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07-20-2006, 03:24 PM
I have tried to search but couldn't find an answer.
What's in your opinion is the best joint compound?
I went to big box and found a ton of them - spackle, ready to use mud, mud in powder, some pink stuff then dries white.
What to get? Looking for best qua lity and easy to work with.

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07-20-2006, 03:53 PM
The dry stuff is good because it dries hard, and won't resoften if it gets wet. It is bad because it gets hard once you mix it with water so you've got a limited time once mixed, and if you don't use it all, you throw what's left away. The stuff in pre-mixed buckets will stay soft for a very long time (maybe over a year if well sealed), and you can add a little water to the bucket to get it the consistency you want. It will get soft again if it gets soaked. So, somewhat depends on what you are trying to do.

07-20-2006, 06:53 PM
Jim hit at the end - it depends. For starters, are you doing a whole room or just spot patching some nail holes?

While there are far more varieties than necessary, some of the differences are actually important. First, 'spackling' is not really mud. There are basically two types of mud - "setting" (powder, mix with water) and the water-based pre-mix ("drying") you buy in a box or bucket. The pre-mix is generally favored by amatuers because of it's long working time. (you do, however, have to stir it before use.) the downside is it's a day between coats. A good pro, on the other hand, can do all 3 coats in a day with the setting compound. The dry stuff comes in different working times - from 5 minutes :eek: to 120 or more and it's really pretty easy to work with when you get a little practice. I use both depending on the situation. :)

a good reference for drywalling is Myron Ferguson's book. He has a website you can troll, but unfortunately he likes to limit discussion to "pros." :tongue:

07-20-2006, 07:52 PM
A good trick with the bucket mud is. get another bucket and put a little water in it. And take some dish soap squirt some in there. this will act like vaseline on the wall its easier to slide on. Just a little tip for ya.

07-20-2006, 08:49 PM
I'm not a pro but, the answer might not be just about time. I read somewhere that the tape must be bedded with a "curring type" compound and not the kind that's pre-mixed in a box. The strength of the joint is just not the same!

I love the 30 minute stuff...make small batches and you can finish the whole job in a couple of days...

have a good time...


07-21-2006, 01:51 PM
paper tape doesn't care - but it's a little easier to use I think with the pre-mixed. this combination is fine for taping the normal seams between sheets, and actually creates a very strong joint. one downside is that you can't put it on too thick at one time or it will shrink and crack - need to layer it.

mesh tape prefers the setting (dry) stuff. you can use mesh for any seams, but it's especially good for filling large gaps or patching holes. and this is where the setting mud (sometimes called "quick" mud or "hot" mud) shines. You can lay it on pretty thick and it usually won't crack and dries fairly quickly. :tup2:

07-21-2006, 02:01 PM
thank you guys - setting mud it is...

barry pdx
07-21-2006, 04:46 PM
setting-type joint compound (aka "hot mud") is not an all-purpose product.
if you're using it for drywall it should only be used as first coat. the 2nd and 3rd coats should be All-Purpose joint compound or you can use Topping compound for the final coat.

if the whole thing is going to be covered by tile, tho', maybe hot mud is ok w/o using any pre-mix. i dunno, i'm just a newbie myself.

07-21-2006, 07:08 PM
no one would call hot mud "all-purpose" but it can certainly be used for more than the first coat - it's all in the technique and your skill level. For better finishing use longer set time versions and mix a little looser. Expect to do a little more sanding, and if you need a class 4+ finish better skim it with topping.

I'd definitely lean towards hot mud if I thought there might be tile over it as it won't be so likely to soften when the wet thinset hits it. (On the other hand, it's better not to mud at all if you're tiling over the drywall.)

barry pdx
07-24-2006, 03:49 PM
sandbagger, you did say that there are pros who use hot mud for all three coats. that would make it "all-purpose" in their book.

the use of pre-mix for 2nd and 3rd coats isn't about technique and skill. it's about the surface being prepared to accept paint etc.

07-24-2006, 07:04 PM
Well, I believe Myron Ferguson - "Mr Drywall" - has claimed to use it for all three. And from the USG website SHEETROCK® Brand EASY SAND™ Lightweight Setting-Type Joint Compounds are chemically-setting powder compounds for drywall interiors and exteriors that permit same-day joint finishing and, usually, next-day decoration. I didn't see the words "all-purpose" anywhere in my brief look, but clearly it's implied if they are making these claims. :deal:

But you correct - it's all about prepping the surface for whatever you put on it, and that drives the finish level you need - or can accept. Maybe a pro can get a paintable surface from setting compound, but if I'm not doing texture I'd want better than class 4 and most of us will need a topping to get that good. :o

07-24-2006, 08:48 PM
I don't know that God can get a level-5 without sanding, and I'm told she's a pretty fair hand with a pan and knife. :cool:

07-24-2006, 09:30 PM
We dont usually do much of that texturing stuff here in NY, so it's smooth finish on every job. Since most of my projects are only a room or two at a time, I use hot mud (usually 45 min stuff) for the first two coats. I generally get both done in a day. Next day I'll do a 3rd coat with a very juicy premix. A thin consistency really feathers out to nothing nicely, and a bare minimum of sanding is required with a sheet of 220.

07-24-2006, 09:58 PM
Tunafish- As an amateur, and someone that has done my own drywall and tape and mud a couple times, I would not use the setting compound (the dry powder mix) except maybe on the first coat, and even then I'd only use it if I was going to use mesh tape.

Now, if you're just doing a little repair, touch-up then the boxed, setting compound is the way to go.

If you're doing a whole room and you're not really that practiced. The first thing you need to do is get Myron Ferguson's book and most importantly his video/dvd. You'll be going real slow on the tape and mud. So don't use the powder mix. I use the pre-mixed (usually in a plastic bag in a box) and you can also get it as a good solid pre-mixed taping compound, they might not sell it at Lowes or HD but there's lots of drywall supply houses that sell retail. Then you'll need a 5 gallon bucket and a good drill and mixing paddle and add a little water to get it to go on easier. Then basically do what Myron says.

07-24-2006, 10:18 PM
If you're fairly skilled with taping and mudding, Durabond 20 , 45 or 90 can be used for the whole process. I've hung drywall, taped and textured and painted the same day using "20" each time. The hot mud shrinks less and can easily be used for the whole job but it definitely sets fast, especially the "20".

Also, if the dust from sanding is too much just use a damp sponge and an 8" knife to smooth down the mud between coats and skip the sanding altogether.