Most drywall tools have a specific function, and they aren’t interchangeable. For example, a banjo can’t perform the function of a mixing paddle. Manufacturers designed them for a key purpose. Using them for their exact intentions makes for better results.
Taping knives should only have one function, but unfortunately, they get misused often. If you want to get the job done correctly, check out these tips and tricks to using a drywall taping knife like a pro.
Note the Angles
There is a reason why the taping knife holds the shape it does. It’s smooth and flat at the top with a sturdy handle. Some of the designs have a rounded edge instead of a straight one. The knife’s curve makes it easier for drywallers to get into tight spaces.
The 6-inch knife is perfect for getting that initial coat of mud on the sheets and smoothing over the tape with no restrictions. Utilize the shape of the knife so the mud lays flat. You never want to see any clumps on the dried finish. Make sure your mud is consistent with the right amount of thickness.
Apply at an Angle
Try to stay away from using wider knives for more coverage. It’s true that their size will apply more mud, but the application process can get sloppy. You only want to use the bigger taping knives for floating out the compound. Consider sticking with the 8 or 6-inch knife.
Load up the mud and apply it at a downward angle. Move upward with your compound and come back down to smooth out the mud. Start by leaning the knife over as you go up and push, then slide back down with the edge pointed outward. Once you’ve spread it out, lay your tape, wipe it down, and bed it.
Float the Compound
Don’t make the mistake of using your 6 or 8-inch knife to smooth out the layer of mud over the tape. If you use one of these knives to apply the compound, do not attempt to smooth it with the same knife. This will only result in a lumped finish. Some contractors try to sand it down afterward, but this still produces sloppy results.
Use the larger taping knife for this job. Here at Timothy’s Toolbox, we have pristine 12-inch stainless steel drywall knives that will get the floating job done perfectly. Take the knife and feather out the outside edge. Then, place the knife at the end of the mud, lay it down steep, push firmly, and pull. You’ll see the compound smooth out immediately in one fluid motion.
We’ve got a few more tips and tricks to help you use any drywall tool like a pro, not just a taping knife. For more information, visit our website.