Applying joint compound isn’t difficult. What’s harder for most people is waiting for it to dry so they can start painting.
It’s always best to give the joint compound a solid 24 hours to make sure it’s fully dry. Some compounds will change color when they’re dry, but you can usually tell by lightly touching the surface. A patch of dry joint compound shouldn’t be wet or sink when you press on it.
Steps to Help Joint Compound Dry Faster
As we mentioned above, it’s always best to let drywall mud dry slowly over 24 hours. But sometimes, whether we’re behind on a project or simply impatient, we need it to dry faster.
Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to help speed the process up a bit more. Check out these tips below.
1. Use a Dehumidifier
Joint compound usually comes premixed, so all the moisture you need to spread it is already in the product. That moisture is what will leave the product as it dries.
If you want to speed up the process, try placing a dehumidifier in the room where the drywall mud is. Set the machine anywhere between 20 to 40 percent humidity. Doing so will help draw moisture out of the air and can help the mud dry faster.
2. Use Thinner Coats
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to hear how many people don’t think about it. If you want your mud to dry faster, simply try applying thinner layers.
Thick coats of joint compound are going to dry much slower than thin coats, and thin coats allow for better ventilation.
You can also add just a little bit of water to the compound to make the overall mixture thinner and easier to spread in light coats. Doing so can cut your drying time in half, in some cases.
3. Use a Drying Gun
You can also use a drying gun to speed up the process. Drying guns are tools that use electric heat on surfaces. They can come in handy during the drywall process.
After you apply the mud to the joint tap, aim the nozzle of the drying gun at the area for 30 to 60 seconds.
When the whole room is done, you can let the rest of the joint compound dry naturally. It helps to have a fan on to circulate the air in the room, and the drying gun gives the compound a good jump start.
4. Use Hot Joint Compound
There are a few different types of joint compounds on the market today, and one of them is called hot joint compound. This compound comes in a powder that you mix with water to create the compound.
Unlike traditional compounds, this one will cure within just 20 to 60 minutes.
So, why doesn’t everyone just use a hot joint compound all the time? The reason is that this type of compound dries so quickly that it doesn’t leave much room for error. It’s not ideal for beginners, as it often dries too fast to correct mistakes. Check out the video above for more on how to use hot joint compound.
FAQs About Joint Compound
If you still have some questions about joint compounds, take a quick look at our short FAQ section below.
Is joint compound different from spackle?
Both joint compound and spackle are used to complete drywall projects. Both materials are thick, white pastes that perform similar functions.
However, joint compound is designed to handle large-scale projects and has a thinner consistency that shrinks as it dries.
Spackle works best for small wall repairs. Its thicker consistency doesn’t shrink much as it dries, and it tends to be easier to spread.
Is joint compound fire-resistant?
Joint compound does not have a fire rating when used by itself. In some cases, it may have a fire rating when used with other products, such as drywall.
Why did my compound crack when it dried?
Joint compound shrinks as it dries, so cracks can occur at times. In most cases, joint compound will crack if it dries too quickly. It may also crack if the application of the layer was too thick.
We hope these tips have proven helpful – happy drywalling!