• Share:
How to Install Paper-Faced Corner Bead

Outside drywall corners have traditionally been protected with nail-on metal corners, but paper-faced corner bead is simpler and resists cracks and chips better. All you need to install it are taping knives and a spray bottle filled with water.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine


Traditional metal corner bead is tedious and time consuming to install, and if you don’t cover it with tape, it’s likely to develop cracks along the edges. Luckily there’s an alternative that’s simpler to install and won’t crack. If you’re an old-school carpenter like me, you’ve probably dismissed paper-faced corner bead as an inferior DIY product, but trust me, once you try it, you’ll never go back.

You’ll find paper-faced corner bead alongside standard metal corners in home centers and drywall supply stores. It costs a little more, about $3 for an 8-ft. length vs. $2 for metal bead. But it’s worth every penny.

Pros use a special hopper to apply joint compound to the corner bead and an expensive rolling tool to embed the bead, but you can get the same benefits using a 3-in. stiff putty knife, a 5- or 6-in. flexible putty knife and a spray bottle filled with water. Here’s how to install paper-faced corner bead, including a few tips to simplify the job and avoid problems.

Step 1: Cut it with tin snips

Step 2: Mud the corner

Step 3: Mist the bead

Step 4: Position the bead

Step 5: Embed the tape

Step 6: Use staples to align corners

Step 7: Check the corner with your blade

Step 8: Scrape away excess mud before it hardens

Step 9: Finish up with two more coats of joint compound

Back to Top

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Stapler
    • Tin snips
    • Taping knife

You’ll also need a spray bottle

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Paper-faced corner bead
    • All-purpose joint compound

Comments from DIY Community Members

Share what's on your mind and see what other DIYers are thinking about.

1 - 1 of 1 comments
Show per page: 20   All

November 14, 3:09 PM [GMT -5]

Great instructions and looks much better than metal corners but I just can't quite get a handle on step 7, leaving a void for compound and checking the void by setting the 6 in. putty knife against the corner. Do you mean that there should be a space under the bead? If so, how am I checking both sides in several places along the length of the corner. Somehow it is just not making sense to me. Duh for me. Could you explain a little more?

+ Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

How to Install Paper-Faced Corner Bead

Please add your comment

Log in to My Account

Log in to enjoy membership benefits from The Family Handyman.

  • Forgot your password?
Don’t have an account yet?

Sign up today for FREE and become part of The Family Handyman community of DIYers.

Member benefits:

  • Get a FREE Traditional Bookcase Project Plan
  • Sign up for FREE DIY newsletters
  • Save projects to your project binder
  • Ask and answer questions in our DIY Forums
  • Share comments on DIY Projects and more!
Join Us Today

Report Abuse

Reasons for reporting post

Free OnSite Newsletter

Get timely DIY projects for your home and yard, plus a dream project for your wish list!

Follow Us