Best Drywall Mud Reviewed | Top 7 Picks

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 12, 2022
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Have you ever used drywall mud that wouldn’t spread evenly no matter how hard you tried to make it work? Well, to steer clear of such disasters, you should get the best drywall mud.

To make sure you get yourself the best one, we have done hours of research to pick the top seven muds in the market. We have found lightweight ones, easy to spread and even ones that are suitable for versatile uses.


You can easily dive into the reviews and choose the right one for yourself – it’s just a matter of time.

Best Drywall Mud Reviewed

Finding the ideal drywall mud is no walk to the park. But with our top seven picks, you will undoubtedly face no hassle when picking the right one.

1. 3M High Strength Small Hole Repair, 16 oz.

3M High Strength Small Hole Repair

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When looking for drywall mud, it is essential to check whether the item will be worth the investment or not. And while many fail to stand up to your expectations, this one will exceed them – while providing great value for money.

You can never compare this item to traditional and standard vinyl spackling – because it comes with the ability to make your repairs much faster. With 3x more repairing speed, your time will not be wasted.

Whether you are concerned about unwanted nicks or nail holes, this mud will repair it all quickly and efficiently. It can also hold screws and nails firmly once you are done repairing.

On the other hand, this versatile mud is suitable for both interior and exterior use. Therefore, you can use it for various projects without needing to opt for other drywall muds.

The spackling compound is lightweight, which makes it easy to spread. But at the same time, it also delivers professional results – even if you are entirely new to this.

There are several other benefits of this mud. For instance, it will resist the flashing of paint, and you won’t have to worry about cracking, shrinking, or sagging either – making this mud ideal.

The item has been primer enhanced for further convenience, which provides excellent hiding power and makes your work much more manageable. Not to mention, you can use it for holes that are up to 3 inches in diameter.


  • Repairs 3 times faster than others
  • Fixes nicks and nail holes in both exterior and interior
  • Lightweight and easy to spread
  • Prevents flashing of paint, cracking, etc
  • Primer enhanced for professional results


  • It contains a chemical that can cause cancer
  • Difficult to sand


It is a lightweight and easy-to-spread spackle compound that provides professional results no matter where you use it. Check the latest prices here

2. Dap 10100 Wallboard Joint Compound, White, 3-Pound

Dap 10100 Wallboard Joint Compound

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If you have no prior experience with drywall mud, it is essential to get one effortless to use. And while many will give you a difficult time, this product will make your projects much more convenient.

You would undoubtedly prefer a smooth finish when using drywall mud over a rough one. And this item will provide precisely that without you putting much effort into it.

On the other hand, this item comes with properties that will make it effortless for you to sand it. Hence, once you are done repairing, you can sand it without any hassle whatsoever.

Even as a beginner, you will never struggle to get professional results with it. Thanks to its user-friendly composition, you will always have your way around it without putting in much effort.

No need to prep the compound because it happens to be ready to use in the package. All you will have to do is open the packaging and get ready to work without the extra trouble.

Shrinkages are the biggest drawback of most drywall muds – one aspect that this one does not contain. With no shrinkage whatsoever, the outcome will turn out to be perfect.

Not to mention, this item is perfect for repairing holes, joints, and such in interiors. Hence, you won’t feel the need to get another mud for your interior use because this takes care of everything.


  • Provides a smooth finish at all times
  • Professional results without prep
  • Effortless to sand
  • Prevents shrinkage for best results
  • Best for interior use


  • Too wet to hold shape properly
  • It makes a mess easily


Here is a drywall mud that is effortless to sand and provides a smooth finish without any hassle. Check the latest prices here

3. DAP 12330 Dry Time Indicator Spackling, 1-Quart Tub, White

DAP 12330 Dry Time Indicator Spackling

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Using drywall muds can sometimes get a little messy. That is why it is essential to get one that is easy to clean. Here is one that will be convenient to clean no matter how big of a mess is created while repairing.

Everything about this spackling is convenient. Whether we are talking about applying it or squeezing it out of the tube, you will never really face any hassle when making repairs with it.

Thanks to its simple squeeze tube, getting the right amount of product out has become easier than ever—no need to worry about getting too much or too little product out while working.

On the other hand, you won’t have to take the hassle of priming while using this item. It has been pre-primed to take that task off your table – making the process of repairing less troublesome.

Not to mention, you won’t have to worry about the mud cracking or shrinking either when drying. It will remain just the way it was when wet – providing professional results without a doubt.

This aspect of the product makes it easy to sand and even more convenient to paint—no need to be concerned about the paint flashing either because this item takes care of it all.

Whether you want to put it to interior use or exterior use, this paint works well regardless. This aspect makes the product rather versatile.


  • Convenient to squeeze out of a tube
  • No priming required
  • It does not crack or shrink for optimal results
  • Effortless to sand and paint
  • Suitable for both interior and exterior use


  • Difficult to apply evenly
  • It might dry out inside the tube


Here is a drywall mud that will conveniently let you sand and paint on it while preventing cracks and shrinks for the best results. Check prices and availability here 

4. U S GYPSUM 380270072 U S Gypsum 380270 Quart Ready-to-Use Joint Compound, Off-White, 1.75 pt

U S GYPSUM 380270072 U S Gypsum 380270

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If you are tired of mediocre drywall mud that only gives you a difficult time while repairing, then this is the one that you need in your life. While it provides ease of use, it also offers excellent value for money – find out more right here.

It can be hard to spread spackling that is thick and heavy. But that will not be your concern with this product because it has a smooth texture – making it easy to apply.

Alongside being easy to spread, the item is effortless to sand as well. As a result, you won’t have to struggle with the process of sanding, even if it is your first time doing it.

You can also paint over it without worrying about the paint being flashed. The off-white color of the mud makes it a better option than its white counterparts due to this reason.

Not to mention, you won’t have to take the hassle of priming before using the product. It is ready to use, and all you will have to do is open the packaging and start using it.

In order to make it even better for its users, the item does not crack or shrink after application. It dries conveniently and provides a smooth finish once you are done repairing.

These aspects and a lot more make the drywall mud ideal for interior use. No matter where you need to repair a nail hole or nick, you won’t need to switch to another product.


  • Smooth texture for ease of spread
  • Flash paint or priming is not required
  • It does not crack or shrink
  • Provides excellent value for money
  • Best for interior use


  • The quantity is too low
  • It might leak from the container


This drywall mud comes with a smooth texture to deliver the best finish while ensuring utter convenience. Check prices and availability here

5. U S GYPSUM 385140 385140004 All Purpose Joint Compound, 3.5 Qt /3.3 liters (Pack of 1), 3300 milliliter

U S GYPSUM 385140 385140004

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You need reliable drywall mud that will work well whether you need to repair a hole or a joint. And if you have been facing difficulty finding one like that, then here is the right product for you without a doubt.

Alongside repairing drywalls, you can also use this item for plaster patching repairs. This aspect of the product makes it rather versatile – and you can put it to multiple uses.

On the other hand, no matter what you are using the mud for, the application will always be smooth. You will never face a difficult time because it has been made easy to use.

With a smooth application, this compound ensures an excellent bond along with a hard finish surface. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about the mud chipping or breaking once it has dried off.

Furthermore, there is no need to worry about priming before application either. The pre-primed formula of the item will provide professional results nonetheless – saving both your time and energy.

What makes the compound even better is that you can sand it smooth. Even if you have no prior experience with sanding, you will find the process to be relatively easy.

Due to its unique texture, you don’t have to worry about it flashing paint either. You can also rest assured that it will not crack or shrink after application.


  • Best for both drywalls and plasters
  • Smooth application with great bond
  • No priming is needed and delivers a hard finished surface
  • Sands very smoothly
  • It does not crack or shrink


  • Quite overpriced
  • Grey color is not suitable for all applications


This versatile compound will let you sand it and make repairs very conveniently. Check the latest prices here

6. US Gypsum 384211120 384211 Ez Sand 90 Joint Compound 18#, 18 Pounds

US Gypsum 384211120

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Getting a drywall mud that is effortless to handle is essential if you want the results to turn out well. And although that is a feature not many contain, here is one with exactly that and much more.

What makes this item absolutely easy to handle is that it is lightweight. Due to the light composition, spreading this becomes convenient – even for a beginner.

Despite being so easy to handle and use, this compound delivers professional results. Whether you are putting too much effort or none at all, this will provide a smooth finish like none other.

In fact, you will face absolutely no hassle when sanding it. The compound sands quickly and smoothly, and you will be able to do so in a short period of time – making your projects less time-consuming.

On the other hand, the superior bond and low shrinkage of the mud make it even more suitable for different projects. Whether you need to repair a hole or a joint, this one will make sure nothing goes wrong.

Also, to make things more convenient for you, this item requires no priming whatsoever. All you will have to do is mix it with water using the right portions and get to work.

This mud can be used for both exteriors and interiors because it resists humidity like none other. Even in super humid weather, its performance will remain superior.


  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Delivers professional results and sands easily
  • It comes with a superior bond and low shrinkage
  • No priming is required
  • Suitable for both exterior and interior use


  • Performance is inconsistent
  • Too pricey


This is an easy-to-handle drywall mud that will provide benefits in both exterior and interior applications. Check prices here

7. USG 381466 Lightweight All Purpose Joint Compound Ready Mixed

USG 381466 Lightweight All Purpose Joint

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There are too many thick and heavy drywall mud options out there, but having a lightweight mud that is buildable will provide great convenience as well. And that is what this product exactly does.

The benefit of having lightweight drywall mud is that you will be able to spread it without tiring yourself out. Not to mention, you can also dilute it for your convenience.

There is no need to prime or prep before you start repairing the holes because this product does not require anything of that sort. It has been ready-mixed, so you can start using it right out of the package.

Alongside convenience, this product provides durability as well. You won’t have to worry about repairing the same nicks and nail holes right after using this one because it stays for a long time.

What makes it so durable is that it does not shrink much. It mostly remains the same size even after drying out – so you can rest assured that this will not crack either.

You will like it even more when you are sanding it. This mud is easy to sand with excellent properties while making sure you get a smooth finish without putting in too much effort.

What sets this compound apart from the rest of its counterparts is that you will be able to use it on metal – and it will only require two coatings. Hence, this item is very versatile.


  • Lightweight and easy to spread
  • Ready-mixed and durable
  • It does not shrink much
  • Easy to sand and does not crack
  • Versatile and can be used on metal


  • It can get moldy if not used
  • Shaping it can be difficult


It is a versatile drywall mud that can be used on metal and plaster. Check the latest prices here

Things to Consider Before Buying

Getting a drywall mud is rather tricky – even if it seems pretty straightforward, settling down for an average mud is never the best option. In fact, that will possibly have more negative consequences than positive ones.

That is why you should put more thought into getting suitable drywall mud for your project. However, if you have no experience getting a suitable one before, you have nothing to be concerned about because we got you covered.

In this section of the article, we have listed all the factors and aspects that you should keep in mind when looking for drywall mud. You cannot possibly go wrong if you keep it all in mind.

What type of drywall mud is it? 

In this section, you will find that we have discussed the different types of drywall mud. There are mainly two types, among which one of them contains three variants. You can conveniently choose the best one for your projects.

How convenient is it to spread? 

Lightweight drywall muds are often the easiest to spread. But this characteristic is essential no matter what type of mud you are going for. So, make sure your chosen item can be applied and shaped easily for the best results.

Is it lightweight or thick? 

One of the best ways to make sure whether the mud is easy to spread or not is to check if it is lightweight or thick. The latter is often very difficult to apply and shape and will give you a hard time in most cases.

How long does it take to dry? 

The drying time is essential because you will have to sand it as soon as it dries – moreover, you might have to paint on it as well, and you wouldn’t want to wait for too long.

Does it crack or shrink? 

Shrinking or cracking can ruin your projects, no matter how minuscule it is. That is why you should opt for muds that will refrain from cracking or shrinking. Go through the reviews of the products to be surer of this aspect.

How easy is it to sand? 

Sanding can become arduous if the mud does not contain a smooth texture. And you wouldn’t want to put too much effort into sanding – so you should go for one that is easy to sand.

Does it require priming? 

Many drywall muds require priming – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But a pre-primed mud will surely provide more convenience.

Does it have to be mixed with water? 

Most muds do not need to be mixed with water; unless you are using hot mud. So, this aspect depends on your preference because mixing with water does not require much work anyway.

Look at the quantity provided!

Focusing on the quantity provided is necessary because you wouldn’t want to purchase unnecessary amounts. Furthermore, you should also compare the quantity with the price.

Is it worth the money? 

Make a budget first, and then find drywall muds within that budget. After that, make sure the muds contain all the features you need because otherwise, it will not be worth it.

Different Types of Drywall Mud

Before you decide to get drywall mud, you should determine which type of mud you should be getting. Different types of mud are used for various projects, and they come with their own set of benefits.

If you are not aware of the different types of drywall muds out there, then you might end up getting the wrong one – which in turn will prove to be detrimental to your projects.

That is why we are here to help you differentiate between the different types, so you will get the best results no matter what it is you are working on.

Drywall mud

Quick-Setting Drywall Mud

This type of drywall mud usually comes in powder form and has to be kept away from moisture when not in use. As soon as you mix water with the mud, an irreversible reaction causes the mud to harden.

It is called quick-setting because it only takes a few minutes to dry and set. Hence, it is used for projects that require short drying times.

Pre-Mixed Drywall Mud

The name of the mud already suggests that it has been pre-mixed – that means you won’t have to mix it with water or even prime it before you start using the mud on drywall.

This type of drywall mud is most commonly used because it is a very convenient one to use. There are three types of pre-mixed drywall mud, which we will discuss here:

1. All-Purpose Joint Compound

‘All-purpose’ in this case means that this type of drywall mud can be used for everything. It usually comes with bonding agents that will enhance the holding power of the mud.

As a result, you will be able to use it for multiple purposes; or as stated, for all purposes.

2. Lightweight All-Purpose Joint Compound

The lightweight all-purpose joint compound can also be used for every purpose, but lighter and easier to spread. Conversely, it is said to contain fewer bonding agents – as a result; it cannot be used efficiently in some cases.

So, you will have to pick the lightweight one accordingly.

3. Topping Compound

The least used drywall mud is the topping compound. That is because this type of mud cannot be used for many purposes.

You can use topping compounds for topcoats, and they come with white color for that purpose. However, you cannot use them for taping joints and such.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is joint compound the same as drywall mud? 

Yes, joint compound is a type of drywall mud, most commonly used among the other types available.

  1. What is the difference between spackle and drywall mud? 

Although both the products are often talked about interchangeably, their uses are quite different. A spackle is used as a repair compound and can be used on painted walls or plasters, whereas drywall mud cannot be used in repairing.

  1. Which type of drywall mud is the easiest to use? 

Lightweight all-purpose drywall mud is generally the easiest one to use – and the name itself states the very reason. However, other types may be more suitable for some applications.

  1. Can I sand between coats of drywall? 

Yes, you can sand between coats of drywall mud. However, you will have to make sure the area has completely dried before you start sanding it because otherwise, the result won’t be good.

  1. Should I dry sand, drywall, or wet sand it? 

Dry sanding is the best option if you are going for a more even and smooth finish. However, if you want to create less dust and mess, wet sanding is the better option.

Final Words

The best drywall mud for you would be one that adheres to all your requirements while making sure you get the best results from your project. And we hope this article has helped you find the perfect one!

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.