How to drywall: A finishing shortcut

caulk

Most home improvement shortcuts lead to trouble. But here’s one that makes drywall finishing faster without regrets later: In closets and other low-priority areas, don’t tape and mud inside corners. Instead, caulk them. I first tried this trick on wall and ceiling corners 20 years ago—and those corners still look good. There are just four things you need to know:

1. When you hang the rock, keep gaps to a minimum. You can get away with 1/8-in. gaps, but not wider.

2. Finish all the tapered joints and get a coat of primer on the rock before you caulk. Caulking directly over the absorbent paper facing leads to an ugly caulk job.

3. Use a high-quality acrylic latex caulk. I once used dirt-cheap “painter’s caulk” and got cracks within a year.

4. Don’t tell anyone. Critics will think you’re a lazy slouch. But if you don’t tell them, they’ll never notice.

— Gary Wentz, Senior Editor

For more information about hanging drywall, check out these articles:
- Tips for Better Drywall Taping
- How to Install Paper-Faced Corner Bead
- Drywall Sanding Tips and Techniques