Step 1: Stir compound and prep surfaces

• Cut band on top of the bucket with a utility knife or tin snips and pry off lid.
• If there's water on top of the compound, chuck a mixing paddle into a ½-inch drill. Mix at slow speed until water is blended and compound is smooth. If there's no water, the compound is ready to use.
• Look for any screwheads poking above the drywall surface and drive them until slightly recessed.
• Tear away any loose or torn paper from drywall (especially at corners and cut edges) to prevent bits from ending up in the compound.
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    Tools List

    • drill
      for blending compound
    • drywall tape dispenser
      Drywall tape dispenser
    • swivel head pole sander
      Swivel-head pole sander with drywall sandpaper
      for smoothing first coat of compound
    • sanding block
      Sanding blocks
      for sanding corners
    • mud box
      Mud box
      for holding small batches of compound and cleaning knives
    • drywall knife
      5- and 10-inch drywall knives
    • mallet
    • drywall corner clincher tool
      Corner clincher
    • shop vacuum
      Shop vacuum

    Shopping List

    1. Medium-grit sanding screen or drywall sandpaper for smothing first coat of compound

    1. Fine-grit sandpaper for smoothing second and third coats of compound

    2. Joint compound

    3. Paper tape