Though not as hard or as strong as regular setting compounds (at left), lightweight setting compounds (at right) are sandable and almost as easy to finish as premixed joint compounds.
Though not as hard or as strong as regular setting compounds (at left), lightweight setting compounds (at right) are sandable and almost as easy to finish as premixed joint compounds.

Most of the time, I use ready-mix joint compounds to tape and finish the drywall I hang. But occasionally I find myself working in less-than-ideal drying conditions, or on small jobs that need to be finished within a day or two. To keep these jobs moving, I reach for bags of setting compound instead of buckets of mud.

Setting compounds harden through a chemical reaction rather than through evaporation, making their setting times predictable and consistent. And once a coat of setting compound has set up, it can be covered with another layer of compound even if it's not completely dry, which speeds along the taping process.

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