If you’re installing drywall in your home for the first time, you might find corners to be a bit intimidating. And while it’s true that corners are more challenging to get a smooth finish on, they aren’t impossible – even for beginners.
As long as you take your time and don’t try to skip steps, you’ll be able to achieve an excellent finish.
Inside drywall corners are more prone to hairline cracks than any other part of the wall. This is why you need to take your time to do them correctly.
Step 1: Fill in any Gaps and Apply Compound to the Wall
After you’ve hung all the drywall panels, there will probably be a small gap in the corners. Use your 6-inch joint knife to fill the gap with the joint compound.
Then, apply the drywall mud to both sides of the wall, about ⅛ of an inch thick.
Step 2: Crease the Tape
For inside corners, paper tape is your best bet. Pull out a length of tape long enough to cover the wall and crease the tape by folding it in half. The crease will fit in the corner, and the sides of the tape will touch the wall.
Make sure your crease is nice and even.
Step 3: Apply the Tape
Now press the drywall tape into the mud with your hand. Use very gentle pressure, starting in the middle and pushing toward the outside of the tape.
Doing this will help work out any air bubbles.
After this, mud the tape in by adding a little drywall compound to your knife and gently running it over one side of the tape. Work from the top of the tape toward the bottom. Repeat on the other side.
If you have a drywall corner tool, use it rather than your knife. It will allow for a much smoother job.
Allow the compound to dry overnight.
Step 4: Apply a Finishing Coat
Once your initial coat is fully dry, you’ll come back for your finishing coats.
You’ll need your 6-inch joint knife and drywall compound to do this.
Place drywall compound on your joint knife and run it over one side of the tape. Use even pressure, holding your knife parallel with the wall.
Repeat on the other side, but do NOT overlap the mud.
Allow the mud to dry overnight.
Step 5: Apply your Second Finishing Coat
Once your first finishing coat is dry, repeat the same process adding a second coat.
Allow this to dry overnight fully.
Step 6: Sand til Smooth
Once your second coat is dry, you can sand the drywall mud until you achieve a smooth, even finish.
Inside corner sanding sponges and pole sanders both work well. Take your time sanding so that you don’t accidentally remove too much of the mud, and make sure to feather out the edges.
How to Drywall Outside Corners: Supply List
Metal corner bead
1 ½ inch drywall nails
6-inch drywall knife
10-inch drywall knife
12-inch drywall knife
How to Drywall Outside Corners: Step by Step
Finishing an outside drywall corner requires the use of corner beads. There are many corner beads on the market, and you can place them on the wall with mud, spray adhesive, nails, or staples, depending on the type.
We’ll cover how to install a metal corner bead for this tutorial.
Step 1: Make Sure Your Drywall is Flush
Before starting, make sure the corner of your drywall is flush and does not protrude. If it isn’t flush, your corners won’t look good, even with a corner bead.
Step 2: Cut Your Corner Bead to Size
Now measure for your corner bead and cut it to the proper length using a pair of tin cutters.
Step 3: Secure the Drywall Bead to the Wall
Using 1 ½ inch drywall nails, nail the bead into the wall. You’ll need to space your nails every nine inches on both sides, driving them into the holes of the corner bead.
Step 4: Apply Drywall Compound to the Bead
Put about an inch of drywall compound on your six-inch drywall knife. Place one edge of the blade on one side of the bead and the other on the wall.
Hold the knife at a 45-degree angle, and use even pressure and consistent strokes to cover the bead with joint compound.
Repeat on the other side.
If there are any bumps, smooth them out. Allow the joint compound to dry overnight.
Step 5: Apply the Second Coat
After the first coat is fully dry, sand lightly, and then use your 10-inch knife to apply another coat of joint compound. Again, do one side of the corner and then the other, just like you did in the first step.
Allow to dry overnight.
Step 6: Apply a Third Coat
Repeat the same process, lightly sanding and then applying a coat of mud to both sides of the corner using a 12-inch knife. The progression of slightly larger blades will help feather out the mud and create a smooth, seamless corner.
Allow the compound to dry overnight.
Step 7: Lightly Sand Til Smooth
After your third and final coat is dry, use fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the corner until it’s smooth and there are no ridges.
You can then clean the wall, prime, and paint.
Finishing corners is more complicated than finishing straight drywall joints, but you can still achieve a professional-looking job if you take your time and follow all the necessary steps.
When you take your time spreading the compound evenly, you won’t have to worry about making DIY repairs and spending a ton of time sanding at the end.