View Full Version : 3 coats on the same trip?

Greg Di
11-07-2004, 09:42 PM
As a handyman, I do a lot of drywall patches, blending new to old, and hang and tape bigger jobs.

I'm looking to minimize my trips back and forth between coats. The travel time and scheduling kills me when I have to go once to a job to hang and tape, then back for #2, and a third time for final.

I have and read Myron's book, but I didn't find much about saving time. I know union tapers in NYC can hang, tape and paint a wall before lunch.

What's the technique and what kind of specific compounds should I be using? Thanks!

m beezo
11-07-2004, 10:02 PM
ONe way to try and do it is to use hot mud or the mud that comes dry in a bag that you mix. It comes here locally in the 20, 45, 90 minute set time. It is harder to work with than the mud out of a bucket in that I think the mud has plaster of paris in it or some chemical to make it set up. It is hard to sand especially if you are hand sanding. I have also seen a chemical additive that you can buy to help make mud set up quicker but have never used it. Seen it at some of the bigger drywall suppliers.
Even if you use the 20 minute mud you still have some down time while you wait for it to set up. I ususlly use that time to do something else or to put things away from the repair, clean up. Second coat I often mix up about 10 minutes after I am done with the first coat. That way the next coat dries in about 10 minutes on the wall. Final coat I put on after this coat has had about 20 minutes and is usually a thin coat that does not take too much time to dry. I find that the surface is hard but not really dry as you will find out when you try to sand. It is still moist and gums up your sandpaper rather quickly. I usually leave after the 3rd coat and let it dry overnight so I can be assured that the paint will stick the next day if I am painting. In fact if I know that I am coming back the next day I will use regular mud so it is easier to sand when I come back.

Greg Di
11-10-2004, 07:32 PM
I took your advice on a small job I had today. There were some large gaps to fill, so I started with Durabond 90. I mixed it too wet so I left the job to go to another. I came back later in the day and the DB90 was set. I taped with EasySand 20. Seeing as how I mixed the 90 too loose, I started with much less water and got the texture better, but still too loose for my liking.

Regardless, I embedded tape and by the time I cleaned the bucket and hawk, I was ready for the next coat! Mixed up some more ES20 and it was still loose, but getting better. Since this job was in an office, and everyone was leaving for the day, I had to bolt. Had I mixed that second batch a little less wet, there is no doubt I could have finished completely.

With new found love for setting compounds in hand, I have a question: Is there a ratio of water to mix that gets you reasonably close to the perfect consistency? The way I was putting water in the bucket, it felt pretty unscientific. I always ended up with way more compound than I needed because I had to keep adding and adding powder to get the mix firmer.

11-10-2004, 08:02 PM
I have been using the setting compounds for about a year now. I have found it preaty easy to mix. I start with water in the bucket and then add the compound to the water. I mix until all the lumps are gone and add powder or water until I get the consistency of whipped icing. I like the compound to stick to my knife and spread easy, but not too loose as to fall off the knife. I have not tried the 20 yet. I usually use the 45 or 90. I use it for the first two coats and then follow up with the regular light weight compound as it is much easier to sand. The only problem that I have is air bubbles in the final coat. Is there something that I am doing wrong?

m beezo
11-10-2004, 08:46 PM
As far as how much water to add to get the right consistency I have no idea. I would think that the bag might say but I have not read those instructions in so long that I do not know. Besides I find I mix it in a mud pan quite often since I am just doing a little of it at a time. A pan full will do quite a bit of corner bead or fill in holes so I never seem to mix it in a bucket.

I too have problems with small holes in the mud but seem to get fewer if I make sure the mix is really smooth and if I work it well with a knife.

Keep trying it and you will get the hang of it.

11-10-2004, 11:12 PM
You guys need to try the 5 minute mud for patches. Three coats in an hour and then you are done. I mix very small amounts right on the hawk, like bread dough. Make a pile of powder, put a depression in the middle. Add water and squash with your angled three inch knife. Add more water by trickling with a sponge and then finish mixing with your 6 inch knife. Apply to wall and wipe down hawk with sponge, clean up done. Start mixing the next batch.

Now, the 5, 20, 40 90., etc doesn mean it dries in that time, only that you can put on the next coat. You should really wait until the next day for it to fully dry to sand lightly and paint. Adding a fan, heater or blow dryer and speed up the process.

Larger areas I use the 20 and 40 but rarely. I often mix the 5 and 20 powders together to make 10 minute mud. If I mix in a small bucket, I put in 1 inch of water and dump in some powder. Mix, adding water as necessary with the sponge. Scrape out onto the hawk and clean the bucket immediately in a 5 gallon bucket. Then apply mud and start the next coat.


11-11-2004, 09:52 PM
I know union tapers in NYC can hang, tape and paint a wall before lunch.

What's the technique and what kind of specific compounds should I be using? Thanks!

My thoughts..In order to accomplish a quick finish in a room, plenty of large fans and heaters are used for a two coat application over vertical hung boards....no buts about it...

kg's method and technique is the best I now know of...

In regards to making enough- without making too much...I mix the powder with a little amount of water using a paint mixer on a small cordless drill...I then sponge in water as needed. makes it much easier to get the mix right and elimates adding the other half of bag to make up for too wet of a mixture.

11-17-2004, 08:22 PM
Greg, sometimes when I'm really jammed up for time, I will use a heat gun to speed up the drying time ( if the area is not too large).


11-18-2004, 06:50 AM
When I was in college I was an estimator for a commercial drywall company. My boss, the owner, was 3rd generation in the company. He would occasionally go out and do a patch himself and the company did some residential work as well.

My boss really knew how to sling mud! In spite of being 100% businessman, he had obviously come up in the trade when his father owned the company. We went out to a very expensive older home one afternoon that needed a patch. I mixed and washed 3 mud pans, mixing 5-minute mud with warm water for faster curing in small batches. He made the most incredible patch job, complete in under 90 minute-- probably under an hour-- and it came out perfect.

That was the day that I realized that my boss didn't just know his company and the business, he knew every bit of the trade as well! I've never tried to repeat his results myself, but now I know it can be done! A goal for my lead carpenter to be able to accomplish some day...

Dimensions Unlimited
11-18-2004, 05:51 PM
Tape,block,skim,wet sand,seal,and paint a 2'x2' patch in 1 to 2 hours.Try Plaster Gauging (quick set) mixed with water and regular coumpound.

12-02-2004, 06:22 PM
It can be done with 5 minute durabond if you are pathcing a small hole or doing only one repair. Dont expect to do more than a few repairs with 5 minute durabond(easysamd). If you really want to speed it up on a bigger job you have your choices of 20,45,and 90 minute durabond mud. They all take practice because you are working under a certain period of time that it takes for the mud to set up. Then you have to quilcky rinse your tools and the buckets you mixed with outherwise you will have to scrape dried mud and thats no fun. Basically it takes practice to learn how to work fast and do a good enough job and eventually you will get the hang of it. My last peice of advice would be to use regular mud on your topping coat unless you like sanding durabond which is almost never as easy to sand and work with on the final coat as is regular topping mud (usg+3).

After practice you will get faster and better just takes a little time. Also you can turn up the heat which will help or use halogen lights to speed up the drying time in one particular area.


12-24-2004, 01:45 PM
USG 5 minute easy sand is the way to go.

After waiting just 5 or 10 minutes after the first coat, I mix up the next batch and then smooth any rigdes in the first coat just before applying the second. You have to time this just right and use just the right amound of pressure (not too much), however, or you will smear the drying mud and it will flake out on you.

After the second coat, I mix the third and repeat the process of removing any ridges. After the second coat all that is usually needed is a skim, which can ready for sanding on the edges (which is usually all that is needed) within 15 or 20 minutes in a warm house.

12-24-2004, 07:01 PM

Your right..if you have electricty readily available I also use the heat gun with the E-Z Sand 20..gives more working time and the heat gun dries that compund real fast. Beats hurrying up with the E-Z Sand 5.

12-28-2004, 08:01 PM
Tape,block,skim,wet sand,seal,and paint a 2'x2' patch in 1 to 2 hours.

When you say wet sand do you mean what I think? I wet sanded in autobody work but never drywall. Can you go into a little more detail about you process, It sounds efficient.

Thanks, Jeremy

12-29-2004, 07:52 AM
Tape,block,skim,wet sand,seal,and paint a 2'x2' patch in 1 to 2 hours.Try Plaster Gauging (quick set) mixed with water and regular coumpound.

Can you elaborate on the system you use.