I’ve got some smaller areas I need to fill with drywall in a room, and fortunately I had some pieces from cutting others while staggering. I used them to fill in the gaps, but I didn’t like how they looked as they were butt edges against tapered edges. I took them down and used a fresh sheet to ensure all tapered edges met.

However, I feel like I wasted an entire sheet just to achieve this. Is it fine to have a butt up against a tapered edge?

3 Answers 3


This is a common situation on any large drywall project. You'd handle it the same way you would any butt joint--with a wide taper.

The very talented pros I worked with would taper butt joints at least 16" each way from a butt joint. Do a pre-fill of the lower sheet to get things more level and let that dry. Then apply tape as normal. For the final coats, work outward with a wide knife.

As with all taping work, very little sanding should be necessary. The knife creates the taper and the finish, for the most part.

  • Amen! Long taper, done with larger knife. Hard for the eye to see it, unless the wall gets painted with high gloss paint.
    – mongo
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 16:07

It depends how fussy you are. A perfect finish is easier if you have the only joints at tapers and corners.

  • 2
    Perfect? With drywall? Heh.
    – isherwood
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 17:11

What I do with butt edges, which also come about when you're putting in a drywall patch, is to peel off the outer most layer of paper on the drywall about 1" or so back from the edge on both the pieces. Then just apply mud, joint tape, and mud like you would for a taper joint.

If you peel off too much paper, then you're liable to have an edge show where the peeled off section meets the un-touched drywall.

  • 2
    I'm not a drywall expert, but peeling the paper off doesn't sound like a good idea to me...
    – FreeMan
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 17:24
  • 1
    Destroys what little strength there is to drywall, so a bad idea, indeed.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 17:34
  • Why? You still have the paper on the back side. And the paper tape reinforces the drywall in that section. If you're worried about the stength of that joint use fiberglass tape instead of paper. Or consider fiberglass mesh tape.
    – SteveSh
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 18:36

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