A new house or old cracked walls? Both need to be coated with drywall mud for smooth finish.
You can make good use of drywall compound when working on your house indoor and outdoor.
The problems that you can fix with drywall mud are limitless.
So, let’s take a look at 7 best drywall mud reviews to help you decide which one is suitable for you.
What is Drywall Mud?
Drywall Mud is a paste made of gypsum and other sealing materials popularly used for new drywall installation. These are also known as Drywall Joint Compound and can be applied on the drywall to repair holes and cracks.
There are different types of drywall mud for different situations, you need to pick one that perfectly suits your problem.
Some joint compound are for skim coating, some for corner beads, and some are great for the base coat.
Our 7 Best Drywall Mud Picks
1. Dap 10102 Wallboard Joint Compound Review
A pre-mixed mud that you can use immediately, no pre-application hassle. Also, you can dilute it to suit your muddling task.
You can use it with one or many layers, but you will have to wait up to 24 hours between coats. However, it still depends on the thickness of your mud layer.
This product is suitable for skim coats where you want to repair your drywall, it works on previous peeling paint and fills small holes and chips.
Also, it is excellent for new drywalls, but Dap 10102 Wallboard Joint Compound is only suitable for interior purposes.
The most impressive feature is how it works perfectly with panels and drywalls together.
It is an option for beginners because it dries slowly, so you can keep muddling and spreading without thinking about shrinkage.
On the other hand, some find it very wet to deal with, so it depends on your task, try more than one way while mixing with water or without, and generally use it as a joint compound indoor.
Another thing you will experience is how it could be a mess working with moist drywall mud, but as mentioned, this feature has two sides; positive and negative. Dap 10102 Wallboard Joint Compound is still smooth and easy to sand with a drywall sander afterward.
Its ease of use, durability and low shrinkage are the key points that lead us to enlist it as our best drywall joint compound pick for this buying guide.
2. DAP Phenopatch Wbjc Rtu Off White Drywall Joint Compound
The Phenopatch Wbjc Rtu works best on small projects, like repairing cracks, finishing touches, as topping compound, and filling small holes, etc. But of course, that depends on the amount you purchase and the task you have in mind. So, we are not telling you that you cannot build a brick oven in the yard; instead, we recommend calculating what you need before you order.
The Phenopatch Wbjc Rtu mud keeps the mudding task straightforward. With this product, you do not need to mix anything to have the perfect texture. Just spread it and enjoy a steady, ready to the next step flat wall.
The good silky texture of the Phenopatch Wbjc Rtu makes it spread evenly and well without any efforts. It is easy to handle, and you need no experience whatsoever. It sands easily too, but you should be aware that it needs about 24 hours to dry completely.
Another thing to be aware of is the shrinkage nature of the product materials, which could lead to lacking mud spots after drying. So, remember to be generous on the spots you care about the most. Especially, when you are using it as the final coat.
The Phenopatch Wbjc Rtu has no after drying flakes. So, you will have an elegant, smooth surface that you expect.
3. U S GYPSUM Quart Ready To Use Joint Compound
It is made of gypsum that has a high-quality consistency while mixing and spreading, each grain of it has the same amount of gypsum, water, and the other substances.
It is soft and leaves no pointed mud. You can also spread without worrying about drying fast; you will have a few minutes before it starts shaping.
And to dry completely, it might take about 24 hours to start spreading another layer depending on your project.
The U S GYPSUM is a solid drywall mud that will help you in many cases, you have an old house with chips and holes to repair, or your drywall sheets are new, clean and ready to seal and coat; this product will be a great fit.
Besides, its adhesion is excellent when used before installing tiles in the bathroom or kitchen. For its waterproofing feature, this acts as a sealant also. So, it works great sticking drywall tape as well with the help of joint knife.
If you need a bit amount of caulk and you can do the job with this! Thanks to its high-quality bonding.
For design and color, it is grey to off-white, it dries hard, then it can be sanded very well, so it would be great to have smooth and soft drywall to paint. When sanding, be prepared to manage drywall dust.
Another thing to do with decoration is to prepare a recipe of this mud and papier-mache. It is used for shelf and wall decorations and many other artworks regarding decoration.
One thing that will disappoint you is its slow dryness. This is irritating to wait for a long time to dry a coat for applying another coat when you are doing some artwork.
If you leave home for a long period, this drywall joint compound might catch mold overtime. So, consider this also when making your purchase decision.
4. USG 381466 Lightweight All Purpose Joint Compound Ready Mixed
This product comes at the top when you have multiple tasks to finish, it is a product having multiple functions from filling medium holes to coating drywall surfaces.
You might adjust this mud with water to fit your purpose, and do not forget that this one is also applied differently according to your needs.
For example, you will do two thin coats when you apply it to metal surfaces. Some install wallpaper after applying it on sheetrock, but it is better to utilize its main functions like leveling, taping and skim coating.
Panel construction is another example of showing this drywall mud's job. It works well on interior wall panels with its gypsum.
Back to its primary job of leveling drywalls, the USG 381466 Lightweight does the job very well, leaving no cracks despite the thickness of the layers.
Being ready to use gives another benefit regarding mixing and putting the right quantities of water and gypsum powder. And that leads to a great product that can be sanded easily.
This product weighs 35% less than any other product of its category and it dries fast.
So, if you are looking for fast drying mud for drywall, this can easily fit your needs!
5. DAP Elastopatch Textured 02-Gal Raw Building Material
If you are excited about your next big project and finishing your shopping list, we are excited to tell you that we probably found the best drywall joint compound for you. The DAP 7079812290 Elastopatch Textured 02-Gal Raw Building Material fits into all in one mud category.
The variety of surfaces that you could use this product on is overwhelming. Whether you build a new house or a new fireplace, this mud will stick and cover the bricks more sufficient than you would have expected and of course, it will last longer.
And if you work on drywall related stuff, the DAP 7079812290 Elastopatch will assure you excellent flexibility and proper adhesive material alongside an availability to paint directly over it with no need for a primer coating.
As it is waterproof, it can be used outdoors perfectly. And since it can fill big holes, you can make the most of it in an outdoor project without any hesitation or fear of falling parts or bad outcomes.
The DAP 7079812290 Elastopatch Textured 02-Gal Raw Building Material dries fast and seals the surfaces perfectly. However, we should mention that although it is flexible and easy to use, it is hard to sand. So, if you are going to do a lot of sanding before the final coat, maybe it is better to make the layers thinner than usual. Doing so will allow you to sand easily and quickly.
6. USG Series 381110060 25Lb Bag Durabond 45 Min Joint Compound Powder
This product differs from the other products on our list in two main things: the form factor and the way it works.
The powder form of the product makes it categorized under chemical setting powder mud. It uses a chemical reaction to form mud whenever it mixed with water.
This could be a problematic situation for non-professionals to deal with. So, make sure to read the instructions carefully if you intend to do repairs all by yourself.
The Durabond 45 Min Joint Compound Powder can be used for interior and exterior surfaces. The outcome will be a satisfying solid surface that is ready for whatever comes next.
This product stands firm in front of humidity. A thing that will make relief if you live in a high humidity area or if you want to use for roof repairs.
With Durabond 45 Min Joint Compound Powder, you got what you apply. There is a little to no shrinkage after drying.
The joint will be finished on the same day you apply it, and it will be ready for decoration on the next day.
The USG company and its Durabond 45 Min, Joint Compound Powder product, have been so long in the field of compounds that make some people name Durabond as a synonym for Joint Compound products. You need a drywall knife to apply this on the drywall panel seamlessly.
7. U S Gypsum 380208-RDC03 4.5LB Pail All Purpose Compound
This product is also suitable for personal uses and professional ones. Its heavy texture and consistency give much flexibility while you use it for multiple purposes.
So, this feature of U S Gypsum All-Purpose Compound works smoothly on new drywall and panels as it has good quality as a joint compound.
The U S Gypsum All-Purpose is ready to use product as it has a unique formula of blending different substances in the right way.
The time of drying depends on how thick your coat or layer is, and it is generally recommended to have a thin layer in each coat so that one gets the best results of the drywall muds.
At the same time, you will have some time while stirring and coating because it will not shrink fast. But after having coated, drying time varies.
Finally, if you live in a humid area, this product might be suitable as it has high durability.
One of the great advantage of this product is it can be used for the finish coat for a perfectly smooth finish on the drywall seams.
Making Your Decision
Drywall mud comes in different weights and textures. While some drywall muds are more suited for outdoor use, others are intended for indoor use.
One of the best drywall mud is the U S Gypsum 380270 Quart Ready-To-Use Joint Compound. This joint compound has a good consistency that spreads evenly, creating a more textured look.
It provides a long-term solution for small and big holes, unlike other drywall mud. The U S Gypsum is a trusted brand, and it lives up to its promise. It does not create any lumpiness or cracks, and because of its durability, it can be used on multiple surfaces, including mixed media and encaustic work.
As this is a perfect product, you wouldn’t want any of it going to waste. Luckily, no product will go to waste as the U S Gypsum remains wet for an extended period after opening, allowing for multiple applications.
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What is the Best Joint Compound For Skim Coating for You?
To pick the perfect product for getting your job done, you need to know which type does what. Here is a quick overview of types of drywall joint compound-
a. All-Purpose Compound
As the name suggests, the all-purpose drywall joint compound is made for the people who have little or no knowledge about this. These can be used for all types of work like using on installation or for repairing or taping. You can use these mud for skim coating also.
These come in pre-mixed packaging so that you do not need to take the hassle of calculating the liquid content and mixing the mud. Although these are very efficient and easy to use for beginners and intermediate level people, these come with some cons also.
The all-purpose drywall joint compound dries slow and the bonding is not so strong like the mud that comes in dry powder form.
b. Drywall Mud For Topping
These are the joint compounds that go after you finish with the initial two coats. This type of drywall mud is popular for its low-shrinking feature and strong bonding ability.
Although these have some benefits, this type is not suitable for beginners. This type of mud comes in a dry powder form that needs to be mixed with water before use. When this type is the best drywall mud for professionals, this is not recommended for beginners!
Another benefit that comes with this type is that you can use exactly the amount you need. So, the spare amounts can be saved for future use while other drywall joint compounds barely offer this benefit.
c. Drywall Mud For Taping
You can guess what it is for, can’t you? You have rightly guessed! This type works great for embedding joint tape on the drywall.
These become very hard when dried and you’ll find difficulty sanding this type of joint compound.
d. Fast Dry or Hot Mud
This is also an easy guess! This type is the fastest drying joint compound that is used for quick works. If you need to do the work within a day and need to apply a few coats of mud, this surely can help you to finish your job.
For their fast-drying capability, they are also known as ‘hot mud’. These are chemically treated to be used in the most humid conditions. So, if all other types fail due to humidity, you can rely on the hot mud for getting your drywall job done.
Read More: Best Primer For Drywall
How to Choose The Best Drywall Mud For Cracks & Taping
Here is a quick buying guide on how you can pick an authentic drywall mud for your new drywall installation or repair work-
1. Know Your Problem
For picking up the best joint compound for drywall, you need to know the exact reason for which you are purchasing the pack. Knowing your problem will help you to make a shortlist of the products and pick the perfect one quickly and efficiently.
When new drywall installation requires a whole lot of drywall mud, repair works require only a bit. So. For making a good purchase decision, you need to check the product weight as well as its specialization so that you do not end up buying a wrong product.
2. Durability and Smoothness
Durability is a thing that must come with every product you purchase. No matter whether it is drywall mud or something else. When it comes to drywall joint compounds, durability is an issue to be looked at carefully.
With durability, the mud needs to be smooth when dried. If the mud does not get smooth after it is dried, you will face a lot of difficulties making the surface smooth enough. You will be spending hours sanding the surface for a final finish.
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3. Ease of Use
Best drywall joint compound for beginners must come with the feature “ease of use”. There are two types of the joint compound available considering the ease of use, i.e. pre-mixed drywall joint compound, and raw mud.
Pre-mixed drywall mud is the best for people who do not have much knowledge on this but want to do some DIY work on drywall. Raw mud comes in powder form which needs to be mixed with water.
If you are new to these things, you need to pick a product that comes pre-mixed along with clear instructions on how to use it.
4. Drying Time
Fast-drying products are always preferable when it comes to drywall joint compound. But you need to make sure that the product fulfills all other preconditions along with this feature.
If you are not in a hurry and you can skip this feature. But when you have to do the job in a quick time, you need to consider how much time drywall mud takes to dry out completely.
Usually, it takes a day to fully dry out. But some fast dry products can dry out within an hour or two!
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Best Joint Compound For Skim Coating Application Tips
- When applying drywall joint compound, make sure you clean the surface carefully so that any dust particles do not remain on the surface. Applying mud on the dirty surfaces can lead to an uneven surface that is prone to crack.
- Use the specific type of mud for your specific problems. For example, if you are applying mud on new drywall, make sure to start with base coat, then all-purpose mud for the second coat and on top of all, topping compound will go. By following the recommended formula, you will be able to make things more durable.
- Apply multiple thin coats instead of a thick coating. Doing this will help the mud to bond better and rest on the surface well. If you are looking for a perfect and professional finish on your drywall, this is the secret formula!
- Do not skip the nail or screw holes when applying drywall mud. I saw some of my friends skipping the nail or screw heads when applying mud. I don’t know why they were skipping but you should not do this. Apply on the nail and screw holes so that you get a perfectly finished even surface after sanding.