Finishing Compounds: Products To Consider For the Task At Hand

The kind of drywall mud you use will depend on the project your working on. Learn more here

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In our last blog post, we discussed several different types of drywall and when to use them, depending on the project-type and application. Now, the drywall’s been hung and screwed, the drywall tape has been applied to the joints, and you’re nearing the end of the drywall installation – what comes next is layering the proper finish.

While drywall finishing requires a mixture of experience and craftsmanship, some professionals may not realize all the joint finishing compound products made available to them. Many rely on general, all-purpose drywall finish, but there are, in fact, specific finishing compounds that are better, and more suitable for certain situations than others. Below, we take a look at a few different product varieties, and where and when to use them.

General, all-purpose finishing compounds

  • As a rule of thumb, all-purpose finishing compounds are ideal for a wide variety of jobs, and typically come pre-mixed, making them a great choice for DIY-ers
  • All-purpose compounds can be applied with each coat for an average drying period, depending upon indoor temperature and humidity
  • However, these products may not have as strong of a bond as alternative options
  • For lighter, smaller projects with quick clean-up, consider using products with a special formula designed to reduce airborne dust, like CertainTeed Gypsum’s Easi-Fil® Dust Away®

Heavy-fill compounds

  • Heavy-fill finishing compounds are preferred when an exceptional bond is necessary
  • Due to the product’s composition, heavy-fill compounds are not easily sanded and may have a longer setting time, which can alter the project’s timeline if not accounted for
  • Heavy-fill finishing compounds are ideal for areas where a strong bond is required, but sanding isn’t necessary
  • Products like CertainTeed Gypsum’s Easi-Fil® Heavy Repair 90 come premixed, with a strong bond for a durable, reliable finish with each coat

For areas prone to moisture and mold exposure:

  • For certain products, moisture and mold protection need not stop with the insulation. Consider finding a finishing product that’s specially formulated to resist water buildup and reduce the likelihood of mold
  • These products are ideal for areas bathrooms, kitchens and basements
  • CertainTeed Gypsum offers its M2Tech® 90 Moisture and Mold Resistant Setting Compound for a full, moisture-resistant interior system
  • As an added benefit, apply this type of finish over a moisture-and-mold-resistant gypsum board for maximum defense against unwanted moisture intrusion

For exterior projects:

  • For commercial and exterior projects not directly exposed to weather, consider using a high-performance, long-lasting finishing compound for added protection
  • These types of compounds can be added to concrete surfaces, garages, exterior soffits, or outdoor walls covered by a shelter or overhang
  • CertainTeed Gypsum offers its EXTREME All-Purpose Joint Compound for such instances, which comes with added moisture and mold protection

For a textured, decorative finish:

  • For projects requiring a textured, decorative appearance, consider using a finishing compound specifically made for easy contortion and modeling. Typical projects requiring a textured appearance include hotels, multi-family housing, and residential homes
  • These textured products are acrylic-based, easily shaped, resistant to scratch and abuse, and is non-abrasive to the skin for easy handling
  • These products are great when creating a variety of finishing designs, including orange peel, knockdown and splatter
  • Consider products like CertainTeed Gypsum’s EXTREME Texture Coat next time you’re applying finishing compounds for a textured look

Next, check out our guide to mudding drywall.

About Mitchell Schittler

Mitchell Schittler is a Technical Marketing Manager for CertainTeed, a North American manufacturer of building products headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Mitchell has been in the building materials industry for 17 years, 8 of which have been at CertainTeed. In his role, Mitchell is responsible for handling technical inquiries related to gypsum and finishing products, which includes fire safety, acoustics and moisture management. Mitchell is also a LEED® AP with BD+C Specialty.

About CertainTeed

Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, has helped shape the building products industry for 115 years. Today, CertainTeed is a leading North American brand of interior and exterior building products, ideal for every application, whether commercial or residential. Click here to see our previous article on Choosing the Right Drywall and stay tuned for more content from CertainTeed.