Drywall Mud: 2 Types and How to Use It

6 minutes read

They say necessity is the mother of invention. I believe this is the driving force behind many innovations, especially in the building and construction industry.

When you step into a home, what are the first things you notice? I’ll tell you about the walls and ceilings.

Walls because they are the background base and most likely the first thing your hands will touch. What you see can either make you love the home immediately or make you dislike it.

Next to walls are ceilings, because they are just above you. Everyone is cautious of their heads, so you want to know what is above you.

Thus, ceilings catch attention too. From sticks to mud to bricks to cement and plaster, different materials have been discovered and used to make the walls and ceilings of homes.

This article is written for homeowners and drywallers alike who need information on the type of material to use for their walls and ceilings.

It has carefully put together the basic information you need on drywall mud, types of drywall mud, tools to use, and the processes of drywall mud application.

I believe this will help you choose the perfect drywall mud that will help you create the design you desire for your drywall. Let’s get right into it.

First, why drywall?

Drywall is a building material made from gypsum that is used to form the flat surfaces of walls and ceilings in homes.

It is a popular feature of modern homes and is also known as wallboard, plasterboard, gypsum board, or sheetrock.

Drywalls are chosen because they can be soundproof, fireproof, rot-resistant, moisture-resistant, and mold-resistant—qualities a homeowner expects from his or her home.

Next, what is drywall mud?

Drywall mud is a white powder consisting of gypsum dust mixed with water to form a paste, which is spread onto drywall to create a base for painting walls and ceilings. It is also known as joint compound, drywall compound, joint cement, or mastic.

Functions of drywall mud


marijana1, Pixabay

  • It is the glue that holds drywall together.
  • It smoothes creases and joints in the walls
  • It binds drywall tape and board
  • It prepares drywall surfaces for paint
  • It creates the look of the wall or ceiling
  • It provides structural support
  • The process of applying the drywall mud is called mudding, and it is done when installing drywall.

Types of Drywall Mud to Use

Different types of drywall mud can be used for drywall. They include:

One: Premixed Drywall Mud

This drywall mud is already premixed with water and is ready to use out of the box. It does not dry quickly, either.

It is ideal for use with coating, automatic tapers, and boxes. However, it can take several days to dry, depending on the weather, and this can cause delays in installing drywall.

Two: Powdered Drywall Mud

This drywall mud is also known as hot mud and needs to be mixed with water before application. It is a quick-setting mud and thus has to be used quickly once mixed.

It takes about 20 to 60 minutes to dry, depending on the other ingredients added. It is best for coating and pre-filling drywall joints because it expands as it dries.

Tools For Application of Drywall Mud

There are several types of tools used to apply drywall mud, and your selection should depend on the type of drywall mud to be used, the purpose of the drywall mud, and the level of expertise of the drywall installer.


Medienservice, Pixabay

The drywall mud tools include:

1. Trowel

These are flat, triangular, handheld drywall mud tools made of metal. It is used to spread a large amount of mud across the surface of the wall.

They are excellent for layering and smoothing edges, removing excess mud, texturing, and coating.

2. Hawk

This is a flat, square piece of metal that holds mud. It is usually paired with a trowel and a mudding knife. It can carry large amounts of mud that can be used to coat the entire surface of the drywall. It is best used for thicker mud and for pre-filling joints.

3. Pans

These are long, thin containers used to hold drywall mud. They are useful for mixing and applying powdered (hot) drywall mud since they are deep enough to contain the hot drywall mud and water together.

They are best for drywall mudding beginners since they are easier to use than hawks. They can also only be used with knives because trowels are too big for scooping.

4. Knives

Knives are used for pre-filling, taping, and coating drywall panels. They are useful for spotting screws or clicks in the drywall that indicate a screw was not properly installed.

They are smaller than trowels and easy to use; however, they aren’t so efficient for smoothing mud as they can leave marks on the drywall mud.

When to Use Drywall Mud

Drywall mud is necessary for all the processes involved in making drywall, either as an adhesive or a coating layer.

Some of these processes include:

1. Pre-filling

This occurs after the drywall has been hung and installed. Here, drywall mud is used to fill any gaps or joints noticed. It smooths and covers all joints, screws, and surfaces. The type of drywall mud used for pre-filling is powdered (hot) drywall mud.

2. Taping

In this process, drywall tape is used to cover the spot where two drywall panels meet. These spots could be corners, flats, or butts. The tapes cover the drywall panels and smooth the surface of the wall.

Applying drywall mud helps to bind, secure, and blend the tape to the wall.

3. Coating

After the tape on the drywall panels is dried and secured, more layers of drywall mud are applied to coat them.

This is the final step in drywalling and is usually applied with either boxes or handheld knives, which are some of the drywall mud tools. After this, the drywall is ready to be painted.

There you have it—all the basic information on drywall mud. I believe the next time you have a contract to drywall the wall or ceiling of a construction home, you will be better equipped and efficient in applying drywall mud and creating beautiful drywall ceilings and walls. Till next time!

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