Joint compound or drywall mud is necessary to get the smooth finish of a new house or old-cracked walls. To treat your interior and exterior wall, the best joint compound for skim coating is a must-have component on your checklist.
Limitless problems related to walls can easily be solved with joint compound or drywall mud. This gypsum-based paste is efficient in finishing joints and corners of drywall in new drywall installations. Simultaneously, it repairs cracks, holes, or other imperfections of the wall.
This article aims to share information and reviews on the all-purpose joint compound. Keep reading this write-up.
How to Choose the Right Joint Compound for Skim Coating?
Choosing the right joint compound without information is similar to sailing a ship in an ocean without a radar. Learning about the right types of the joint compound will lead you to the right path because you will know which joint compound is formulated for what purpose.
Let’s look at the types of joint compounds for skim coating from below.
a) All-purpose Compound:
From the name itself, you can get an idea that this joint compound type is suitable for those who is unaware or less knowledge about the joint compound’s use. It is a multi-purpose drywall mud. Using it, installing, repairing, and skim coating task can easily be done.
Beginner or medium-leveled people can conveniently work with it because they are so simple to use.
b) Drywall Mud for Topping:
You will need to use this joint compound type once you finish applying the primary 2 coats. Low-shrinking and robust bonding characteristics are the main reasons for their popularity.
It is not a beginner-friendly item, and its formation is a dry powder. Before using it, mix it well with water. This is a recommended joint compound for professionals. Moreover, using the exact amount of required drywall mud for your wall is possible with it. As a result, it will let you save money and store excess amounts for future projects.
c) Drywall Mud for Taping:
As its name implies, this joint compound is best for fixing drywall’s joint tape. Characteristically, this joint compound gets hard after drying, and you will face difficulty sanding the wall down.
However, it offers the best result if your project requirement is to cover plaster cracks and creating a superior bond. Around the door and window opening areas are prone to crack because of these appliances’ frequent movement. So, choose this joint compound to use in these areas.
d) Fast Dry or Hot Mud:
From the name itself, you can guess what it is. This joint compound type dries faster and quicker compared to the other 3 types and best for fast jobs. If you will need to complete your project efficiently within 24 hours, undoubtedly, this one is the best choice.
The other name of the fast-dry joint compound is “hot mud” because of its quick-drying feature. These chemically-treated joint compounds deliver consistent results in humid conditions too. It means if other compound types fail to perform in humid condition, without thinking twice, pick this and complete your drywall task.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Drywall Mud:
Buying an ideal joint compound for drywall repair is significantly essential because valuable time and money is invested in the drywall repairing project. So, before buying, check the authenticity of your selected drywall with the below considerations.
a) Learn the Purpose
Ask yourself for what purpose you will be using a joint compound. The answer to this question will lead you in picking the ideal drywall mud for your project.
Then prepare a shortlist of your selected items, read customer reviews, surf the market, which will assist you in making a precise decision.
At the same time, check the specifications and specializations of the product. If you are unaware of these 2 pieces of information, you will most probably pick the wrong product.
b) Longevity and Smoothness
Whatever the product is, you should look for an item that comes with a longevity feature. When buying drywall mud, longevity is a characteristic that must need to be present. This feature can’t be overlooked.
Simultaneously, after drying, check if the surface is smooth. If you don’t get a smooth surface after drying, indeed, facing a lot of hassle is obvious to make the wall even enough. You have to do rework, which is time-consuming and tiring too.
c) Easy to Use
This is also a compulsory feature of every product. The truth is, you will not be interested in a product that is complicated and comes with less user-friendly features.
Pre-mixed and raw are 2 types of joint compound in terms of easy to use the feature.
Pre-mixed joint compound is for those who have little knowledge or don’t know anything about joint compound but looking to accomplish a drywall DIY task. On the other hand, you will find raw mud in a dry powder form and you have to a mix it with water before using.
Pick raw mud if you have knowledge of joint compound. While, for beginners, pick pre-mixed drywall mud along with the procedure of using it.
d) Drying Time
This is not a mandatory feature because you can avoid this if you have enough time to finish your project. However, a quick-drying joint compound is always beneficial, even if you don’t need it. This feature helps to finish a project quickly, which saves both valuable money and time.
Generally, most joint compound takes at least 24 hours to dry. You will find some item that has dries within 2-3 hours after applying.
7 Best Joint Compound for Skim Coating Reviews 2021:
Finding the best item is always crucial for both beginners and professional. We are here to assist you in making this crucial task easier. Read the below reviews of the top-rated drywall mud available in the market.
1. Dap 10102 Wallboard Joint Compound
The Dap 10102 Wallboard Joint Compound is an outstanding product that provides nice texture. It is lightweight, easy application process using paint knife. Small-sized particles perform well with a wide range of application techniques.
It is a pre-mixed drywall mud suitable for applying on a wall just after opening it because mixing with water is unnecessary. According to your task, dilute it. Using it over several layers is not an issue for this joint compound. Also, 24 hours of rest is recommended between the 2 coats. However, depending on the thickness, the layer of the mud varies.
This joint compound is formulated for internal purposes only. It is highly durable to give you many years of service. Moreover, this is a consistent performer that can be sanded without any trouble. The performance with panel and drywall together, this is a champion. It is a beginner-friendly drywall mud that takes time to dry.
This is good enough for filling in bigger holes and held up quite well in several places. Overall, this is pretty good stuff; it goes on smooth, dries hard, and sands pretty easily.
An ideal wet drywall mud.
Pre-mixed joint compound saves time.
Longevity is high.
Slow drying time.
Dap 10102 Wallboard=>
2. DAP Wallboard Joint Compound
The DAP Wallboard Joint Compound spreads evenly without pits and is very workable with the knife. It sands good. It takes your standard 3 coats to fill a nail hole etc. The container is big enough to get a 4″ knife in it so you can keep the top of the remaining mud smooth.
Your drywall mudding task will be much more comfortable with this joint compound. In order to get a perfect mixture, you don’t need to mix water in it because it is a pre-mixed drywall mud. Simply use it to cover any imperfections of your wall and enjoy a stable and smooth wall.
The silky texture of the DAP Wallboard Joint Compound will satisfy you most. It will not let you sweat when applying on the wall since it spreads well. Handling the item is extremely easy, and you don’t have to be a skilled or experienced person to use a joint compound. Sanding it is a breeze. The only one thing that needs to be kept in mind is that it requires 24 hours to dry totally.
It is definitely a strong joint compound, and after applying, you will hardly find cracks on the wall. Low silica content (<1%) so relatively safe to hand-sand.
Easy to apply and handle.
It can be applied using multiple tools.
Offers smooth and even result.
Beginner-friendly joint compound.
Poor packaging of the item.
3. U S GYPSUM 385140 385140004 All-Purpose Joint Compound
This gypsum-based U S GYPSUM 385140 385140004 All Purpose Joint Compound is popular for its consistency. It never shows inconsistent performance in a drywall project. The main components are gypsum and water, which perfectly blends with other substances to give a smooth finish.
The cheap joint compound delivers pointed mud and uneven results. But with this joint compound, you will never experience pointed mud. Moreover, it goes on smooth and sands nicely. It does take a little longer than spackling to dry. But it’s worth it because it works well and is so much less expensive.
Whether you have an old house or need to repair a wall, using this joint compound is more beneficial in many cases. It is promised to make any drywall project comfortable for its user and offers clean results all the time. This is an excellent product for all purpose drywall tasks. And sanding is not a challenging task when it dries. Its water-proofing feature lets it perform as a sealant too.
The worth-mentioning feature is, this high-quality joint compound comes at an affordable price. Additionally, it offers great adhesion before installing bathroom or kitchen tiles.
Delivers professional-grade results.
Soft and smooth texture.
Spreads without any hassle.
Easy to sand after drying.
The drying time may irritate you.
4. U S GYPSUM 380270072 U S Gypsum 380270 Quart Joint Compound
This joint compound produces results that are better than any similar product. The structural integrity of the U S GYPSUM 380270072 U S Gypsum 380270 Quart Joint Compound is excellent. It spreads quite well, and you can work with it for a few minutes while on the wall, so there’s no big rush, but just keep time in mind before it dries.
The color is grey, but when it dries, it gets a white color. Also, it is very smooth. It shows no shrinkage performance and easy to manage. You will be really pleased with its performance. Easy to apply and stays wet long after opening. It’s also easy to sand once it is dry.
It is great for multiple tasks like filling small to medium holes, covering any blemishes and imperfections. To fulfill your purpose, you may need to add water to it. And remember that different applications are necessary according to your preference.
This joint compound is lightweight and doesn’t smell harsh. Also, in terms of durability, it is a champion. You will get the most satisfying result when you use it for its primary functions: leveling, taping, and skim coating.
You can use it on metal too.
Creates a perfect mixture with water.
Stunning shrinking performance.
It spreads quite well.
A little bit thin.
5. USG Series 381110060 25Lb Bag Dura bond 45 Min Joint Compound Powder
You will barely find a product similar to this USG Series 381110060 25Lb Bag Dura bond Joint Compound because of its form factor and performance. These 2 unique features make it different from other joint compounds of this list.
It comes in powder form, so you have to mix it well with water to get the best result. This means, if you are a professional, you can make a perfect blend of this powder form and water. Remember that it is designed for professionals only; newcomers will face the challenge of getting a perfectly blended mixture, which will hamper the final outcome.
Cheap or regular joint compounds show poor performance in humid weather. The good thing is, it is moisture-proof. This feature increases the lifespan of the product, and for this reason, you will get many years of service from it. It is lightweight, spreads brilliantly, and, after drying, delivers a smooth and soft result.
It is an ideal solution for both interior and exterior walls. Its shrinkage is less and creates superior bonding. Since it spreads well, it will not take too much time to apply on a larger surface. Dries quickly after application, and you will be able to decorate the wall after 24-hours.
Significant performance in humid conditions.
Less shrinking performance.
An ideal pick for a larger drywall repairing project.
Unsuitable for beginners.
6. Dap 12278 Elastomeric Patch and Caulking Compound
The Dap 12278 Elastomeric Patch and Caulking Compound is a high performance, elastomeric pro-grade patching, sealing, and bridging that prevents the crack from a wide range of surfaces. It provides superior portability and won’t gloss paint. Repairs cracks and holes in wood, brick, masonry, concrete, and brick.
After applying and drying, you will get white or a bit off-white color. Working with it is easy than a regular patch. However, nice looking finish will satisfy you for sure. It is perfect for exterior wall.
Just apply it smoothly using a putty knife. Putting it on smoothly is pretty easy, though, because this stuff is easy to work with. So just make sure the hole is smooth before you put this on. It tends to be durable enough to work with it, cleanup is easy when damp, no shrinkage.
Another advantage of this product is that it is waterproof once dry to be used outdoors. All in all, applying this product on metal studs, blocks, wood is straightforward and expected result is confirmed.
Flexible and easy to apply.
The best option for both outdoor and indoor walls.
Professionals need to accomplish multiple drywall repairing tasks on a variety of surfaces. This USG 381466 Lightweight All Purpose Joint Compound is an excellent addition to every professional’s arsenal since it is efficient enough in covering medium holes to coating drywall surfaces. It is one of the best drywall repairing muds available in the market due to all exclusive features.
So, what makes it different from others? It is extremely easy to mix, use, and dried correctly. Moreover, it is an all-purpose lightweight drywall mud that makes the sanding task comfortable. With a single pack, you will be able to handle small to medium drywall repairing tasks quite conveniently.
This joint compound is 35% lighter compared to other available joint compounds in the market. Also, it is a decent crack-resistant drywall mud, which is also commendable. Besides, for such a useful tapping compound, it comes with a budget-friendly feature. It will help you to achieve a DIY project successfully with professional-grade output.
Mixing and putting in an adequate amount of water and gypsum powder gives a further advantage in being ready for use. And this feature makes it a great product that can be sand easily.
35% lighter makes it easy to use drywall mud.
Compatible working with a wide range of surfaces.
Outstanding crack-resistant performance.
The recovery time needs to be improved.
How to Skim Coat with a Roller for Beginners?
An uneven and damaged wall can easily be recovered through the skim coating process. This process uses drywall mud to create a thin coat on wooden, brick, masonry, or metallic surface. A Skim coat can be applied using hand, paint roller, or spray rig. Then by a drywall knife, it is smoothed out.
For beginners, the skim coating needs to apply using a paint roller because it is easy to use and lets you finish a project quickly. Use of hands is not recommended since the process will become time-consuming. In contrast, a spray rig is suitable for professionals.
Let’s learn the step-by-step process to skim coat with a roller for beginners.
Step 01: Prepare the drywall mud
Using an electric drill and mud puddle, make a mixture of drywall mud in a large container. Adding water is mandatory to mix the powdered form and then stir it. Pre-mixed mud also requires stirring, and you can add water, too, according to your project requirement. When adding water with the powdered form, ensure reading the manufacturer’s instructions since the amount of water varies depending on the manufacturer.
Remember, the pre-mixed joint compound doesn’t require water to mix because they come with the ready-to-go feature.
Step 02: Continue preparing the mixture to give it a milkshake consistency
Continue mixing water into the drywall mud until it becomes thin enough to be used using a roller. When the mixture gets a milkshake consistency, stop mixing more water.
Step 03: Pour the thinned drywall mud into a container
Take a paint tray and pour down the thinned drywall mud in it. Use a roller with a ½” nap cover to roll 3’ X 4’ (WXH) sections. Ensure doing this 1 section at a time. This will help you in smoothening out the surface before the coat dries.
Step 04: Apply the drywall mud
Firmly hold a drywall knife and use it to apply the joint compound over the wall. Apply an adequate amount of joint compound over the wall, and light coverage of the wall is undeniable. Sand the wall if required using fine-grit sandpaper.
Step 05: Continue the process and let it dry
Don’t rush when moving to the next section. Heavy lines will not be visible when you overlap slightly. Continue the same process until you finish one coat of drywall mud. 2/3 coats may require depending on the wall’s damage. Before you apply paint on the surface, ensure proper drying of the drywall mud.
Do’s and Don’ts in the Skim Coating Process:
The below discussed do’s and don’ts in this section will help you take your skim coating skill to the next level.
Do use your power drill to make a fine mixture of the joint compound and water.
Don’t mistake buying the right product for your skim coating project.
Do pre-fill wide gaps.
Don’t overlap drywall tape.
Do cover the floor with a canvas cloth or remove furniture from the room to reduce mess created by wet compounds.
Don’t apply a coat over an undried coat.
Do protect yourself and your home before sanding.
Don’t use a thick coat of mud, instead apply a thin coat.
Question: Is there a difference between joint compound and drywall compound?
Answer: The truth is, joint compound and drywall compound doesn’t have any difference. Both are the same thing, but their names are different because of their different application process.
Wet and dry, these are the 2 forms of joint and drywall compound. The joint compound is lightweight and easy to move in different places. On the flip side, fast application and less mess is wet compound saws benefit.
Question: What is/are the Pros and Cons of Dry and Wet Joint Compound?
Dry joint compound:
Available in a large paper bag.
Suitable for professional contractors.
Finding the nearest local store is challenging.
Wet joint compound:
Suitable for quick tasks.
An ideal option for home maintenance.
Over time, it gets affected by mold.
Question: Is spackle the same as a joint compound?
Answer: Spackle is an ideal choice for daily drywall repairing tasks because of its less shrinkage characteristics. Spackle is available in multiple thickness levels. Small repairing tasks can easily be done with thinner spackle, and thicker spackle will let you fix large drywall patches.
Question: Do you have to sand after skim coat?
Answer: Sanding between skim coats is not necessary always. Simply knock off lumps or proud mud lines with a 5”-6”.
Which is better between joint compound vs plaster skim coat?
In my opinion, the Joint compound is the best option to smooth the drywall easily. It’s good when a wall is getting old and not able to make plaster again.
But when you want to repair a plaster wall, when you need something that sets more quickly and creates a harder wall that won’t sand away. plaster Skim coat mainly make with gypsum plaster. It works fast than skim coating.
When choosing the best joint compound for skim coating, the decision has to be right. The right decision will save you from many hassles.
The above-reviewed items are much effective on different walls and promised to serve you well. Whatever the joint compound you choose, make sure it meets your requirement.
Hi, I am Rogers Weber, the man behind Solvesonic. I am a mechanical engineer. I use many kinds of tools almost every day at my workplace. I love to write about tools, home improvement, and DIYs. I enjoy helping people to solve their problems through my website.