The banjo is an incredibly nifty tool and helpful during a drywalling job, and it’s even better when you know its secrets. Read on to learn the tips and tricks for using a drywall banjo on corners.
Prep the Banjo
Load the banjo neatly so the tape flows without any restraints or issues. The pressure of pulling will coat the tape on the nozzle. The thumbscrew adjusts the amount of compound that comes out.
Even with this feature, you should refrain from overloading the banjo. The tape gets stuck and tears inside when too much compound coats it. After loading it up, pull the tape through until the mud comes out. You can also reduce the thickness of the compound prior to loading the banjo by adding more water to the drywall mud.
Cut off that first piece of tape so you can start fresh. Hold the banjo in one hand and use the other to pull out a length of tape. Get out a substantial amount to avoid pulling excessively, but don’t overshoot it. The tape should never dangle too far from the tool.
With one hand, hold the tape at the corner of the wall or ceiling in position. Align the banjo with the seam and slacken the tape to give yourself extra pull. Lay the head flat. Then, pull back and slap the tape into position. Use the edge or a small drywall joint knife to cut off the tape.
Smooth It Out
Give your banjo drywall tool a break for a little bit. Trade it out for two other nifty tools. Grab the mud pan and the taping knife to smooth things over. Use the knife to flatten the tape and remove the excess compound. Repeat this process until you have covered all the seams.
Start at the center of the seam and work to each end when smoothing it out. Never start at the corner because it might result in air bubbles or a lifted edge. The trick is smoothing out the compound enough that it lays flat but not so much that you see gaps or imperfections.
Get Real Close
Because the corners are tricky, you’ll want to get really close. Hold the banjo up to the corner with one hand and pull out the tape with the other hand. As you pull, push the tape into the corner with your hand.
You may need to pull the tape back when moving into a corner. Then, take the taping knife and flatten out the sides you can reach. Clean off as much mud as possible to reduce the need for sanding the next day. Let the mud dry completely before adding more coats. You can also use a corner roller to flatten both sides of the tape at a safe time. Some drywall banjos have corner applicator attachments that can apply the tape to the corners.
We’ve got all the tips and tricks for drywalling tools here at Timothy’s Toolbox, and not just for taping corners with a banjo. For more information, visit our website.