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How to Mix Drywall Mud

Video on How to Mix Drywall Mud by Hand

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For those who do not do drywall for a living it can be overwhelming to figure out what types of drywall mud to use for certain projects. If you were to ask 10 different drywall people how they would approach completing a project, you are likely to get at least 5 different answers. In this overview, we will take into account that most reading this are not drywall experts and review what would be simplest for a beginner.

Let me start out by saying that the easiest drywall mud or joint compound to use is the premixed in a box or bucket. However, this material has a setting time of at least 24 hours and with busy lives today who has time to wait for drywall mud to dry? I would recommend for larger jobs such as a basement or an entire room to use the premixed drywall mud. I will save the details of why for a later review.

Now on to the purpose of this article, how to mix powdered drywall mud. For smaller drywall repair jobs like a door knob through the wall, nail pop, or crack in the wall, powdered drywall mud is ideal.

Powdered drywall mud sets up in a specified time increment, for instance if you purchase 20 minute drywall mud it should setup in approximately 20 minutes. The advertised time is only approximate. I have had 20 minute drywall mud take 24 hours to dry in the past and I have also had it setup as soon as I was done mixing but for the most part the time on the bag is accurate. Also keep in mind that the time on the bag means you can apply another coat of drywall mud overtop of the previous coat. It is not ready for sand.

There is not an exact science to mixing powdered drywall mud. Many variables are involved with mixing drywall mud such as what coat of drywall mud you are mixing. For example, are you mixing a tape coat or a skim coat? Do you prefer your drywall mud thicker or thinner? Again, you will get various answers to these questions depending on the experience and preference of who you ask. The steps below will get you close. You can fine tune your preference once you have the basics.

As a general guide, mix one part water to two parts powdered joint compound. One of the simplest ways I have found to quickly mix powdered drywall mud in a pan is to use an inexpensive kitchen mixer. You can normally find them under $10 at your local Supercenter.

Very simply combine your one part water to two parts powdered joint compound and thoroughly mix it with your kitchen mixer. Tip- On smaller jobs such as fixing a nail pop you can mix 90 minute drywall mud, coat your nail and heat up the repair area. Once the first coat of drywall mud is dry use your 90 minute drywall mud again for your second and even third coat if needed. You mix one pan of 90 minute drywall mud and use it for multiple coats. If you were to use 20 minute drywall mud, you could possibly need to mix 2 or 3 times.

Finally when your drywall mud starts to setup throw it out. A common tendency is to add water to remix but this will not help. Once the drywall mud starts to set it should not be mixed again. Clean the inside of your pan thoroughly! Keeping the inside of your drywall mud pan clean will help each coat go on smoother.

Check out our other videos:
Drywall Nail Pops in Wall.

How to fix Nail Pops in a Texture Ceiling.

Here is a list of materials and tools used in the example.

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Easy Sand 20 Minute Quick Set

Kitchen Hand Mixer

14 Drywall Mud Pan

6 Drywall Knife