How to Install a Corner BeadUpdated: Jan. 27, 2023
Paper-faced corner bead makes taping outside corners a snap
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Overview: Corner Wall Beading
Traditional metal corner drywall bead is tedious and time-consuming to install, and if you don’t cover metal corner with tape, it’s likely to develop cracks along the edges. Luckily there’s an alternative that’s simpler to install that metal corner and won’t crack. If you’re an old-school carpenter like me, you’ve probably dismissed paper-faced drywall corner bead as an inferior DIY product, but trust me, once you try it, you’ll never go back.
You’ll find paper-faced drywall corner bead alongside standard metal corners in home centers and drywall supply stores. It costs a little more, about $3 for an 8-ft. length vs. $2 for the metal bead. But the wall beading is worth every penny.
Pros use a special hopper to apply joint compound to the corner bead and an expensive rolling tool to embed the bead, but you can get the same benefits using a 3-in. stiff putty knife, a 5- or 6-in. flexible putty knife and a spray bottle filled with water. Here’s how to install paper-faced corner bead, including a few tips to simplify the job and avoid problems.
Step 1: Cut the drywall paper beading with tin snips
Step 2: Mud the corner
Spread a thick layer of all-purpose joint compound on both sides of the corner and smooth it off with a putty knife. Avoid lightweight joint compound because it doesn’t adhere as well to the corner bead. Strive for an even, consistent layer of joint compound about 1/8 in. thick. Don’t leave any thin or dry spots.
Step 3: Mist the wall beading
Step 4: Position the drywall paper bead
Step 5: Embed the tape
Step 6: Use staples to align corners
Step 7: Check the corner with your blade
Leave a void for compound
A perfectly positioned corner bead protrudes slightly at the corner to allow a void for joint compound. After you place the drywall paper bead, check for a void by setting your 6-in. putty knife against the corner to make sure there’s a space under it. Check both sides in several places along the length of the corner. Slide the corner in or out to make adjustments. Use staples to hold the corner in place if it won’t stay put.
Step 8: Scrape away excess mud before it hardens
Step 9: Finish up with two more coats of joint compound
After the embedding coat of mud is dry, apply another coat of joint compound and smooth it. Do a final coat after the second coat dries. Sand the corner with 150-grit drywall sandpaper mounted on a drywall sander. Sand carefully and only enough to blend the joint compound into the drywall and remove high spots. If you sand too much, you’ll damage the paper face on the corner wall beading. If you do sand through the joint compound and create a fuzzy area, cover it with a thin layer of joint compound and resand when it dries.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
- Taping knife
- Tin snips
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.
- All-purpose joint compound
- Paper-faced corner bead