Best Drywall Mud or, Joint Compound

7 Best Drywall Mud or, Joint Compound – Reviews 2021

Are you installing corner beads? Or, perhaps you’re fixing cracks, taping the seams, and working on a patch repair on your drywall? Whatever it is, we’ve got the list of the 7 best drywall mud or, joint compounds to use.

Now, don’t get confused by the names.

Because drywall mud is what the joint compound is!

And basically, they’re formulated from hydrated calcium sulfate and glue. They can help you with fixing things like bigger holes, dents, cracks, scratches, and nail holes. You can also use it on other surfaces as well. For instance, apply it to small repairs on wood and plaster.

So, let’s dive into the list of the best joint compounds for drywall taping and cracks repair.

TOP 5 roundup in a short preview table below:

Image Name Our Rating Price
DAP Phenopatch Drywall Mud, Joint Compound

5 out of 5

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US Gypsum Joint Compound for Drywall

5 out of 5

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U S GYPSUM Sheetrock All Purpose Joint Compound

4.5 out of 5

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USG Durabond 45 Joint Compound Powder

4.5 out of 5

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Pre-Mixed Drywall Joint Compound for Skim Coating

4.5 out of 5

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To read about our product selection procedure, visit the “About” page.

7 Best Drywall Mud or, Joint Compound

When choosing the best type of drywall mud, you’ll see various textures & weights. They’ll vary depending on the purpose of use. Some are based on exterior uses while others might suit interior walls. Or, even some products are for both indoor & outdoor purposes.

In that sense, the best one is the U S GYPSUM Ez Sand Joint Compound for professionals. It comes in powder form that requires mixing. You can apply it to both indoor and outdoor repairs. And novices might pick the DAP Phenopatch Wallboard Joint Compound. But that’s not defined for them only.

Both of them will provide you with efficient performance. They’ll amaze you with a smooth durable finish on your drywall. U S Gypsum powder is easy to mix with a mud mixer.

You’ll have full control over the thickness. So you can make it more or less runny to fulfill the application needs. DAP Phenopatch is just a wonder and sits in a worthwhile position number 1 on our list. Let’s start the review with that.

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1. DAP Phenopatch Drywall Mud, Joint Compound

DAP Phenopatch joint compound is ideal for working on smaller drywall projects. Especially when you’re filling small holes, finishing touches, and repairing cracks. But this will depend on the task you’ve in mind and the amount you buy.

Therefore, we suggest you calculate the amount first before ordering.

Luckily, this drywall mud is will keep the task simple and straightforward. You don’t need to mix anything to get the perfect texture since it comes ready to use. Just apply it and proceed to the next step.

With its great silky texture, this product spread uniformly, without using a lot of effort. It’s extremely easy to use, even for beginners. Although this compound sands easily, you’d have to wait for about 24 hours so that it dries completely.

And before applying, make sure you consider the shrinkage nature of the surface. Since this can cause some spots to lack mud after drying. For that reason, be very generous on the most significant spots. All in all, this product doesn’t leave flakes after drying.

Therefore, you’ll have a classic, smooth surface as expected!

Features:

  • Sands easily
  • Smooth & silky texture
  • Easy to use and highly durable
  • Ready to Use
  • Interior application

Specification:

  • Weight 3 LBS. (1.36 KG)
  • USA made wallboard joint compound
  • Color: off-white

2. Pre-Mixed Drywall Joint Compound for Skim Coating

This is the best drywall joint compound for skim coating walls and ceilings. You might also use it for taping, repairing, or texturing purposes. It works well on peeling-paint as well as filling chips and small holes.

Also, if you’re installing new drywalls, this joint compound will come in handy. But remember, this product is only suitable for indoor uses!

It comes as a premixed mud that is ready to use, eliminating pre-application challenges. However, you can dilute this mud to match the intended mudding task perfectly. Also, you can apply more than one layer. Just remember to wait between coats for about 24 hours.

But this usually depends on the layer’s thickness. The best feature about this product is how well it works with drywalls and panels. Unlike most joint compounds, this product dries slowly. Thus it’s an ideal option for beginners since they can be applied without considering shrinkage.

However, some people claim that it’s too wet to work with, but this will depend on the task you’re handling.

While we’re still on that point, using moist mud can create a mess. So this feature has both a negative side and a positive one. After it dries completely, it’s smooth & easy to sand with drywall sandpapers. It is the low shrinkage, durability, and ease of use that have made us include it in our list. So, if you’re looking for a good joint compound for interior use, it’s one of the best options out there!

Features:

  • Highly durable
  • Sands easily
  • Minimal shrinkage
  • Professional grade

Specification:

  • 12-pound tub
  • Premixed gypsum drywall
  • For interior applications

3. U S GYPSUM Sheetrock All-Purpose Joint Compound

Are there holes and chips in the drywall? Or, did you just install new drywall sheets?

Whichever the case, this U S Gypsum compound will be a perfect fit. This mud is made using high-quality gypsum. To ensure consistency while spreading and mixing, each grain has the same amount of water, gypsum, and other substances.

This soft joint compound does not leave pointed mud when it dries. It takes about 24 hours to dry completely, giving you enough time before it starts to shape up. However, don’t apply another layer before the first layers dry completely.

You can apply this joint compound before installing kitchen or bathroom tiles since it has great adhesion. And installing corner trims is just worth it! This will act as a sealant too because of its waterproof nature. Also, with its high-quality bonding, you can use this product for tasks that need a little amount of caulk.

As for the color and design, this product is grey, but it turns off-white when it dries.

You can then sand it conveniently to create soft and smooth drywall ready for painting. Regarding decoration, you can prepare a recipe of papier-mache and this product, and then use it for wall and shelf decorations.

The only issue that you may encounter with this product is the slow drying rate.

Therefore, you’ll have to wait for some time before you apply another coat. This can be very irritating, especially when you’re doing some artwork. But if you want to use the product to fill drywall holes, that may not be an issue.

Features:

  • Great adhesion quality
  • Turns from gray to off white
  • Soft and smooth texture
  • Sands well & dries hard

Specification:

  • Color: off-white
  • 1 Quart container
  • 1 Quart container
  • Non-asbestos

4. Dap Lightweight Drywall Mud Joint Compound

This Lightweight Wallboard joint compound is yet another great product from DAP. If performance and quality are what you’re looking for, just like most DAP products, this would be a great choice. It comes in a 1-gallon container.

Thus perfect for a large drywall repairing project. So, if you’re just entering into a new apartment, you’ll not regret buying this joint compound. You’ll also love the product’s consistency which makes it easy to spread and apply.

Nobody likes the mud that shrinks significantly on drying. But that will not be an issue with this product since it undergoes minimal shrinking.

Once you apply this, it dries fast, leaving a hard patch. After ensuring that the compound has dried completely, you can proceed to sand. If you want to paint the patch so that it can blend in with the remaining surface, you’ll get excellent results!

It’s ready to use and perfect for finishing joints in gypsum panels. However, note that it might not be a good option for a clean exterior surface.

Features:

  • Shrinks less
  • Sands easily
  • Dries fast and it’s easy to handle

Specification:

  • Color: white
  • 1-gallon container
  • Ready to use

5. US Gypsum Ez Sand Joint Compound for Drywall

Now, pick number 5 is somewhat a bit different. That’s mainly if we talk about 2 things – how it works and the form factor.

It comes in powder form and requires mixing. That’s why it’s categorized under the chemically setting compounds. When mixed with water, this powder undergoes a chemical reaction to form the drywall mud. This can pose a critical challenge for beginners and non-professionals.

So, we suggest that you read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Especially if you’ve never used this product before.

You can use the US Gypsum sand joint compound for drywall exteriors and interiors. It allows same-day drywall joint finishing as well as next-day decoration.

When applied, the mud takes about 85 to 130 minutes to set. Compared with standard setting-type compounds, it weighs less by 25%. That way, it’s easy to handle and produces smooth finishing.

Consequently, it’s not vulnerable to extreme humidity and is perfect for heavy fills.

This drywall joint compound will provide a superior bond and low shrinkage. You can use it to laminate gypsum panels, sound-proofing boards or, even concrete surfaces. Use this for smoothing and finishing on drywall.

Moreover, you can apply this when filling above-grade concrete and interior ceilings. Lastly, finishing up joints on exterior ceiling boards is just worth it!

Features:

  • All-purpose drywall joint compound
  • Exceptional resistance to humidity
  • Superior bond and low shrinkage
  • Highly durable and easy to use
  • Ideal for exterior gypsum ceilings
  • And interior gypsum panels

Specification:

  • Comes in powder form
  • Not ready to use
  • 18 LB bag
  • Brand Name: U S GYPSUM

6. USG Lightweight All-Purpose Joint Compound

If you’ve multiple drywall finishing tasks, consider investing in this all-purpose joint compound. This one is suited for various functions including coating metal surfaces and filling medium drywall holes. It comes ready to use but you can adjust it by adding some water.

That way you can match your purpose. It can also be used differently depending on your needs. For instance, if you’re finishing metal surfaces, apply 2 thin coats. Some people prefer installing wallpaper on drywall after they apply this compound.

However, we recommend this for the intended functions like mudding, leveling, and taping. You might also use it in panel construction. Its gypsum works perfectly with interior wall panels. But let’s not get deeper into that right now. Instead, let’s go back to the primary task of leveling drywall!

In that sense of view, it does a very good job. And leveling the drywall joints is just super easy. Just put a thin layer for the drywall tape to sit and then starting finishing. It doesn’t leave any cracks, regardless of the layers’ thickness.

So it’s a highly recommended drywall mud for taping and texturing.

Another plus is that it comes ready to use. That means it contains the right amount of gypsum powder and water. Thus resulting in a drywall mud that is easy to sand when it dries. Furthermore, as the name implies, this product is lightweight.

It has 35% less weight than similar products and dries fast. So, if you want a fast-drying joint compound for drywall repairs, this is what you need!

Features:

  • Adjustable with water
  • Doesn’t leave cracks
  • Lightweight and dries fast
  • All-purpose drywall mud

Specification:

  • 4.5-gallon container
  • Ready-mixed drywall mud

7. USG Durabond 45 Joint Compound Powder

Last on our list is yet another powder that falls under the chemical setting category. And it also involves mixing with water to trigger a chemical reaction. This results in mud or, the joint compound that is used for drywall repairs.

Just remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

You can use this Durabond 45 Min powder for both exterior and interior surfaces. This will create a solid surface ready for the next step!

On drying, the compound creates a hard plaster-like surface.

If you’re working in a high humid area, you’ll be glad to know that it can resists humidity. This feature also makes it an excellent option when you’re repairing roofs. Once it dries after application, it does not shrink. The finished joint will be ready on the same day you applied it. But if you want to decorate the surface, do it in the following day. With a good history of reliability and credibility, it stands out among others.

It provides a superior bond which is perfect for heavy fills. Don’t shy away from investing in this product for sound-proofing your wallboard.

Features:

  • Resists shrinkage after drying
  • Fast-drying ability
  • Ideal for large projects storage
  • Superior bond
  • Humidity resistance

Specification:

  • Turns from white to off-white
  • 25 Lb. packet
  • Brand Name: USG

How to Choose the Right Drywall Mud or Joint Compound

Now, this is a decision-maker guide section. You’ll certainly benefit from choosing the right drywall mud for cracks, taping, or texturing projects.

1. Define Your Purpose of Use

You know with the right drywall joint compound you can achieve your goals faster and easier. For that, don’t forget to find out the exact problem for which you’re willing to buy one. And it’s always good to know about the product you’re going to buy. That will give you tons of right sense to kill the problem on the spot. When the first step is done, it’s time to define specific types for ease of use.

2. Ease of Use

This special consideration applies to anything that we buy. An unusable product of a higher cost is less worthy than a cheap handy doer. Whether you buy premixed or, raw mud, either one should be easy to use. As you’ll consider your own situation deserved tools, the next step should follow it easily.

3. Product Weight

Product weight is also another great consideration that you shouldn’t miss. For a small little crack fix, you won’t order a larger version, right?

4. Curing Time

This is an important criterion. And if you’re worried about this, grad out pick number 6 above. You don’t have to waste your time looking for the fast-drying mud. This is required especially when you’re on a tight schedule. Drywall mud can take up to 24 hours to fully cure. But for some fast-drying versions, they might cure within a few hours. Not only is the curing time a fact. But it should also be durable and come with a smooth finish.

5. Durability and Performance

You wouldn’t like to hold those drywall trowels back to back for a single fix. Hence you must look for durable drywall mud with high performance. And it applies to many other aspects. When the joint compound dries, it should be sturdy and easy to sand. And it should result in a smooth finish that lasts longer and doesn’t bother you within a short period of time. Also if the compound is not smooth, you’ll have a difficult time putting on primer coats.


Premixed Vs. Powder Joint Compound

Mostly, joint compounds can be categorized into two parts. You will find pre-mixed drywall mud or raw sand mud that requires mixing. For the mixing process, it might be an issue for those with no experience. But the raw powder mud might still come up with some special benefits for a specific user.

On the other hand, already mixed versions are just ready to jump into the mud pan. And it’s the best one for those with a little defined DIY project. Thereupon, novices are mostly advised to invest in a pre-mixed drywall joint compound. Let’s dig deeper inside to get to know more about the differences between premixed and powder joint compounds.

1. Pre-Mixed Wet Joint Compound

This is basically the ready-to-use version. It comes in buckets of different weights. It’s mostly suited for DIYers as the manufacturer has already mixed it with water. And they give you a certain consistency of the density. But what’s interesting is that it still allows you to adjust according to your needs.

Benefits:

  • Mixed by experts with knowledge
  • Give you a working density
  • Perfect for quick jobs
  • No mud mixer is required

Downsides:

  • Can’t be stored for long
  • More wastage
  • Dries faster
  • The project base needs to be defined

2. Dry Powder Joint Compound

So from the name, you can already guess that it’s not a ready-to-use product. Rather it requires you to mix with water as it comes in powder form. And it’s more likely a cement bag. You’ll have to define and add the right amount of water to achieve the desired density. If you can define the project base, then you can mix the right amount of raw mud and reserve the rest. So, it’s mostly suited for professionals with large projects.

Benefits:

  • It’s cheaper than a premixed one
  • Can be restored for future
  • The paper bag can be recycled
  • Eco friendly & powder prevents mold

Downsides:

  • Requires past experience
  • Not suitable for newbies
  • Might irritate the nose if flies on air
  • Requires mud mixer

Joint Compound vs. Spackle (What’s the Difference?)

The main difference between them is the scale on which they’re used.

Both of them are very useful and some people even use them interchangeably in some instances. However, if you want the highest quality results, it’s good to know which one works well in a certain scenario. And that’s where the importance of knowing the difference between joint compound and sparkle comes in!

1. What is Joint Compound?

The joint compound simply refers to a mixture of gypsum dust and water. This mixture is easy to use and creates a smooth base for indoor wall painting projects. You can use it for minor repair works and finishing up drywall seams. Or, use it when installing drywall corner beads. Wallboard joint compounds might retract and shrink a bit. However, you might use it to seal joints, apply edge guards and tapes, or even prepare drywall for the first paint coat.

2. What is Spackle?

It also refers to a paste product. It’s a bit similar to a joint compound since it’s also obtained from gypsum. It comes in various consistencies, each designed for different scenarios. Thicker grains are mainly used for significant patchwork, while thinners are used for small repair works. Thereupon, drywall spackles are used for much smaller applications like filling drywall cracks.


Conclusion

Whether you’re fixing any cracks or patch a hole, these are the best joint compounds for drywall. Consider our list even when you’re installing new wallboard sheets. We highly recommend you pick your best wallboard crack and holes filler from above.

We have the most flexible joint compounds for drywall taping and cracks repair. They will conceal the imperfections and no one could even make a guess. We hope that from our comprehensive list, you’ll certainly get the best one for you!


FAQs

1. Is joint compound the same as drywall mud?

Answer: Yes, they’re basically the same thing with two different names. Drywall mud is what you might also call the joint compound. It’s formulated from hydrated calcium sulfate and adhesives. You can use it to fixing drywall cracks or holes. Also when installing edge guards to protect the external or internal corners.

2. What kind of drywall mud should I use?

Answer: It depends upon many criteria. Just as an instance, if you’re taping the sheet joints and have applied a few coats, it is time for a topping compound to take an action. It’ll provide a low shrinking smooth and strong finish.

3. What does it mean to mud drywall?

Answer: It’s a process of putting layers of drywall mud. With that, you can cover any uneven dents, scratch patterns, bumps, visible nails, and screws, etc. So, it makes the wall surface super flat-looking and ready to paint. Thus create a luxurious interior finish that is ready to welcome your guests.

4. How many coats of drywall mud do I need?

Answer: Sometimes 2/3 coats or, even more depending on the situation. It totally depends upon a visual analysis. If you see bumps and dents that aren’t already covered with the first few coats. Apply a few other layers of joint compound. So, you’ll have to carefully handle this stage to fulfill the actual need.

5. Can I use the joint compound on the wallboard?

Answer: Yes of course and that’s what it’s made for. You can also do a handful of things with the product. Check out our wallboard joint compound reviews, above.

6. What is the perfect joint compound for skim coating?

Answer: DAP Wallboard Joint Compound will be the best one when you’re skim coating. It’s a professional-grade premixed gypsum mud. You can apply it to any interior joints for a highly durable finish.

7. Can you thin joint compounds?

Answer: Yes, you can! And it only requires you to add water to make it thinner. Just make sure you add a very small amount of water at a time. Then mix it up with a knife. Continue the process until you’re satisfied with the consistency of thinness.

That way you can reach the desired goal easily. So you get the mud perfectly runny for the application. Otherwise, you might end up with an over-optimized result which will force you to add more powder mud to thicken it back.

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