep, same guys. I know what you mean about the layer of plaster, though. I once damaged the corner of a wall while trying to manilupated 4x8 sheets of plywood. I looked chipped. I plasted it up pretty good. – oscilatingcretin Nov 20 '12 at 2:06
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    I totally agree with Evil. The ridge on the corner of the metal is meant to hold mud and be covered. There may be ever so slightly a tiny, tiny metal edge barely showing, but your pic shows a poorly installed corner and lazy mud job. Another reason I never use metal corners, only plastic and apply them with contact cement, not screws. – shirlock homes Nov 20 '12 at 13:02
  • Can you feel the ridge at the corner with your finger? If so, it needs another coat of mud. – shirlock homes Nov 20 '12 at 13:03
  • Are they finished or is that just how it is at the end of the day? If they believe they are finished - wow - that's bad. – BrianK Nov 21 '12 at 5:43
  • I addressed this with the superintendent and project manager and both of them told me that it is common practice for the edge of the corner bead to be exposed like that. I don't know what to think anymore =\ – oscilatingcretin Nov 23 '12 at 7:18

This may be downvoted, as I may be way off base (and if so, please do!), but...

My understanding of the metal corners is that corners get bumped. A pure plaster corner would obviously be smashed once something runs into it. Hence, the metal bead corners.

The bead on the far outside of the corner is ever-so-slightly rounded and raised compared to the 'flange' of the corner, which is then embedded in mud. This raised edge is basically the 'form' for the top coats of mud. As the knife will 'ride' the bead, it will always be ever-so-slightly exposed on the outside-most edge.

And then, in the end, it's covered in paint.

Some have suggested that there should be a thin layer of mud completely covering the outside of the corner. My concern with that is:

  • it's hard to do since knife would be 'floating' above the actual bead
  • the thin layer of mud would be much more likely to damage if bumped and...
  • as such, a lot harder to patch if it is bumped

In summary: I've always left the outside-most edge of the corner bead exposed and then paint over it. I've never had an issue with that myself (but I'm also not a professional sheetrocker...)


Outside edge should be clearly visible considering that's plain of the wall,but just the rounded bead itself. To float over it one might consider not even using a corner beings it will chip off the first time you sneeze.


I have to disagree with The Evil Greebo.

The fact is that first off, metal edged corner bead is rarely used by professionals. When it is used, it's most often due to imperfections with the drywall (e.g. straighten out a not-quite-straight corner).

I can't tell from that photo if that's an inside or outside corner. If it's an inside corner then the metal should have been covered. If it's an outside corner (as I suspect), it can be very difficult to cover it with mud.

As I said, it's rare to see these. One area where it's more likely though is with regards to ceilings, and particularly soffits - areas where uniformity of various drywall sheets is more likely to be an issue. If this happens to you, I wouldn't sweat it.

As long as your edges are sanded well, use a good quality primer and paint, and it won't matter. You will not notice the difference. If in the future something gets damaged, the end result will be the same. A very thin layer of mud is not going to protect anything.

Caveat: I've installed paper, plastic, metal, nailed/glued/pressed corner bead. They all have their uses, pros & cons. Put it this way: there is a reason for all that variety in the drywall aisle at Home Depot. :D

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