How to Replace Square Corner Beads With Round


A drywall bead provides a hard, straight edge at each corner and protects the edges of drywall panels from damage. Available in square and round designs, the beads overlap the adjacent edges of drywall and are smoothed out with compound. Once the compound cures, it conceals the edges of the beads to provide a finished and uninterrupted corner along the wall. Round corners give the walls a softer look and appearance. Replacing square beads with the round beads is a straight-forward procedure.

Things You'll Need

  • Putty knife
  • Hammer (optional)
  • Rag
  • Power drill
  • Claw hammer (optional)
  • Measuring tape
  • Round corner bead
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • 1-1/4-inch drywall nails
  • Drywall joint compound
  • 6-, 8- and 10-inch taping knives
  • Sanding block
  • Primer
  • Paint supplies

Removing Square Corner Bead

  • Locate the square corner bead at the corner of the drywall. Inspect the surface for loose or crumbling drywall compound. Insert the tip of a putty knife into the corner and scrape the area to loosen the compound and expose the square corner bead.

  • Grasp the putty knife firmly and push it down over the compound to remove a small section. Continue to pry out sections of the drywall compound applied over the square corner bead until it is completely exposed. If required, tap the handle of the knife with a hammer to break off sections of the compound.

  • Wipe the corner bead with a moist rag to remove debris. Use a power drill to loosen and remove the screws along the length of the corner bead, and set these aside. If the bead is nailed in place, pry the nail heads loose with a claw hammer.

  • Slide the tip of a putty knife between the drywall and loosened square corner bead, and carefully pry it up. Move the knife down along both sides of the bead to loosen it from the corner of the drywall. Grasp the corner bead and pull it away from the wall.

Installing Round Corner Bead

  • Extend a measuring tape from the floor to the ceiling at the corner of the drywall. Transfer the measurement to the round or bullnose corner bead and mark the spot over it with pencil.

  • Cut over the pencil mark on the bullnose bead using sharp scissors. Because the corner of this corner bead is raised, ensure this raised edge does not fall below the plane of the wall on either side of the corner.

  • Set this corner bead in position over the corner. Hammer nails through the edge of the corner bead and into the wall framing on either side of the corner. Nail the bead from the center, and hammer two nails on each side to keep it even and straight. Continue to nail upward along the length of the bead.

  • Use a 6-inch drywall taping knife to apply an even layer of joint compound to each side of the round corner bead. Allow the compound to dry for the time specified on the label’s directions before sanding it lightly with sanding block.

  • Use an 8-inch drywall taping knife to apply joint compound to each side of the round corner bead. Lightly sand the compound when it dries.

  • Use a 10-inch drywall taping knife to apply joint compound to each side of the corner bead. Allow it to dry before sanding it. This practice makes a smooth transition from the drywall compound in the corner to the adjacent wall.

  • Prime the corner and allow it to dry before applying a coat of touch-paint so it blends with the surrounding wall.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear protective eyeglasses and a face mask when sanding drywall so you do not inhale gypsum fibers.
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