mud on drywall

How Many Coats Of Mud On Drywall?

If you’re doing your first drywall job, you’re probably wondering – how many coats of mud on drywall?

Your first coat will be to fill in seams and hold your tape in place. After that, you’ll need a minimum of 2-3 more coats.

It can take up to five coats, depending on how uneven your drywall mud job is and the type of joint compound you’re using.

Here’s what else you need to know.

Can You Only Do 2 Coats Of Mud On Drywall?

coats of mud on drywall

Two coats of drywall mud is usually not enough to achieve good coverage. The end goal is for your drywall mud to effortlessly blend with the drywall and have no cracks, ridges, bubbles, or divots in it.

This takes, on average, 3-4 coats of thinly applied drywall mud.

Between Coats

Wondering what to do in between coats of drywall? Here’s what you should know.

How Long Do I Wait Between Coats Of Drywall Mud?

You need to wait until the joint compound is completely dry before sanding and adding another layer. This takes, on average, 24 hours.

So, it will take you approximately three days to get three layers of drywall mud applied.

If you’re too impatient to wait, you can try a quicker drying mud. You’ll need to read the instructions for the one you buy since each has different drying times.

Wet drywall mud looks gray or splotchy, while dry joint compound looks white.

Should I Sand Between Coats Of Drywall Mud?

You should sand off ridges in between coats of drywall mud. The goal is not to get the drywall perfect but to knock down any large humps.

Each new coat of mud should overlap the previous, extending a bit further out.

After your final coat of drywall mud dries, you’ll use 100-120 grit sandpaper to knock down ridges. Then you’ll switch to 150 grit sandpaper and follow it up with 220 grit sandpaper to create a smooth, even surface for primer and paint.

How Thick Should Drywall Mud Be On The Second Coat?

You want your drywall coats to be pretty thin. After all, the drywall mud needs to blend with the drywall panels seamlessly. As a rough estimate, your second coat of drywall mud should be about 8-12 mm in thickness.

Instead of measuring, just aim for a thin, even coat.

How Many Coats Of Mud On The Ceiling?

Coats Of Mud On The Ceiling

You will mud the drywall on a ceiling just the same as you would a wall. On average, you’ll need one coat to set the tape and at least 2-3 additional coats to achieve smooth, even coverage. 

Depending on your experience level and the kind of mud you’re using, it can take up to five coats of joint compound for the ceiling.

How Many Coats Of Mud On The Inside Corners?

Coats Of Mud On The Inside Corners

While inside corners can feel a little more tricky, they take the same number of coats as the rest of the wall. 

You’ll need a coat to hold the tape in place and then 2-3 more coats afterward – allowing each coat to completely dry before adding a new one.


Many factors can affect the number of coats of joint compound you need. These factors include the type of joint compound you’re using and your experience level.

It takes, on average, about three thin coats of drywall mud but can take up to five. You’ll know you’ve achieved proper coverage when your joints look flat, smooth, and seamless after sanding your final coat.