How To Tape A Drywall Corner for DIYers & Contractors

Hello all!  Today I’m going to be walking you through different methods on how to tape a drywall corner.

If it’s your first time here, my name is Joe.  I currently have a drywall business based out of Upstate NY and I’m doing drywall daily.  My goal is to teach others, whether you’re a DIY homeowner doing a project or a contractor looking to advance their skill set.  Drywalling, taping, and mudding are my bread and butter and my goal is to show everyone it’s not as hard as you think!  Many prefer to hang the drywall, but the taping and mudding are where they get choked up.  I designed this to be a step-by-step walk-through, showing all methods, so you can choose what’s best for you.

Before You Begin

Before you begin taping the drywall corner, I want to make sure you’re using the right product for the application.  There are many different types of joint compound out there and some are better than others depending on which step you’re at in the process.  For my tutorial on how to tape a drywall corner, I’m going to recommend using a pre-mixed all-purpose joint compound.  I highly recommend it because it is easier to work with, has the best bond for taping, and allows you more time to work with it.  All-purpose compound will take around 24 hours to fully cure, though if you are in a humid environment such as a basement — it could take longer.

How To Tape A Drywall Corner – 4” Taping knife

For this method, I’m going to walk you through it and show you how it is done.  You will only need a 4” taping knife.  Also, if you don’t like your hands being messy, wear some gloves.

Step 1:  Apply the mud to each side of the wall.

Step 2: Fold your paper tape in half

Step 3: Stick the paper tape into the mud.  Let your fingers align and guide it into the corner.

Step 5:  Using your 4” knife, push gently and glide it up one wall.  Keep pressure on the wall, not actually in the corner (or it may cut the tape) Remember to clean off the knife into your mud pan or hawk so no compound falls to the floor.

Step 6:  Do the same thing to the other wall

Step 7: Clean up any excess compound on the wall.

If you do not own taping knives yet, I have written an article Best Drywall Taping Tool Set – A Professional Drywallers Guide. It will walk you through a lot of good options in the market to find what’s best for you.

How To Tape A Drywall Corner – Corner Tool

Drywall corner tools were made to eliminate having to go down one side of the corner at a time. It is a great tool for beginners but it isn’t something you absolutely have to have to tape a drywall corner.  Here are the steps to tape a drywall corner using a corner tool.

Step 1: Load your corner tool with mud and apply it to the corner.

Step 2: Fold your paper tape in half and gently apply it into the corner using your fingers.  If the paper tape is still attached to the role, simply terret at the bottom of the wall.

Step 3:  Press your corner tool into the corner, Apply moderate pressure, and glide the corner tool down the corner. As you do this, mud may accumulate onto the knife, so you may have to clean it off into your mud pan as you go down the corner.

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How To Tape A Drywall Corner – Semi-Automatic Tools

Using automatic tools to tape a drywall corner is hands-down the fastest and most efficient way.  This is typically what I use on very large jobs, such as new construction, additions, or renovations.  Drywall contractors and some general contractors invest in automatic tools to save time and money. With that being said automatic tools will cost you more upfront when compared to taping knives.  I currently use what is called a mud shot (compound tube), a corner applicator, and a corner flusher.

Step 1: Thin out your mud using water.  Mix it well.  In order to make automatic tools work their best, the compound needs to be soupy!

Step 2: Suck the mud into the compound tube until it is full.  Apply your corner applicator.

Step 3: Using your dominant hand on the end handle of the tube, and your non-dominant hand around the wider part of the tube, place the applicator into the corner.  Your dominant hand is used to push the mud out of the tube, and your non-dominant hand will be stabilizing the tube.  The motion is not a simple push-in-to-corner move, it is more like an accordion move.

Step 4: Fold your paper tape in half and set it inside the corner firmly.

Step 5:  Using a corner roller, start in the center of the joint and work the tape into the mud.  Set aside.

Step 6:  Next you will use a corner flusher to feather out the edges of the tape.  You can start top or bottom, I prefer to start off at the top and work my way down.  This way you’ll only need to clean up what’s within reach.

Step 7:  Clean up any leftover mud left behind.  It will be at the top of the joint or the bottom of the joint.  A quick swipe with a 4” or 5” knife will be enough.

Here are the tools I used for this:
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Automatic Tools for Taping

If you are looking to be even more efficient with your drywall, fully automatic taping tools will be your saving grace. These are made to apply compound and tape simultaneously. They are an incredible invention and have revolutionized the drywall industry.

Here are some recommended automatic taping tool sets.
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And That’s It for How to Tape a Drywall Corner!

As you can see there are different methods on how to tape a drywall corner.  My goal is to eliminate confusion and educate anyone that is into DIY projects or general contracting.  Taping and mudding do not need to be difficult, it just takes some learning, understanding, and practice!  If this guide helped you on your project or if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!  I personally reply to each and every one of them.  Thank you again for reading through my guide on how to tape a drywall corner.


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