How to Feather Drywall

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Things You'll Need

  • Drywall knife

  • Joint compound

  • 150-grit sandpaper

Feathering drywall refers to angling the blade of a drywall knife so that you don't leave thick edges on the joint compound you apply. A properly feathered joint is easier to sand, so professional drywall finishers make sure to feather all joint compound applications. While the concept of feathering isn't difficult, it does take some time to get used to the necessary hand movements. If possible, practice your feathering technique on a spare piece of drywall before tackling actual projects.


Step 1

Apply a thick layer of joint compound to the area you are repairing. For example, if you are using a 12-inch drywall knife to cover a seam, apply a 12-inch-wide, even layer of joint compound that hides the seam completely.

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Step 2

Hold the handle of the drywall knife with your fingertips. This gives you greater control over the angle of the blade.


Step 3

Press down hard on one side of your drywall knife to smooth away the top edge of the joint compound along the entire length of the application. The area in the middle of the joint compound should remain thick.

Step 4

Wipe away the bottom edge of the joint compound using the same method. When you are finished, the center of the joint compound application should be thick, and the top and bottom edges should be smooth.


Step 5

Wipe your drywall knife across the entire application in one smooth, continuous stroke. Don't attempt to remove all the joint compound. Rather, focus on smoothing the thick central area.

Step 6

Allow the feathered joint to dry for 24 hours. Repeat the feathering process if the area is rough, or sand it smooth with 150-grit sandpaper.


Sanding is labor intensive, so practice your feathering technique often to decrease the amount of time and labor it takes to create smooth walls and ceilings.


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