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Can You Paint Over Joint Compound? (Quick Answers)

The joint compound is made for filling gaps and making the drywall even. You can use it over cement boards to give it a good finish. It’s an additional coating over the drywall or the cement boards that you need to apply with experience.

Hence, the joint compound can be used for different purposes; but can you paint over the joint compound? Let’s find out.

Can you paint over the joint compound?

You can paint over the joint compound, but you can’t do it directly. You have to apply a primer coating before painting the joint compounds. The prime coating will make the compounds ready to absorb the paint like the drywall. In a word, you can paint over the compounds with a primer.

The joint compound is an adhesive filler that can fill gaps, uneven surfaces, and cement boards. If you have any of these issues, you can use the joint compounds. But the thing is, the joint compound is different from the drywall.

So, you cannot directly paint over the joint compounds as you did to the drywall. But that doesn’t mean you can’t paint the joint compounds. Of course, you can, but the process is different. 

You must give a prime coat over the compounds; you can apply the paint when the prime is dried.

The process of painting joint compounds is tiresome and has several steps. First, you need to prepare the compounds. Preparation means cleaning the joint compound, then applying the primer and letting it dry for a while or day. 

You also must be sure that there are no gaps and stains over the compounds.

They will be ready for the painting if you can do them all. You need to paint over the primer to let it stick to the compounds and become durable and effective. 

If you don’t know how you do all these things, I will show you all the ways to get the painted joint compounds in today’s write-up.

 There will be a preparation section and a painting section. Both will show you the best way to get the ultimate result of painted joint compounds. Remember, you cannot expect to follow them all in a while. You need to spend hours after hours and go through all the processes.

Will paint stick to joint compound?

Paint will stick to the joint compound if you apply the primer. Otherwise, the paint won’t stick because the joint compounds are not created for the paint, and it doesn’t have any particles that will stick to the compound. 

Although some paints stick to the joint compounds, they are scarce.

The latex paint will stick to joint compounds. It has a sticky texture that will go through the compounds and turn them into the best place. If you want to paint over the joint compounds directly, you have to use the latex paint; nothing will work other than latex.

But the fact is latex is not a popular choice. You need to search for the ultimate look of it. Most people don’t love the dried latex look on the joint compounds; in that case, they use a primer coat over the compounds and go for their loved paint. 

What paint does not stick to joint compound and why?

The semi-gloss paint doesn’t stick to joint compounds. It doesn’t have any sticky components that stick to the joint compounds. But people love to apply the semi-gloss paint because of its great look and excellent finish. If you’re one of those who love semi-gloss paint, you use it.

There is a joint compound primer that you can use before applying the semi-gloss paint. It will then stick to the compounds pretty nicely. It will also be durable and give you a great look that you love to see.

Do you have to paint over the joint compound?

You don’t have to paint over the joint compounds. Typically, we apply the joint compound over the mesh tape or something to cover the wall or cement boards. It will look nice on the mesh tape, so some people don’t bother to paint over the joint compound.

You have to paint over it only if you want to get the desired finish on your joint compounds. Otherwise, the dull look of the joint compounds might disappoint you.

Can you paint over joint compound without priming? 

You can paint over joint compound without priming, but it will not last long. And there will be limited paint that you will find to paint over the joint compounds without priming. Among them, the only suitable paint is the latex.

It has the adhesive feature to help the paint stick to the joint compound. The latex paint is made for the joint compounds; therefore, you can paint over it without using any primer.

How to prepare a joint compound for painting?

You can prepare the joint compound for painting by following the steps & tips. Mainly, the preparation is about using the primer over the joint compounds.

Clean the Joint Compounds:

You have to clean the joint compounds when starting the process. Cleaning the drywall will ensure the best surface to use the primer. It has to be clear. 

Apply the Primer:

Preparing the joint compounds or drywall mud is about priming. After cleaning the entire drywall, you need to prepare the primer. You have to buy a suitable primer that suits the joint compounds.

Once the primer is ready and you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, you can apply the primer to the joint compounds. 

Dry & Finish:

When the primer coat is dried and no wet or damp drywall part is left, your joint compound is ready to take the paint. It might take around 24 hours to properly prepare the joint compounds with the primer.

How long does it take to paint over a joint compound?

You have to wait for 24 hours to paint over joint compounds or drywall muds. Whenever you plan to paint over the drywall mud, you have to wait because the primer or extra coating will take around 24 hours or a day to dry properly and become ready to apply the next one.

Sometimes the time will vary due to the weather conditions. If the weather is rainy or cloudy, it might take longer than usual. And, you have to wait until the drywall mud dries properly. So, check the joint compound and apply the paint once it is dried.

What happens if you paint over wet or damp joint compound?

If you paint over the wet or damp joint compound, it will be a mess and won’t give you the best result. Notably, the joint compounds will be dull and give you a damp look. Another thing will happen: the drywall mud will take the moisture and won’t give a good finish.

If you don’t wait for the dried damp joint compounds, these are the drawbacks. Therefore, applying the paint over the wet or damp joint compound is the worst decision. 

How to paint over joint compound?

Follow the tips and go ahead with the steps to paint over the joint compounds.

Sanding with SandPaper: 

After applying the primer to the joint compounds, you need to use sandpaper. It’s a great deal and will ensure the best surface to apply your favorite paint. You don’t want the high-quality sanding; just a little use of sandpaper might be enough.

Remove the Nubs & Dirt: 

When using sandpaper, you have to remove the nubs and dirt from the drywall mud. The dirt and nubs will ruin the paint finish, and you won’t get the best finishing as you expected.

Prepare the Paint: 

Once you follow the first two steps, your drywall mud might be ready to absorb the paint. If so, you can start preparing the paint. You may use both the latex paint and the semi-gloss paint.

Since you already use a primer on the joint compounds, you may use semi-gloss paint. It will be an excellent idea to get glossy finish paint on your joint compounds.

Apply Paint & Finish: 

Once the paint is prepared, you can start applying the paint with a roller or a brush. The brush will help you go through each corner and ensure the even paint on the joint. Keep your breath, and apply the paint slowly all over the compounds.

Once the painting is over, you need to wait 24 hours to get the job done. Within this time, the paint will dry properly and be ready to use.

Final thoughts

Painting over the joint compounds is not a challenge. You can use a primer coat before applying the paint and sandpaper to remove the nubs and dirt. Once the drywall mud is ready and dry, you can start using the semi-gloss paint over it. Thus, you can paint over the joint compounds.