I'm about to install a 24" x 60" section of 1/2" drywall, to patch an area I cut away for access to make repairs. The bottom (long) and one side (short) edges of the patch will be hidden, but the top and left joints will be made mid-wall, and I'm worried that they'll be visible as bulges.

The patch has the usual tapered edge on one of the long sides, so I could install that edge up or down. The edges of the hole cut in the existing wall are of course not tapered.

Should I try to taper the existing drywall before doing the joints? Or should I just bite the bullet and do a whole lot of feathering?

Edit: the short seam is on top of a stud, while the long seam spans several 16" stud bays.

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    Check out the first answer for how to set a butt joint between studs and avoid a lot of feathering: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/28484/… Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 14:09
  • @Aloysius-defenestrate very interesting! Unfortunately my seams are either on a stud, or across stud bays. I'll remember that for the future, though. Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 14:25
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    Given your edit, that's not ideal for a tapered butt joint. (You could cut further into the stud bay for the 24" side, but the existing drywall isn't going to flex nicely.) Personally, I wouldn't undermine the existing drywall by tapering it, so get yourself a 10 or 12" taping knife and feather away! Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 14:38
  • @Aloysius-defenestrate, thanks: make that into a decent answer and I'll choose it! Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


While the usual trick for super-flat butt joints is to set the gap between studs (see the first answer in Should drywall be hung horizontally or vertically? for an excellent description), it doesn't seem like your situation would work for this.

Sadly, the best advice is to get a 10 or 12" taping knife and feather, feather, feather. (I personally wouldn't try to taper the existing drywall, as the paper is an integral part of the structure, and shaving some of that off would undermine it.)

This is personal preference, but I'd use mesh tape that's advertised as "ultra thin", such as FibaTape Perfect Finish. (Some say that paper tape is thinner, but if you compare rolls in the store, I think you'll find that this stuff is actually thinner than paper.)

When I started, I'd put way too much compound on, then have to sand a bunch of it off, then repeat. I'd now suggest lots of thin coats to avoid the curse of sanding and having drywall dust floating everywhere in your living space.

  • Agreed, re: the mesh tape for repairs. Even if it isn't thinner than the paper when it comes off the roll, it has an adhesive backing, so you can stick it right to the drywall then tape over it without needing a layer of mud underneath the tape (adding thickness) to adhere it to the wall. Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 22:38

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