How to Apply Bullnose Corner Bead

applying corner bead

Following the steps for how to apply bullnose corner bead can add style and interest to your walls.

Before Installing

Before you begin focusing on how to install bullnose corner bead, take a few minutes to make sure you have all the tools and supplies necessary to complete the job. Once you've measured for the amount of bead you'll need, figure in some extra as the bead can easily become bent or you may cut the wrong length.

  • Length of installation-You'll find that you work faster the more experienced you become. In the beginning, however, plan on spending anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes on each bead section, including the application of drywall compound.
  • Tools needed-For metal bead, you'll need a good pair of metal shears. For vinyl bead, you can probably get by with tin snips, and for composite bead, a utility knife or scissors should work. To apply the compound, you'll need 6-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch drywall knives.
  • Materials needed-Materials include bullnose corner bead, drywall nails, and transition pieces used to square off the corners.
  • Important tip-As you install the beads, use light pressure to create a straight, even fit along the wall. If the bead begins to twist, you'll need to remove it and try again. In the same manner, use light pressure as you begin mudding the beads. If you apply too much pressure, you might curve your knife blade, and you might not be able to fill in the corners adequately.

Steps for How to Apply Bullnose Corner Bead

The steps for how to apply bullnose corner bead are as follows:

  1. When installing drywall at outside corners, try to keep the drywall sections from extending past each other. If this does occur, however, you'll need to file off the excess dry wall to create a more fitted junction of the two pieces. Don't worry if there is still excess wall, however, because the bullnose bead will take care of that.
  2. Measure and cut the bead about a half inch shorter than you need.
  3. Install the bullnose bead by nailing it into place, with nails placed about every eight inches along the strip.
  4. You're now ready to apply the drywall compound. You can do this by applying the compound between the bead and the wall with a 6-inch knife. Because you'll be adding additional coats of mud, don't apply the first coat too thickly.
  5. Sand the compound to a smooth finish.
  6. For the second coat, use a 10-inch knife, applying the mud as smoothly as possible against the wall, and sand again.
  7. For the third coat, use a 12-inch knife and repeat the process.
  8. That's it. You're done! Now, your wall is ready to finish however you choose.

Points to Remember

  • For corners that are smaller or larger than a preferred 90 degree fit, consider purchasing off-angle bullnose beads.
  • Bead choices often depend on the use of an area. A tough, vinyl or composite bead can often withstand repetitive impact better than a metal bead that stands the risk of becoming dented.
  • There are two alternative approaches to the traditional chore of applying compound. One is to use spray adhesive, while the other is a stapling technique. While either of these will work, the strongest method is by far the compound method.

Finally, remember to take your time. While the process is certainly methodical, it really isn't that difficult. You'll find yourself working more quickly and efficiently as time goes on and you become more adept at what you are doing.

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How to Apply Bullnose Corner Bead