Master Bathroom: Mudding the Walls

We’re almost done with the drywall in the master bathroom. It’s taken a lot longer than I expected. I have so much more respect now for DIYers who participate in the One Room Challenge and completely finish entire room renovations in 6 weeks!

Last time I showed you the master bathroom, it looked something like this. We’d just finished patching all the holes in the drywall from taking out the wall and taped up all the seams.

New Drywall Taped | Welcome to Heardmont

After watching a few tutorials on how to install and patch drywall (this one and this one from Lowe’s were the most helpful), I got to work mudding. This was my very first time using joint compound or doing anything on a larger scale than a small patch, so it was a learning experience for sure. Here’s what I used.

Sheetrock Mudding Supplies | Welcome to Heardmont

  1. 6″ joint knife – for the first coat of mud
  2. pre-mixed joint compound – I used 2 of the 3.5 quart tubs of this stuff before getting smart and just buying a 5 gallon bucket!
  3. paper joint tape – for the inside corners
  4. 10″ taping knife – for the wider second and third coats

After the first coat, here’s how things were looking.

Bathroom Toilet View Coat 1 | Welcome to Heardmont

I learned that the vinyl outside corner bead I used on the new corners definitely did not work on inside corners or on certain outside corners where there was no wood behind the drywall. So I had to find another solution (paper tape) for those!

You can see below where I still needed to add tape to the inside corners at the top edge of the new entrance to the room.

New Wall Coat 1 | Welcome to Heardmont

The first coat was definitely rough and took awhile to apply, but it made such a difference in the feel of the room. The walls felt more and more permanent as I went.

Light Switches Coat 1 | Welcome to Heardmont

This patch on the ceiling (pictured below) gave me a lot of trouble. If you’ll recall from my drywall post, I added braces to one side of this long hole and secured the patch to them, but I neglected to screw the patch to anything on the other side of the hole. The first coat didn’t look bad in the daylight…

Skylight Patch Coat 1 Day | Welcome to Heardmont

… but it was very obviously drooping along one edge that evening.

Skylight Patch Coat 1 Night | Welcome to Heardmont

I thought I’d have to remove the patch and start over (huge hit to the moral right there!), but then Stephen suggested we add screws diagonally from the “loose” edge of the patch into the beam beside it. Four screws did the trick!

Skylight Patch Screws | Welcome to Heardmont

Above the sink, the first coat was looking pretty good. I wasn’t sure how to approach the inside corners without paper tape – problem solved when I picked some up the next day. The vinyl corner bead along the edge of the skylight was never very secure, so it got ditched in favor of new tape before the next coat.

Above Sink Coat 1 | Welcome to Heardmont

This area along the edge of the mirror was hard to tackle with the mirror in place, but the nice thing about the first coat of plaster is that it can be really rough. We tried to leave the mirror up for as long as possible so we could still have a fully functional bathroom.

Outlet Coat 1 | Welcome to Heardmont

Before the next coat, I used my taping knife to knock down all the rough ridges left in the mud from the first coat. I read that this helps the second coat go on more smoothly because there’s less chance of chunks of plaster breaking off and streaking through the next coat.

On the second coat, I mostly focused on taping the inside corners with paper tape and that troublesome drooping ceiling patch. Here’s a super close-up look at the top of the new entrance wall with the inside corner tape in place. In case you didn’t know how to apply paper tape to drywall seams (I didn’t!), you put joint compound on both sides of the drywall under the tape, place dampened tape over the joint compound, and use your joint knife to smooth the tape and squeeze the plaster out the edges. 

New Wall Corner Coat 2 | Welcome to Heardmont

Once the corners had dried a bit, it looked more like this.

New Wall Coat 2 | Welcome to Heardmont

After the second coat, the ceiling patch was looking much better. We weren’t going to have to replace it – whew!

Skylight Patch Coat 2 | Welcome to Heardmont

I added tape to the edge of the skylight and the inside corner of the walls then came back to add tape to the long wall above the sink later.

Above Sink Pre-Inside Corner Coat 2 | Welcome to Heardmont

It’s so hard to wait 24 hours to let everything dry before adding another coat! The left edge of the horizontal seam below gave me more trouble than I expected. The edges of the ceiling and wall patches meeting in the same corner made it really tricky to get a smooth seam.

Above Sink Inside Corner Coat 2 | Welcome to Heardmont

By that evening, the second coat was done. I went ahead and lightly coated the damaged areas above the toilet where our floating shelves had been.

Toilet Wall Coat 2 | Welcome to Heardmont

For the third coat, I used a 10″ knife instead of the 6″ knife to apply a wide, feathered coat over all the seams. After another 24 hours of dry time, here’s how the bathroom looks now!

Bedroom Side Coat 3 | Welcome to Heardmont

I am in love! It’s amazing how smooth the walls look and how hard it is to tell where the patches were added under all that mud.

Toilet View Coat 3 | Welcome to Heardmont

That troublesome ceiling patch is almost completely flat now.

Skylight Patch Coat 3 | Welcome to Heardmont

It’s hard to tell there was ever a dumb fluorescent light box above the sink. I’m super proud of these corners.

Skylight Corner Coat 3 | Welcome to Heardmont

And look! Now you can barely tell where those ceiling and wall patches meet (at the left side of this seam).

Above Sink Coat 3 | Welcome to Heardmont

I’m so excited to swap out the vanity and add our new lighting to this wall. Can you picture it?

Sink Area Coat 3 | Welcome to Heardmont

Here’s a view you haven’t even seen until now – you can actually see our whole shower! I love how open everything feels in here, but of course now we realize how much of an eyesore the shower really is. There’s no hiding this puppy, so stay tuned to see how we decide to tackle this area.

Shower View Coat 3 | Welcome to Heardmont

The ceiling feels about 5 feet higher now.

Bedroom Side 2 Coat 3 | Welcome to Heardmont

One of my favorite parts of renovating is being able to compare before and after photos. If you enjoy them too, here are a few to show our progress so far!

Bathroom Vanity B&A | Welcome to Heardmont

I love how the dried mud gives a great preview of how white walls will look in the space. So fresh and clean!

Bath Left View B&A | Welcome to Heardmont

Shower B&A | Welcome to Heardmont

This process took a lot longer than I expected! I’m really happy with how the walls are turning out, but I think I have a bit more to do. I’m considering doing a skim coat on all the walls because I just don’t think I’ll be able to match the current texture exactly on such a large area. That coat won’t happen until the vanity is removed though, so it looks like we have more demo in our near future!

Have you ever done drywall patching and plastering on a large scale before? How did it go?

Check out our previous master bathroom posts below!

Master Bathroom: The Before Pictures and The Plan

Master Bathroom: Taking Down the Wall

Master Bathroom: Electrical and Drywall

Master Bathroom: Choosing Finishes

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