Woodworking Tips
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Keeping Drywall Joint Compound Fresh

I do enough small remodeling jobs and drywall repairs around the house that I like to keep some joint compound on hand — just in case. And if you've ever bought compound, you know a five-gallon bucket of "mud" doesn't cost much more than a one-gallon pail.

The trouble is, none of my jobs are really big enough to warrant buying the bigger size. In fact, I don't remember the last time I tackled a job that required a five-gallon bucket. But I still buy this size because I came up with a way to keep it from drying out.

The answer turned out to be as simple as adding enough water to the bucket to form a thin layer on top of the remaining compound. With the bucket sealed, the water keeps the compound moist and ready to use. Just pour off the excess water and stir it up.

One other trick I found that makes the compound easier to work is adding a few drops of dish soap to the mix. It seems to aid the mixing process and eliminates small air bubbles at the surface.
Have a nice weekend,

Kerry Gibson
Online Editor, Workbench
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