How to Use Professional Drywall Taping Tools


The smoother and more professional a wall looks, the less it is noticed, but striving for that ultimate smooth appearance is the goal of drywall installers and tapers. After the drywall panels are in place, special tools assist the taper in applying the compound that fills the joints and creates a smooth surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Drywall taping knives
  • Drywall sanders
  • Specialty taping tools

Taping Knives

  • Apply joint compound to indentations left by nails and joints between drywall panels. Taping knives are the most-used of all drywall tools and they come in various widths.

  • Start with a small taping knife for the initial application of joint compound. A 6-inch taping knife is sufficient for scooping up wet joint compound and applying a first coat to seams.

  • Switch to a wider blade once the joint compound is in place. A 10-inch or 12-inch taping knife disperses the wet compound over a larger wall area, making seams less apparent.

Drywall Sanders

  • Smooth your walls after taping to remove uneven areas of joint compound and rough spots. Drywall sanders differ from sandpaper because they feature sanding screens with holes to prevent the sander from clogging with drywall dust.

  • Add an extension pole to your drywall sander to reach high areas and reduce the need to bend and stoop when sanding low spots on walls.

  • Power up your sanding with professional power sanders that vibrate to reduce labor and provide a vacuum bag for catching drywall dust.

Specialty Taping Tools

  • Form perfect inside corners using an inside corner taping tool that features a metal blade shaped into a right angle. When pulled over wet joint compound in an inside corner, this taping tool produces a smooth right angle.

  • Spray joint compound in a variety of texture patterns with a hopper gun. Textured ceilings require a thick application of compound and a hopper gun delivers it in even swaths.

  • Speed up the taping process with power-taping tools that pump a continuous stream of drywall mud to tape and mud dispensers for quick application. Be aware that power-taping tools are used by commercial drywall contractors and operated by experienced tapers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use taping tools for a professional finish on your wall.
  • Multiple thin applications of drywall joint compound produce better results because the compound shrinks as it dries, and subsequent coats are necessary to smooth out imperfections.
  • Don't use power mud-application tools unless you're already an accomplished taper. The tools dispense joint compound quickly and require an accurate and swift taping technique.

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