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Fill Drywall Cracks and Gaps using a Grout Bag

If you have ever finished drywall you should be aware of the need to fill any voids in the corners where the two boards meet. If you have never finished it before I hope you have already read that somewhere. Trust me it is an extremely important step that greatly reduces the chances of future cracks or tape separation from the wallboard.

IMO, the best way is to fill your cracks and voids, allow it to dry before proceeding with the taping process. This method reduces the likelihood that the drywall knife will slip into the crack or that your tape will as you embed it. Unfortunately it is a rather time consuming process to pack it in there using a trowel. The smaller the void the harder it is yet a void of any size will allow the knife to slip in.

It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention. My neck and shoulders were hurting before I even started working that day. Packing that mud into a 3 small sections of joints convinced it was going to be a very long day for a small project. My mind went to work and I thought, what if? The following is the result of that thought. It took a quick trip to the supply house but it turned a job that would have taken hours into a 30 minute process for a small bathroom. And the best part is that I learned something new; a new, better way to tackle an age old problem.

I am going to explain a process that as far as I know I invented for packing drywall compound into the cracks and voids where the boards meet. I mixed up a moderate sized batch of 45 minute setting type compound a little on the loose side, about like topping consistency and filled a grout bag about half full. A grout bag is just an over sized pastry bag very much like what one would used to decorate a cake.

I applied the compound to the cracks. I essentially caulked them with drywall compound. The bag functioned just like an over-sized caulk gun. Then using a 6" taping knife, the kind with the straight sides, I carefully removed all the excess compound leaving a perfectly formed corner with zero voids. This process worked equally well with all sizes of cracks. The crack got filled, the excess compound was removed.

About an hour later the compound was set. I was ready to proceed with the normal taping. The entire taping process went far smoother than I ever recall it going since I wasn't worn out before I started.

A grout bag will cost you about five bucks and if you wash it out really well and allow it to dry before storing, it should last through many projects before it needs replacing.

I wrote the initial portion of this article almost a year ago and never published it as I did not feel it was complete. A few months ago I needed to do this and I think I perfected this technique.

Let's face it; washing that grout bag out is major pain in the whatever. So the next time this project came around I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought a package of disposable pastry bags. They are just like grout bags only smaller. The young lady that checked me out looked at me in my work rags and asked if I baked. I replied no they were something else and if I told her what I would have to shoot her. Security watched me carefully as I left.

They worked great at a small cost of about 25 cents per bag. Each bag could be reused a time or two before it was tossed. A larger size was still desired. The filling part can be a little messy. So I went shopping online, and yes they make and sell a larger size and call it a disposable grout bag. I never really found a place with a good price and reasonable shipping.

Then I went to Ebay and found a fellow in Hong Kong who was selling a large sized pastry bag (100 count) for about $12 including shipping. At 12 cents each this is a no-brainer. If your time is only worth minimum wage, it is cheaper to use and toss then it is to rinse and wash.

All these bags come with a sealed, pointed tip so you can cut it off to match the opening you need to fill. Fold the bag and use a small clip to prevent it becoming filled then snip off the tip and use.

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