Tools of the (Tape-and-Mud) Trade

Investing in the proper equipment comes with a higher upfront cost, but you'll be doing your future self a huge favor

In our last update on Custom Design & Construction's Sheldon Street project, we introduced the married drywaller team of Jose and Rosanna with HH Drywall. Jose was up on stilts handling the first-floor ceiling, while Rosanna was whipping up and applying mud a little closer to terra firma.

Today, they’re working upstairs, using specialized tools mounted on extension poles to get the job done efficiently. In a single pass, Rosanna fills a floor-to-ceiling line of screw dimples with a 3-inch flat box, while Jose makes wide passes with a 15-inch flat box as well as a corner applicator. 

These tools allow for smooth and consistent application of joint compound with proper feathering of the edges—and they do it at twice the speed of hand applications. With large buckets of compound mixed and ready to go, they use pumps to quickly refill the applicator boxes.

“The tools can be very expensive,” says Jose, and at several thousand dollars for a complete professional set, he’s shooting as straight as the walls he’s mudding. These pieces are priced out of reach (and probably out of practical necessity) of the weekend warrior, but for a professional, they’re required gear.

If you do have them in your arsenal, maintain them properly and they’ll pay for themselves many times over by increasing efficiency.

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