If you are working on a drywall or gypsum board project, you may be confused by the variety of different drywall joint compounds, sometimes known as "muds," that are available. The main difference in the different types of drywall joint compounds are in the ease of application and sanding, as well as the speed at which the drywall joint compound will cure, or dry, before sanding. You may want to use quick setting drywall mud to have the repair or drywall job finished rapidly.

Mix Only What You Can Use

Since the drywall mud will dry hard and can't be moistened again after it has cured, you will want to mix only what you can use in the time period that you can use it. Don't mix it all up and hope that you can get to it because this can create a great deal of waste. Instead, apply a little bit at a time, and mix just enough that you can use it all before it has become hardened and set.

Clean All Tools Thoroughly

If the drywall mud dries on your tools, it can cause problems for subsequent coats of drywall compound on the job. You will want to clean your tools thoroughly after you are finished using them to apply each coat or before mixing up a batch so that the drywall mud does not dry on them and cause damage, rust or other problems when you want to use the tools again.

Tape the Joints

When you are making joints, you will want to apply joint tape to cover up any seams. The better you tape the joints, the faster your drywall mud will dry because you will not have deep pockets of mud that cannot get air to fully cure. Taping your seams is essential to using quick setting drywall mud because if you have gaps of more than 1/4 inch that you are filling with mud, you will negate the quick setting benefits because of the longer drying and curing time.

Use Regular Joint Compound for a Topcoat

Quick setting drywall mud is more difficult to sand than regular drywall mud, so you will want to use regular joint compound for your topcoat over any seams or joints that you have covered. The quick setting mud will help you get a good base coat, but tape properly and use the regular compound over the top of the base coat for ease of sanding.