Many homes are built with garages and/or basements that are unfinished. This usually means that the drywall is hung on the housing frames, but the holes and seams are not taped or patched. If you can learn to patch drywall on your own, you can easily finish your basement or garage. Patching drywall is often called "mudding". Drywall mud is very easy to work with if you have the right tools. This article explains how to tape and patch drywall seams.
Applying and Cutting the Tape
Drywall tape is usually at least 2" wide. It is easy to cut if you have a sharp pair or scissors. Don't try to cut it with a utility knife because it can be hard to get a clean, straight cut. Also, you should not expect the tape to be very sticky because it has such a wide mesh design. It is not as sticky as duct or masking tape, so you need to press it down very firmly. Cut the tape as you apply it to the seams. You don't want to precut it, because you want the length to be exact. It is a good idea if the tape over hangs about 1" on each side of a seam. So, you might need to double tape seams that have a thick gap.
Mudding the Tape
Applying mud over the tape is a skill that will take a little bit of practice because you want to spread it as thinly as possible. However, it does need to be thick enough to cover the mesh tape. Using a drywall hawk and trowel is the best way to mud. A hawk is basically a flat metal tray with a small handle. You need to put a large portion of drywall mud on the hawk, and then use the trowel to spread it onto the seams. Make slightly arced strokes as you spread the mud. If you just spread in straight lines, edges of mud will form. Work with the mud until there are no edges and the seam is hidden. You may need to apply a second coat of mud to cover the texture in parts where the tape overlaps.
Once the seams are patched, you can focus on what to do next with your drywall. You can apply spray or hand-troweled textures to further cover the seams, or you can simply prime and paint the walls. If you do the latter, the seams might still be visible.
For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from Zip Drywall.