How to Apply Joint Tape. Taping and "mudding" Sheetrock (drywall) is a process that requires practice - and if you're doing a whole room or a whole house you'll get plenty of that. The first coat is the tape coat - here's what to do.

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Apply Joint Tape

Apply Tape to Joints

Step 1

Choose your weapon. Taping a joint can be done with two different types of tape: paper tape or self-adhering mesh tape.

Step 2

Apply adhesive mesh tape directly to the Sheetrock, centering the strip of tape over the joint and pressing it firmly to the surface.

Step 3

Apply paper tape a bit differently: Load your 4- or 6-inch taping knife with drywall compound (mud) and apply it in an even thin coat along the joint; then take a length of the paper tape and press it into the mud with your knife.

Step 4

Make sure that the tape (whichever you use) is smooth and that there are no air bubbles under it.

Step 5

Apply another thin coat over the top of the tape. You should still be able to see the tape through the drywall compound.

Step 6

Allow this to dry completely before applying additional coats of drywall compound. (You won't need to apply additional tape.)

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Apply Tape to Inside Corners

Step 7

Press adhesive mesh tape directly into the corner. Make sure that the tape is evenly shared between the two walls.

Step 8

Apply paper tape with a mud bed, as described above. Spread a thin layer of mud into a corner joint with a trowel. Fold a length of tape in half and press its fold into the corner. Run corner trowel down middle of corner to press tape into mud and work out excess mud.

Step 9

Spread a thin layer of mud on top of tape using corner trowel.