Retailers sell sheetrock joint compound as a premixed product or as a powder that you mix with water. The premixed product is convenient because it does not require mixing, but many professionals still mix it before they use it. Mixing removes some of the stiffness and makes it easier to spread. For final coats, some add a small amount of water to the compound while mixing. Powdered mixes have a relatively short working time, but allow the application of additional coats of compound the same day.
Install the drywall compound mixing paddle in the drill and tighten the chuck. Add up to 3 gallons of compound to the 5-gallon bucket for mixing. Stand over the bucket of compound with a foot on either side and hold the bucket with your feet.
Set the drill speed switch to low if the drill has two speed settings. Hold the drill with both hands. With the end of the paddle fully inserted into the drywall compound, gradually squeeze the drill trigger to start the paddle turning.
Thoroughly mix the sheetrock compound until it has a smooth, creamy texture. Release the drill trigger to stop the drill.
Add up to 2 ounces of water per gallon of sheetrock joint compound to thin it for the final coats. Start the drill again and mix the compound until the water is fully incorporated into the mix. Stop the drill and remove the paddle from the compound.
Dry Mix Compound
Read the manufacturer's instructions on the amount of water to add to the package and for the slake time. Slake time is the short period, usually one to three minutes, after initially mixing the compound when the compound reacts with the water.
Measure the minimum amount of water required and add it to the 5-gallon bucket. Put the difference between the minimum and maximum amount of water into the measuring pail. Open the package of compound mix and add it to the water.
Stand over the bucket and hold it with your feet. Insert the paddle into the bucket and slowly squeeze the drill trigger to start the paddle turning slowly. Keep the paddle turning slowly until the dry mix is incorporated into the water.
Increase the drill speed to mix the compound to a smooth creamy texture. Add 1 to 2 ounces of water to the mix if necessary and continue mixing until a smooth, creamy mixture that spreads easily is obtained.
Stop mixing but do not remove the paddle from the compound. Wait the specified slake time, then remix the compound for two to four minutes, according to the instructions. If the mix is too stiff, add a small amount of water and remix.
Tips & Warnings
- Dry sheetrock compound mix comes in various set times. The number listed on the bag is the time needed for the compound to fully harden between coats. The working time is about half the set time. Only mix as much compound as you can use within the working time.
- Do not attempt to add water to the mixture once the dry mix compound begins to harden. The addition of water weakens the compound and will not extend the working time.
- Wear safety glasses when mixing sheetrock compound. Wear an approved dust mask while mixing the dry mix sheetrock compound.
Things You'll Need:
- 5-gallon bucket
- 1/2-inch drill
- Drywall mixing paddle
- Plastic measuring bucket
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