So, I am new to the drywalling thing and I went to tape/mud a few butt joints, but my process was to put mud on the joint, then put the tape over, but then instead of letting that first mud undercoat dry, I put another coat of mud over top and then let that all dry for 24 hours. I am using the pre-mixed mud, btw.

Am I going to run into major / minor problems on the joints that I have done this way? I didn't get an bubbles so far. I just don't know if I need to rip out all the work that I have done on these.

  • 2
    Did you squeeze the mud out from under the tape, before applying the second coat?
    – Tester101
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 2:33
  • Did you finish your tape and texture job? There are some good answers here that could help others, if they helped you you could accept the answer by clicking the check then others will know it was helpful
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 17:47

3 Answers 3


You have listed the process correctly, and if you're new at this, then yes use pre-mixed joint compound (mud). But hopefully you used the regular setting-type joint compound on the first coat with the tape because it has an adhesive quality to bond the tape. Lightweight compound or "easy sand" does not and that's why it's easier to sand between coats, as it has no adhesive in it.

First, with a new 3.5 gallon of mud you'll want to add about an inch of water (it will sit on top of the mud) to the bucket. Use the appropriate mixer and mix thoroughly until smooth with no lumps. Put mud on the joint (wide enough to cover the tape width), place your tape over the top and lightly press it in with your fingers flat.

Using your 6" taping knife (putty knife) start at the very top near ceiling and run over the top of the tape embedding it flush against the surface, you will have quite a bit of mud squeeze out of the sides from underneath, and you can use some of it to go back over the top if you like, but keep it VERY minimal.

You are going to put a total of 3 coats of mud on. Don't make the mistake of trying to cover it all in the first coat. Remember, the objective is to not see the joint at the end, so don't use too much mud on your coats or you can end up with a big mess and a very ugly wall. Each coat you put on should be wider than the previous; knife sizes for the novice might be a 6" first, 10" second and a 12" for the last coat.

Remember, it's easy to add more later than sanding off too much.

  • "hopefully you used the regular setting-type joint compound" Setting-type joint compound is not regular. Setting-type is sold as a dry powder, mixed, and hardens chemically (rather than through evaporation). Maybe you mean "regular all purpose drywall compound". Right, lightweight is not the way to go. Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 0:45

No, I do the same thing occasionally, if the situation calls for it. The work will look better with a minimum of 3 applications of joint compound (letting each layer dry completely. If you feel compelled or hurried to apply 2 layers consecutively than it would be wise to make sure to: 1) press your tape fully into the pre-applied joint compound. Try to press all but a miniscule layer of joint compound from under the tape (and be certain of no air pockets). 2) with no waiting and using a 4-6 inch drywall knife, spread the first layer over the tape. Load the knife and starting at the top or bottom, hold the knife at a 35-45 degree angle and spread the compound until its gone. Reload and repeat until the tape is covered with about a 4-6 inch swath of compound. Make a final pass with the knife over the still wet compound to blend all the applications into one. 3) Load a 10-12 inch knife with compound and repeat the process as in 2. Let set over night (or longer) and lightly sand with 80 and than 120 grit sandpaper. You will probably need to touch-up some areas with compound.


There's no problem applying the first two coats in rapid secession, in fact that's how most pros do it. Amateurs may find it difficult, as they may apply too thick a coat, or tool the mud too much. Applying too thick of a coat, leads to excess sanding. While over tooling the mud, can lead to tearing or bunching of the paper tape.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.