A Quick Guide to Taping Drywall With a Banjo

A Quick Guide to Taping Drywall With a Banjo

Suppose you have a large-scale drywall job to do and want to find a way to make the project easier. Some might suggest different strategies to tackle the job, but what if there was a more straightforward way? What if there was one tool that could eliminate all your concerns?

Consider using a banjo to make your next drywall project go smoothly and efficiently. Before working with this tool, study this quick guide to taping drywall with a banjo.

Thin Your Mud

The key to successfully operating the banjo is thinned mud. Mix the all-purpose lightweight joint compound used for embedding the tape and covering the tape with second and third coats. Thin the mud with about four cups of water per pail before pouring the compound into the banjo. You want the mud to be slightly thinner than if you were taping by hand.

If you’re using the banjo for a smaller project, like one or two rooms, transfer a few gallons of the joint compound into another bucket. Mix in the water a little until the compound drips in large globs.

Adjust the Banjo

After you’ve got your mud at the desired consistency:

  1. Load the banjo with paper tape and the thinned joint compound.
  2. With the nose of the banjo facing the floor, pull out a few feet of tape and inspect the back.
  3. Ensure you adequately adjusted the banjo by leaving an even 1/8-inch-thick layer of joint compound.

Most banjos come with an adjustable width slot by turning the thumbscrews. Test the setup by applying tape strips to a scrap piece of drywall and flattening them with your taping knife. If you only see a little of the compound, widen the gap to deposit the mud.

Apply Tape to the Seams

Prefill the gaps between the drywall sheets with a setting-type joint compound and allow it to harden. Wipe off any excess compound flush to the drywall as you apply it, and use your taping knife to scrape off any dried lumps before you start drywall taping with a banjo.

When you start to pull the tape from the banjo, the top may be dry or have a small amount of the joint compound. To resolve this, trowel a thin layer of joint compound over the tape before you embed it to lubricate your knife.

As you continue to apply the tape, transfer the mud that comes out from under the tape back onto the surface of the tape with a small joint knife. You can put any excess mud into a mud pan or back into your bucket of drywall mud. When the compound in the banjo starts to run low, it won’t cover the bottom of the tape, and the tape will become easier to pull out. If this happens, refill the banjo, and add more water to the leftover compound if it thickens.

At Timothy’s Toolbox, we have a few more drywall hacks besides guidance on taping drywall with a banjo you can store away to make your contracting jobs easier. For more information visit our website.


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