Mud, sand, repeat {renovation update #6}

Any time you mention mudding and taping to anyone who has done it before, you typically get the same response – one of hatred. When it came time to mud and tape all the drywall we had just hung, Steve and I were confident that it couldn’t be that bad.

For those of you unfamiliar with mudding and taping, it is the process in which you smooth out all of the seams and screw holes in the drywall using a plaster-like substance called mud. This is what gives the walls the flat look that you see after you paint them.

The first step in the process is to tape all of the seams where two pieces of drywall meet, including the corners. The reason you have to tape the seams before filling them with mud is to prevent cracking in the future.

There are two different types of tape – paper and fiberglass. We used the fiberglass tape, mainly because it was easier to apply. Simply put, it was a roll of self-adhesive mesh. It looked a little something like this.


All we had to do run the tape over the seam. Since it’s self-adhering, it easily stuck to the drywall.


After the tape was up, it was time to break out the mud.


When it came to mudding, we learned that it definitely sounds a lot easier than it actually is. The mudding process ultimately goes like this – take some mud on a putty knife, spread it on the wall, and let it dry. Sounds easy, right?


Just keep mudding…mudding…mudding…

When we first started, it was definitely not that easy. It took us some time to figure out the appropriate amount of mud to apply, what tools worked best, and what techniques worked best in the different areas. The perks of having to apply multiple coats of mud is that it gives you lots of practice! By the end we were getting pretty good!


After each layer of mud had dried, we had to sand the surface. If you’re thinking that this sounds like an absolute mess, you’re right. The dust produced from sanding the mud was really fine and got EVERYWHERE! Whenever we were sanding, we usually left the house looking like we had gray hair and white skin. (Huge shout out to our friends Amanda and Kevin who not only helped us hang all the drywall, but were around for multiple sandings!)


This fancy sanding block made sanding interior corners much easier!


And when you’ve finished sanding all the seams, you start over. You are supposed to apply three coats of mud, and in some places I’m pretty sure we applied more than that because it didn’t look quite right yet.

Knowing when to stop was definitely one of the hardest parts of mudding. As soon as you think you’re done and you look somewhere else, you see something you want to fix.

After two weeks of mudding, we called it good enough. There are definitely a few places that aren’t as perfect as we hoped to get them, but nobody has said anything about it yet. 🙂



With the mudding officially complete, we went ahead and painted the entire main floor of the house…in a weekend!

We stuck with pretty neutral wall colors because I’m really not sure how I’m going to decorate yet. I figured it was easier to change pillows and curtains than it was to change entire wall colors. Also, with the space being so open concept, I wasn’t really sure how to transition colors from one space to another. I have an idea for an accent wall in the dining room, but we aren’t going to worry about that until later.


Our renovation superstar friend, Amanda, painting the ceiling

The biggest change we made was getting rid of the sun mural that was on our living room wall. It was a little too 70’s for us…


Here’s what it looks like now. Sooo much better!


The kitchen got painted a little funny because we didn’t see the point of painting walls we were just going to cover with cabinets. We painted the area around the window that I knew you would see, as well as the area between the base and wall cabinets. We are planning on putting up a backsplash in the future, but until then I figured beige walls looked better than drywall.



If you’ve been following our progress on Facebook, you know that we’re actually much further than this. In fact, the entire kitchen is already installed and functioning. 🙂 However, to get to that point has required many long hours, meaning I haven’t had much time to blog. I have pictures and will eventually get around to getting all of our renovation adventures up here. We move into the new house in two weeks, so you probably won’t here from me until after we’re settled. So if you don’t hear from me for a while, don’t worry – I’ll be back…I promise!

Until our next renovation update,



4 thoughts on “Mud, sand, repeat {renovation update #6}

  1. You guys are doing an awesome job. you could have come to Wisconsin and practiced on the garage, It has been 3 maybe 4 years, the drywall is not completed and the mudding has not been started. Lots of love Dan and Judy.

  2. Lots of sweat and hard work since the last report. It is looking great! Just keep smiling and sanding. Yes, the paint will help cover the (?) spots. Again your efforts bring back memories of being involved with our houses. Sanding, staining, and three coats of sealer on the woodwork of our last house almost did us in. But the time and effort was worth it. You will feel that way too after you finish your projects. Happy move in! Love from Earl & Sheila

  3. I thought I had written a comment, but it didn’t show up as being sent. Here goes again— Congratulations on the progress of your work. It is starting to look like a HOUSE!!! On our last house we did all of the woodwork. What a job! You are going to make your two week move-in deadline. Then you can sleep for a whole weekend. Love from Earl & Sheila

  4. Pingback: Flooring fun {renovation update #7} | Midwesterners in Maryland

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