OK, basic dw question here
Taping the joints is simple and basic when it comes to two uncut edges which
are tapered and abutted.
However, in many cases, you have two CUT pieces where full-thickness edges
What is the best way to deal with these?
Adding tape and mudding over could leave a "bulge" if nothing is done.
Does one take a mallet and "ding in" the edges? Taper them somewhat with a
Also, any links to sites which tell how to deal with drywall finishing in
this way would be helpful.
It will make a big mess for one, and greatly weaken the dw sheet where
you put the fasteners in for two.
Taping a butt joint, which is what you are talking about, is no big
thing. Treat it like a standard joint, be sure to get the tape on
with a very think coat under it, keep the next two coats very thin and
feathered will out. The slight bulge will be unnoticeable unless you
shine a light down the wall. If you ran your seams horizontally (the
professional way) almost all your butt joints will fall above doors
and above/below windows and thus practically invisible even under the
It does not make a mess. You seal it later. I'll add unless he seam is
along a beam, you do not fasten it there. Unlikely he landed right on a
Invisible both ways but you do not have to do horizontal (harder unless you
have a team of people), just do it carefully and right if vertical seams.
Most of the houses I see with the visible seams, are horizontal ones.
1. You don't want to let a butt joint float between studs without some
sort of backer. 5" strips of chipboard or plywood work nicely. There
are also products made for this purpose which will impart a slight bend
in the ends of the boards to mimic a tapered edge.
2. Drywall needs the facing paper for strength. I would never recommend
trying to create a tapered edge by removing the paper and part of the
core. You could argue that taping the joint returns some of the
strength, but that doesn't take into consideration that the fastener
head ends up on the wrong side of the paper (tape). Fasteners should
never tear or break the paper, much less be installed where there isn't
any facing paper.
You _never_ join panels except on a stud or other structural member.
If you can sand through the paper on drywall with a power sander (or
even a hand sander) without creating a cloud of white dust, I want to
see it. I suppose you could sand it outside but you would still have
dust coming off it until you taped.
Harry, lots of people didnt like my suggestion (didnt say I was a
professional drywall type) but you do bring up a real one. Yes, a bit of
dust. Dunno about you but my Mom never let us work with drywall without a
mask. We also had wrap around ventfree goggles for much of the work. I
dont recall wearing them that time, but probably my sister and i did. Mom
didnt give us a choice on such things and we'd get in terrible trouble
(grounded for a week!) if she caught us even once not wearing the right
stuff for a job.
As to weakening the drywall, I suppose it did a little but the finished
product once taped and that compound you use over the tape then sanded out
fine, made it look perfect.
Don't think BTW that Mom was any slave driver of us kids. She was in there
with us or working on some other part of the house while we'd be doing our
part on the weekends/summers after all homework was done. When shed sell a
house, she'd proudly show off just which parts were done by which kid. One
thing we tried once and once only, then never again, was drywalling a
ceiling. We just didnt have the arm power for the job among us. I was too
little, and my brother is lightly built. My sister is very strong though
and a hair under 6'. Mom and Charlotte got wore out trying to hold it in
place while my brother tried to nail it up. Hilarous in retrospect. I'm
sure there's a better way but we ended up contracting that part out and did
drop ceiling panels ever after or brought someone in for that part if it was
needed. We did the finish work (taping etc) ourselves though as we did a
better job. See, with no set timescale, we took as much time as the job
needed to get it *perfect* as possible.
The dust problem didn't bother me as far as breathing it (not a good
idea) but the cleanup is a .....
Ah, ceilings. In spite of having done my whole house I still can't do
a decent job up there. Major problem is that any flaw is magnified.
If I ever have another ceilign to do, it will be done by the pros.
Ooops...If forgot to add the warning. Do not use the mesh 'self
stick' tape on butt joints. It is thicker than paper to start with
and the coarse texture is hard to hide resulting in a bulge twice as
high as with paper tape.
Thanks for this and the other suggestions, harry! Yes, I was worried about
undermining the strength of the screws, not to mention the huge mess.
Good to know about the paper tape!!!!
As for the visibility, there are no seams which don't occur along windows.
In fact that's why these 2 walls had to be made piecemeal; the windows are
3' wide, only 1' apart. The seams stem from the edges of the windows,
except for one in the middle of a sg door (above it). I also had to DW up
to a beam on one side. I'm still debating how best to deal with the beam;
either to sand it smooth (it's rough), which is a lot of work, or get a
finished piece of wood to cover it over. The DW is flush with it so I have
Yes, light duty with fine grain paper.
Also it might help to know I was about 13yo then so not very strong. I
didnt press hard.
Yeah, she's great. Dad skipped out when I was 2, youngest of 3. Mom had to
find a way to make a living. Doing something close to the 'flipping houses'
is how we made ends meet but we lived in them while we did it. As a result,
I have an edge on most folks on home repairs, but that doesnt make me a
professional. Just functional <grin>.
If it helps, this one we learned by accident. My 15YO sister started at one
end, I at the other, and when we met in the middle (bad tactic) we found we
had to do this with cut ends. We hadnt measured it right (one of us was
looking at the metric side, mea culpa).
Chuckle, imagine 3 kids, age 13, 14, and 15 renovating a house with Mom to
guide us. The finished product was very professional but the mistakes were
pretty funny along the way.
Butt joints are simple...Remove any loose paper or broken drywall.Tape with
paper tape just like tapered joints,let dry, then go down BOTH sides of the
butt with a 12 inch trowl or knife,don't worry about the ridge of mud left
in the middle yet.After it dries scrape/sand the ridge in the middle and
coat down the middle with 12 inch trowl or knife.Let dry again.Now go down
BOTH sides AGAIN with a 14 inch trowl or knife applying more pressure
removing most of the mud..Sand as usual...Good luck.....
I never use joint compound. I just ducttape over the joints and start
painting the walls. All that compound and stuff is too much work and
only makes bulges. They used to sell prefinished woodgrain wallboard
that didn't need any joint tape at all. Too bad they no longer sell
Sanding a taper in drywall butt ends for nice flat joints is perfectly
practical if done outside or whatever. The argument about the the
paper top layer giving it stength is a bit off the mark, because the
real stength iis in the rock itself. The most important thing is
attaching the butt ends to the framing (or support) with extra care.
Probably the best technique is to simply use a constructioin adhesive.
For a lot of years I have tapered with a handy 7" body grinder and
used that same tool for truing up the frame member that the drywall
attaches to. End result is a quickly done joint, very flat, little or
no rework and no concerns about shadow lines from any lighting source.
Works fine for me, YMMV.
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