How to install corner bead tape

Corner bead consists of reinforcing strips of metal or vinyl that are installed in the corners of rooms to protect them from damage. Corner bead can be metal, rigid paper backed metal, rigid vinyl or flexible metal with reinforced paper. Flexible metal with reinforced paper corner bead is also called corner bead tape. Corner bead tape is used to make walls that have irregular corner angles look more finished.

Apply joint compound to the open joint corner of drywall.

Cut the metal lined paper with snips to create a smoothly cut end. Unroll the metal backed paper tape with one hand on the tape reel, while guiding it onto the wall with the 12-inch tape knife as you unroll it with the other. Keep smoothing the blade over the bead with even pressure so that any air is released and the bead is level on the corner.

Snip off a generous amount of the corner bead tape when you reach about 1-foot above the end of the wall to make the final part of the installation easier. You want to leave more than enough tape to cover the corner all the way to the bottom of the wall. Press it firmly into place. Trim off the excess with snips to ensure an even distribution of the metal bead tape.

Apply joint topping compound onto the corner bead tape with the taping knife. Scrape off any unwanted compound once the joint topping compound has dried. Hit any excess compound build up off by striking the corner with the long side of the putty knife blade while holding it at an angle.

Sand down the joint compound until the surface is smooth and level.

Apply joint compound to the open joint corner of drywall.

Measure the length of the wall. Cut the metal or vinyl corner bead to the exact length of the wall with tin snips.

Hold the corner bead up to the corner and loosely nail it to the wall. Space the drywall nails 1-inch apart and nail both sides of the corner bead. Look at how the corner bead is sitting against the wall and adjust it if necessary to make it sit snug up against the wall. Finish driving the nails into the wall to secure the corner bead in place.

Slide the corner bead tape onto the edge of the corner bead so that it overlaps to evenly cover both the drywall and the corner bead, about 1/2-inch on either side. Push down the corner bead tape with a putty knife to get any air bubbles out of it and to make it lie flat against the drywall and corner bead.

Apply the joint topping compound with a putty knife, spreading it over the corner bead, the corner bead tape, and 2-inches out onto the dry wall. Smooth out the compound to make it as even as possible. Let the joint topping compound dry. Knock off any excess compound with the long side of the putty knife and then sand it down to make it a smooth surface to paint on.

Things You'll Need

  • Joint compound
  • Tin snips
  • 12-inch taping knife
  • Metal backed paper corner bead tape
  • Joint topping compound
  • Sand paper
  • Metal or vinyl corner bead
  • Measuring tape
  • Hammer
  • Dry wall nails
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About the Author

Alexis Rohlin is a professional writer for various websites. She has produced works for Red Anvil Publishing and was one of the top 10 finalists in the 2007 Midnight Hour Short Story Contest for Rohlin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in English from Madonna University.