How to Install Drywall Corner Beads

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Drywall beads are specialized sheets of metal that are used to cover and protect outward-facing corners in drywall. Drywall can easily be damaged or cracked, so it is important to properly protect the most vulnerable sections. Drywall beads need to be added directly after the drywall is hung and before it has been taped at the joints. Once the bead has been installed, you can cover it with drywall compound to help the wall have a smooth and attractive transition. Installing a drywall bead should take about 15 minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Shears capable of cutting metal
  • Corner bead
  • Drywall screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Drywall compound
  • Drywall trowel or blade
  • Sandpaper
  • Use your measuring tape to get an accurate measurement of the edge of your drywall. You will likely need to cut your drywall bead to match the measurements of your wall. Once you've gotten a proper measurement, use shears to cut down the drywall bead to the appropriate size. The excess portions of the bead can be thrown away or recycled if facilities are available. Exercise caution when cutting the bead as this can expose sharp metal edges that can cause pain or injury.

  • Insert the drywall bead into the corner where two drywall edges meet.

  • Attach the bead directly to the drywall using drywall screws and a screwdriver. Place a screw every 5 to 6 inches. Tighten the screws so they are flush with the surface of the drywall bead. Be careful to not overtighten the screws because this can cause the bead to warp.

  • Apply a thick layer of drywall compound to the surface of the bead using a drywall trowel. Use clean and even strokes with the trowel to attain a smooth surface that fully covers the drywall bead.

  • Allow the compound to dry for at least 30 minutes. Once it has fully dried, use low-grit sandpaper to finish the surface of the drywall compound. For extra protection, you may wish to apply a second coat of compound.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be aware that drywall beads come in many different styles. Some drywall beads are manufactured to be used on ceilings instead of walls. Others may use an adhesive system instead of requiring nails. Some drywall beads are even built directly into wall paneling for unusual corners. Make sure you purchase a drywall bead that is appropriate for your needs.

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