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Wet Drywall Mud vs. Dry Mud: Is There a Difference?

Wet Drywall Mud vs. Dry Mud: Is There a Difference?

The root of all good drywall jobs is the mud. Choosing the correct kind helps with the application process. The degree of automatic tools or manual tools won’t matter if the mud isn’t correct, so you should start off by determining which kind is best for your project. Read on to learn about the differences between wet drywall mud and dry mud.

Wet Joint Compound

Wet joint compound, or premixed compound, arrives at the worksite already mixed with water. This saves you prep time when applying mud to the walls. A wet compound may not be as popular as a dry compound, but the wet mud doesn’t require mixing tools.

The mud comes premixed in a plastic bucket. Although the water is already added, it is possible to add more water to the mix to thin out the consistency as needed.

There are a few pros and cons to wet drywall mud, including:


  • Perfect consistency
  • Fast start
  • No extra tools are needed for mixing


  • Can’t be frozen
  • Spoils and develops mold easily
  • Dries up faster in the bucket
  • Heavier to carry

Dry Joint Compound

Joint compound in dry form is a powder that usually comes in large paper bags. Since the dry mud doesn’t come premixed, you’ll need to combine water and the compound in a plastic bucket to form a workable mix.

Equip yourself with a capable drywall mixer to make the job easier. It’s important to note that the label on the product won’t read “dry;” instead, the cover will omit words like “ready-mixed” or “premixed.” This compound requires a little more precision on the drywaller’s end to create the perfect mixture.

As with the wet mud, there are some pros and cons to dry mud, such as:


  • Less expensive
  • Longer shelf life
  • Protected against freezing


  • Difficult to mix
  • Requires more mixing tools

Which To Choose?

The two compounds perform the same functions. However, the main difference solely lies in how they are presented. Most professionals prefer to use a dry joint compound because it’s easier to store away for later usage, and it’s cheaper to buy.

Dry compound dries faster than the premixed alternative, and it also provides a better adhesive for mesh tape compared to the wet compound. Whether you prefer wet drywall mud or dry mud for your project, you’ll find all the equipment you need at Timothy’s Toolbox.

If you need more drywalling tips after learning about the difference between wet drywall mud and dry mud, feel free to reach out or visit our website for answers.

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