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?


  • 2
    Are these the same guys who tore every dimple? Nov 20, 2012 at 1:37
  • 1
    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. Nov 20, 2012 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. Nov 20, 2012 at 13:15
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    Please give them the worst review possible on Angie's List and include pictures galore. Nov 20, 2012 at 15:52
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    That looks like a great job to me. just as long as the flat sides of the metal have mud on them, it's good to go. The edge will have no mud on it as it gets sanded off.
    – user14278
    Jul 31, 2013 at 15:38

8 Answers 8


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. Nov 20, 2012 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. Nov 20, 2012 at 13:02
  • Can you feel the ridge at the corner with your finger? If so, it needs another coat of mud. Nov 20, 2012 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, 2012 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 =\ Nov 23, 2012 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.


Bead should be exposed and clean, it is a stronger corner. Should be stapled on using a level for straight and plumb corner. No gap between bead and level, checked on both sides. paper covered metal beads easier and cheaper to apply. Cost is the factor why you don’t see more metal beads. And applicator skill. It paints just fine and you won’t notice it. If you are that concerned about quality perhaps you should choose conventional plaster. But remember nowadays that the reason you don’t see as much plaster is because cheaper always wins, hard to compete with quality when price is what majority of people go by. I think the saying goes, they just don’t make them like they used to. Drywall is junk anyway. I do plaster restoration in buildings and houses well over a hundred years old. Doubt if you see any house built today standing in a hundred years


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


In all sincerity, mudding is not fun. Drywall is a pain in the booty. Especially in older settled homes. Corners are used for symmetry.

I have found myself in positions over time when working on older homes, where no matter what I do, I can not get things perfect. There are so many issues that arise and often they are unique to a job. The exceptions not the rule. I have hung corners that absolutely crowned or bowed. I have done some that twisted and I have run into countless issues along the way.

Anything I try to put on a corner's edge gets knocked off damaging the drywall and paint, and in rentals have had to go back and repair it every time. So I always leave the metal exposed on the rounded part of the bead.

Its a perfect clean edge when installed properly. It paints well and if I take a gritty sand paper down it just a couple of times, not only does the paint stick exceptionally well, but it doesn't break everything under and around it when bumped. I can prime it.

Also, if I am going to spray texture, if I get a little bit of Vaseline and apply it solely to that corners edge, the texture cannot stick to the corner. This allows that perfect corner to stay perfect.

I hope this helps. Good luck!


Speaking as a professional hanger for more than 30 years and also I have done nothing but corner bead work for particular contractors that wanted it right corner bead can be tricky most people have no idea how to hang it properly if you're worried about corners which will show if not install properly can make your whole job look terrible if you have a lot of corner beat to put up you might be best off to hire someone to install it for you that's the best advice I can give you

  • Hi Mark, that doesnt really answer the question asked. Can you expand your answer to do that please? May 12 at 14:11

The picture looks like maybe there is a touch too much bead showing. I'm in the leave a bit of edge exposed camp. Same reason- chipped edge's later on

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