how to drywall a corner bead

How To Drywall A Corner Bead

How To Drywall A Corner Bead

Drywalling a corner bead can be confusing for any DIYer out there that is new to drywall.  So today I’m going to share in detail the different types of corner bead, as well as how to drywall a corner bead.  If you run into any questions throughout my article, please leave a comment below and I can get back to you!

If this is your first time at Drywall Central – My name is Joe.  I’ve been doing drywall repairs and installation for many years.  I’ve often come across jobs that are smaller, “odd jobs” that no drywaller wants to do.  I’ve also been on the other end of giving estimates but others decide to make it a do-it-yourself project instead.  I’ve always been transparent with customers in that sense, I always want them to do what’s best for them.  If they prefer DIY, no hard feelings – but I still want to help them in some way. Many homeowners like yourself do not understand the trade and that’s what I’m here to do.  I’ve published many articles about different subjects when it comes to drywalling.  I truly believe that homeowners are capable of these types of projects.  With the right knowledge, you will get there.

how to drywall a corner bead

How To Drywall A Corner Bead – Types of Corner Bead

In the drywall trade, there are many different types of corner beads you can use.  I’m going to touch on the three top-selling ones and their uses.  They are top sellers for a good reason, quality, and price.

Metal Corner Bead
Metal Corner Bead is a thin galvanized steel with perforations along the bead for the joint compound to stick.  It can be installed with nails, screws, or staples.  It is made for an outside corner where each side is drywalled.  Since this product is made of metal, you would need tin snips in order to cut it to length.  Caution: Edges and metal shavings are sharp!

Vinyl Corner Bead
Vinyl Corner bead is a thin vinyl with perforations along the bead as well.  This product can be installed easily with staples or nails.  It’s not recommended to use screws for this as it would cause the bead to outdent and no longer be flush with the surface.  It is naturally rust-proof, lightweight, and very easy to cut with tin snips, sheetrock knife, or scissors.

Bullnose Corner Bead
Bullnose Corner bead is also a thin vinyl product, it’s quality and installation steps are the same.  Bullnose refers to how the outside corner sits.  A bullnose corner is a safe alternative if you are worried about the 90-degree edge on typical corner beads.  The bullnose corner has a smooth, rounded corner.

Vinyl Rip Bead
Vinyl Rip Bead is a type of corner bead that is made for when drywall and a different wall-type meet.  This is also known as “tear-away bead” or “L-Trim”.  It is very useful where you have a corner, or wall that has an adjoining surface such as rock or wood.  I’ve mainly used this product on the edge of fireplaces, and sometimes under window sills.  It is called “Rip Bead” because the product has a tear-away strip for when the surface is ready to be sanded.  This product is not always used for corners – but it really depends on your drywall situation.

How To Drywall A Corner Bead – Installation

Installing a Metal Corner Bead

What You’ll Need:
Measuring Tape
Tin Snips
A Drill
Drywall screws
Metal Corner Bead 8’ or 10’ (depends on the size of the corner)

Step 1: Measure the length of the corner.  If the corner comes out to exactly 8’ no snipping will be needed.
Step 2:
  Using your tin snips, cut the metal corner bead to length.
Step 3:
While holding the corner bead in place, screw a drywall screw into a hole in the metal corner bead.  You can nail/staple these as well.
Step 4: 
Screw in the remaining screws on each side – every 10 inches.

Installing a Vinyl Corner Bead (Bullnose and Tear Away Bead too)

What you’ll need:
Measuring Tape
Tin Snips/Scissors/Utility knife
Staples/Nails (Not required but recommended)
The corner bead

Step 1: Cut the vinyl corner bead to the size of the corner.
Step 2:
  Hold the vinyl corner in place with one hand, staple or nail with the other.
Step 3:
Staple or nail the remainder of the bead every 6” for staples, every 10” for nails.

TIP: If you prefer to not use staples or nails, I’ve seen many drywallers use spray glue to hold it in place – OR use an all-purpose joint compound.  All-Purpose Joint Compound contains an adhesive within it.  The method used is entirely up to you!

How To Drywall A Corner Bead – Mudding The Bead

This is my favorite part of drywalling a corner bead – the mudding.  As I said earlier, I have been installing and repairing drywall for a while now – and I have a very solid process to share with you to get the flattest corners.

In a majority of my jobs, I use the vinyl outside corner bead – unless a customer specifies that they prefer metal.  I prefer vinyl rather than metal because if there is any type of repair needed on that corner in the future, it will be much easier to take care of.  Metal will bend, and hold its place until it is bent back.  Vinyl is made to either break or bounces back into place.  In fact, if you walk into a home and see any nicks or dents on corners – you can usually tell it was metal.

When you get to the mudding part of the corner bead, it’s important to know how flat – or how beveled the wall is to the bead.  I often find that it is usually a 1/4” gap.  You can see this when you hold a 10” taping knife to your wall and bead.

corner bead gap

When I mud a corner bead, I usually “bed” the corner into an all-purpose compound – for the adhesion properties it has.  I will wait overnight for the outside corner to dry before I begin the next step.  My next step in the process is to use a fast-setting joint compound (USG Easy Sand) to fill in the gap between the wall and the corner.  EasySand comes in powder form and is mixed with water to create the compound.  It is not usually used by DIYers because it’s easier to grab the pre-mixed compounds on the shelves.

EasySand products have numbers at the end – like EasySand 20, EasySand 45, or EasySand 90.  The numbers at the end of the product specify how long the product will take to harden.  Think of it like cement.  If you are a DIYer and serious about doing a great job with this – I’d recommend starting with Easy Sand 90 – As this will give you over an hour to work with it before it becomes hard.  Once I mud the drywall corner bead with EasySand – I will wait again overnight until it has fully cured.  Though the product is hard, it does not mean it is cured.

Once it has fully cured, I use a pre-mixed joint compound USG Plus 3 to put my final coat onto the corner bead.  I do this because even though Easy Sand can be taken literally, it is in fact not easy to sand.  I say this from experience.  Plus3 is always my final coat on any project because of how easy it is to work with.

How To Drywall A Corner Bead – Sanding Your Corners

Well, you’ve made it this far and I’m sure you’ve done an amazing job.  The very final step on how to drywall a corner bead is sanding.  When it comes to sanding any type of joint compound, safety and your lungs should be your #1 priority.  Drywall sand is not good for your eyes, and not good for your lungs.  I recommend using a well-fit 3M respirator and goggles to keep dust out.  Keep your kids and pets away too – please.  Then, you can begin sanding.

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When you do begin sanding, it’s important to do it under very good lighting.  Lighting at different angles will show you any and all of your imperfections from mudding the corner.  If you’re overwhelmed and don’t think you’ve done an amazing job it is OK – even professional drywallers do not get it 100% right every time.  It’s just that we know how to correct it fast.  If you notice any areas needing touch-ups, you should first sand the entire corner before doing any touch-ups.  I will typically sand the entire corner, then search for touch-up areas and circle them with a pencil.  The marks from the pencil will either get sanded away or covered with paint.

Did I Help You Learn How To Drywall A Corner Bead?

I’d love to hear your feedback or any questions you have!  If you think of anything, please let me know in the comments below.  I strive to provide helpful and useful content to DIYers learning how to drywall.  I appreciate you finding me here today – and best of luck on your drywall project!

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