what is drywall mud

What Is Drywall Mud?

You’ve probably heard the term and thought, what is drywall mud? Why is it called mud?  Today I’ll be diving into the question to get you the answer you’re looking for!

Drywall Central is a blog that educates DIYers and general contractors about the drywall trade – written by a full-time drywaller!

What Is Drywall Mud Explained

Drywall “mud” gets its term due to its consistency.  There is no actual product that references the term drywall mud.  But many (if not all) contractors and drywallers use the term “mud”.  I’m sure if someone trademarked that name and stuck it on a label, they would make quite a bit of dough!

We all know what mud is, and most of the time it carries a brown color because it is mixed in with dirt and water.  However, this isn’t the mud people are using for drywall these days.  Actual mud was used in earlier civilizations between stick huts to insulate and prevent wind from passing in.  But again, that’s not what we’re talking here.

Is It Actual Mud?

The simple answer to this is, no.  It’s not quite the mud we think of.  It’s not like the mud we played in as kids and had our parents yell at us for being dirty.  Why? Because drywall mud is actually a compound of many different ingredients.

What Is Drywall Mud Made Of?

Drywall mud is mainly made up of two things; gypsum powder/dust and water.  Some drywall mud has additives such as glue adhesive in order to create a stronger bond with tape.  When these ingredients are mixed together, they created a white, paste-like “mud” which is used in all phases of drywall finishing.

Which Drywall Mud Should I Use?

The type of drywall mud you use depends on preference.  If you are just filling in small holes around your home you may want to use a spackle, which is a bit different from drywall mud.

If you are attempting to patch your own drywall for the first time, I recommend using an all-purpose joint compound.  This works best for all phases of finishing.

Professional drywall finishers will utilize all different types of drywall mud to complete a project.  Easy Sand for pre-filling gaps, All purpose for taping, and Plus 3 for finishing.

Where Can I Buy Drywall Mud Tools?

There are a few different options for buying drywall mud tools depending on the reason for your project.  If you’re a beginner, contractor, or full-time drywaller.  It definitely makes a difference what your goal is.

DIY Drywall Tools

If you’re a homeowner looking to buy a good DIY drywall tool set, which comes with taping knives, joint knives, and a drywall mud pan.  There are two really good sets on the market that I have personally used and love both.


Drywall Mudding Tools For General Contractors (Only Some Drywall)

If you’re a general contractor that might get a drywall job every now and again – there are a couple of tools I’d recommend.  These will help you get the job done faster, and give everything a more uniform and professional look when the job is done.

Banjo VS Semi-Automatic VS Bazooka Taper

Banjo Taper

A drywall banjo was one of my very first upgrades when I started doing drywall full-time.  Banjos are definitely a time saver and can cut taping time nearly by half!  Here’s how it works:

A banjo is a tool that holds both tape and mud.  You simply load your tape into it and get it started, then add your mud to the box.  Close the box, and you’re able to pull your tape through and mud will already be on the tape for you!  It saves time by eliminating a step to the process.  A banjo eliminates the need to cover the joint with drywall mud first.  It instead applies it to the drywall tape for you.

Best price:

Semi-Automatic Taper

A semi-automatic taper works in a very similar way to a banjo, but it eliminates another step, unlike the banjo.  A semi-automatic taper is designed to fit into a bucket of drywall mud and act as a pully for drywall tape.  As you pull the drywall tape through the pulley, it automatically applies mud to the tape.

The big difference here is that with a banjo, you have to make refills of drywall mud every so often.  With a Semi-Automatic-Taper, you can pull as much tape as you want and (what I do) load it into a spare bucket.  This is also known as the “slop bucket” method.

Best Price:

Bazooka Drywall Taping Tool

A bazooka is hands down the most effective taper for all drywallers.  This is how drywallers can tape an entire job in a day.  If you want to beat any competition as far as speed and profitability, this is how it’s done!

A bazooka is a lightweight taper and compound tube combined.  The automatic taper AKA bazooka is a two-handed tool that dispurses tape and joint compound simultaneously.  With a bazooka, you can save hours and tape corners, butts, flats, and ceilings effortlessly.

If you are serious about drywall, this is the holy grail of it! @Level5Tools

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