Careers Business Ownership Finish Great Drywall Joints Share PINTEREST Email Print Getty / Banks Photos Business Ownership Industries Construction Retail Small Business Restauranting Real Estate Nonprofit Organizations Landlords Import/Export Business Freelancing & Consulting Franchises Food & Beverage Event Planning eBay E-commerce Operations & Success Becoming an Owner By Juan Rodriguez Juan Rodriguez LinkedIn University of Puerto Rico DeVry University Juan Rodriguez is a former writer with The Balance who covered large-scale construction. He is an engineer with experience managing and overseeing large civil works construction. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 03/20/19 Finishing drywall joints is not an easy task. Some like to use wider drywall knives when finishing drywall joints, while others tend to select specific joint compound. Furthermore, be sure to select appropriate materials, follow these tips, and you will get great finish drywall joints. Finish Drywall Joints Tips Keep your knives as clean as possible. Wipe off excess joint compound after each pass with the knife.Never mixed dried compound with fresh compound. Dried joint compound will leave an uneven finished surface. Remove dried joint compound from the pan.Make sure ALL screws are set below the surface. You should run a knife over all screws - if the knife hits a screw head, the screw must be set in further.When you start finishing drywall joints, is important to lengthen your strokes.I would recommend using a fast drying, low shrinkage patching plaster or spackle for filling gaps.Do not put too much joint compound in the knife. Using a small amount to finish drywall joint will allow you to minimize joint compound waste.Use flexible knife blades. Try to flex the blade with your hands to see if it’s an appropriate knife to be used.Start by finishing butt joints, joints that occur on the ends of drywall sheets.After all butt joints are finished, move on to tapered joints. Tapered joints are the ones along the edges.. The last areas to be worked are inside corners followed by outside corners. When finishing inside corners drywall joints, remember to work one side at a time.Mix the joint compound before applying. Even ready-mixed joint compound should be mixed to smooth out the compound.For better results mix joint compound using a mixing paddle attached to an electric drill.After the first pass, clean off the knife on the side of the pan and smooth the entire joint in one stroke.If you want to finish butt joints, remember to wipe off joint compound from both corners of the knife.Important tip: Very quickly pass the tape piece through a bucket of water wetting both sides of the tape.Once the butt joint is covered with joint compound, cut a piece of tape and embed it over the joint line. The tape must be placed over the middle of the butt joint. Cut tape to the length of all joints you will be finishing before starting.Once the tape is in place and smooth, cover the entire joint with more compound, this time using an 8-in. knife.Wipe off any excess joint compound that squeezes out. Some professionals recommend letting the joint compound set during 24 hours, before applying a second joint compound coat.Now, let’s finish tapered joints. Tapered joints must be filled with joint compound by using a 5 in the knife.Repeat steps 13, 14 and 15 but this time ailing the tapered joint.Cover the fastener heads with a wide stripe of the compound and scrape off the excess.Now let’s finish drywall ceiling joints.Load your knife with joint compound, Do not load the knife too much, or it will fall on the floor.Press the knife against the ceiling and move it slowly along the joint flattening the knife as you move.Now, finally, sand very lightly as needed with a sheet of fine 220 grit paper on a 3"x8" sanding block. Dust or vacuum the surface, shine a light again and fill in any remaining imperfections with thinned mud firmly drawn down.