How to Thin Sheetrock Mud


Sheetrock mud, also called joint compound, is used to seal the seams between sheets of drywall, and to repair minor cracks and imperfections in walls and ceilings. It can be purchased either as a powder or premixed in a bucket. Even if it is premixed, it can dry out over time, or you may need to thin the mud to apply a skim coat over the walls. Getting the right consistency to the mud means to go slowly when adding water to the product.

Things You'll Need

  • Joint compound
  • Mud masher or electric drill with mud paddle
  • Drywall finishing broad knife
  • Open the can of joint compound and remove a scoop or two of mud with the broad knife to create a hole for the water. Place this extra mud on the lid of the bucket to work back into the mix later.

  • Add 1/2 cup water at a time to the mix and stir with either the mud masher, which resembles a potato masher, or use an electric drill with a mud paddle. Mix until smooth and free of lumps. If the mixture is still too thick, add more water and mix thoroughly.

  • Test the mixture by putting some on your broad knife. Mud should be loose enough to spread easily but not so loose that it won't stay on the knife.

  • Keep adding water a bit at a time and mix thoroughly until the mud is the proper consistency.

  • Clean the masher or electric drill before applying the joint compound, for easy cleanup. Seal the bucket tightly when finished.

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