How to Install Paper-Faced Corner Bead

Paper-faced corner bead makes taping outside corners a snap

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

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

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