Easy Sand 20 vs. 45 – Best Applications and Main Difference

When choosing a quick set joint compound, you can be spoilt for choice on which one between the Easy Sand 20 and Easy Sand 45 is right for your project. This article will cover the best applications and the main differences between the Easy Sand 20 and the Easy Sand 45 to help you make the right call on which of the two suits your drywall cover project. But before that, let’s begin with what a joint compound is.

What is a Joint Compound?

A joint compound is a gypsum-based paste commonly used to cover a newly installed drywall. It’s also referred to as drywall compound or drywall mud. It’s often used to repair problem spots such as nail and screw holes, small dents, and cracks. It also covers drywall corners, joints, and seams between drywall sheets to create smooth surfaces ready for painting. Apart from gypsum, it’s also made up of additives such as polymer, water, and other chemicals. You can apply the drywall compound using a putty knife or a trowel, followed by sanding down to a smooth and even finish.

The joint compounds are available in two types. One type is fast drying, also called hot mud or quick setting. It’s sold in powder form in plastic bags or plastic-lined boxes. The second type is the premixed joint compound sold in 5-gallon buckets. It’s convenient to save time for mixing, but its downside is that it is more expensive than fast drying and takes more time to dry. The Easy Sand drywall compound is available for as low as 5 minutes to a high of 210 minutes, with 20 and 45 being the most popular options.

Best Applications of Easy Sand 20 and Easy Sand 45

While both are quick-set joint compounds, they differ on where to apply each best. You can use both on drywall, masonry, and plaster. The number 20 in the Easy Sand 20 name denotes the working time, which is 20 minutes. It has a setting time of 25-35 minutes. For Easy Sand 45, the working time is 45 minutes, with the setting time being 50-65 minutes. Of the two, the Easy Sand 20 is better suited for small projects or repairs requiring less time. You can use it on finishing joints in exterior soffits, filling and smoothing concrete ceilings, and taping and finishing panels in bathrooms.

On the other hand, the Easy Sand 45 is more suited to larger projects that need more time to work with the drying compound. It’s preferably used for larger repairs, joints, and dents that require more setting time. You can use it on above-grade concrete surfaces, interior and exterior lamination of gypsum panels or ceiling boards, and sound-deadening boards.

The main Differences between the Easy Sand 20 and Easy Sand 45

Easy Sand 20 and Easy Sand 45 have some similarities, like being easy to work with, creating a smooth finish, and are also lightweight drywall compounds but also have clear-cut differences. Let’s look at their differences based on the level of experience of the one applying it, price, size, and how complex the project is.

1) Size and How Complex the Project Is

The Easy Sand 20 drywall mud works best on small touch-ups and repair projects requiring a short completion period. You can use it on 6-12 repairs. Using it in more repairs can have you spending more time cleaning the joint compounds that set up on your pan than the time you used to do the repairs. It’s useful for repairs that include fixing dings and dent present in the drywall, smoothing out seams, filling nail holes, and repairing cracks.

Easy Sand 45, however, is suitable for larger projects requiring a longer completion period. You can use it in interior and exterior projects that require fixing larger holes, tapering and finishing drywall seams, and producing a smooth finish on textured walls. It’s also suitable for projects that need multiple repairs and coats of the drywall compound. It’s a good choice for use in a kitchen or one bedroom.

2) Level of Experience

When choosing between the Easy Sand 20 and the Easy Sand 45, the experience level matters. If you are a novice in using joint compounds, your best option would be to start with the Easy Sand 45. The Easy Sand 45 is handy for beginners because it has a longer allowance to work with it before drying up. However, it also needs some practice. It also provides enough time to rectify any mistakes and flaws one may make before the compound dries due to its slower setting time.

On the contrary, Easy Sand 20 and another lightweight drywall mud called Easy Sand 5 need an experienced hand to handle it. This is because it’s shorter working, and setting time requires someone to apply it quickly and efficiently before it drys and becomes hard.

3) Price

Easy Sand 20 and Easy Sand 45 are also reasonably priced choices. The price difference between Easy Sand 20 and Easy Sand 45 is negligible. The price difference between the two compounds is not great enough to make a difference in choosing one over the other.

Other Types of Drywall compounds

Other than the quick-set joint compounds, here are some other types.

1) All-Purpose Joint Compound

As its name implies, the All-purpose joint compound is an adaptable drywall compound that may be utilized in various situations. You can use it to fill in gaps, hide screws and nails, bedding in seams and give the drywall’s surface a smooth finish. It is appropriate for both taping and finishing. The bonding agents in the drywall mud help add the drywall tape holding power. With the all-purpose joint compound being simple to work with, and you can apply it as a primer to fill nail holes, embed tape, and cover minor patches. It’s a favorite among DIYers because of its simplicity and wide range of applications. However, compared to other types, this typical mud is more difficult to complete and sand; therefore, many prefer not to use it as a finish coat.

2) Lightweight All-Purpose Joint Compound

This type of drywall mud is meant for all applications but is lighter than the all-purpose joint compound. Many experts think lightweight joint compound is inferior for taping seams since it has fewer binding agents. Since manufacturers don’t readily disclose thorough lists of drywall mud ingredients, it is difficult to tell for sure. You can utilize this lightweight compound for the first and second seams and corner bead coats. Due to its simplicity in sanding, it is nearly always used as a final coat.

3) Topping Joint Compounds

Topping compounds are less viscous than all-purpose compounds and contain less stickiness. Therefore, they are suitable for the final coat or coatings because they are simple to feather and sand if you apply them properly. Topping joint compounds are whiter than the all-purpose joint compound and the lightweight all-purpose drywall mud. The experts utilize the five and twenty-minute setting compounds for gap filling, bedding tape, and occasionally even topcoats. These people can get away with using fast-setting compounds because they are skilled at applying them swiftly and smoothly with little to no sanding. However, if you’re a beginner, steer clear of this compound because it hardens quickly and leaves no time for second-guessing. It’s unsuitable for the first coat on most drywall joints, called embedding joint tapes.

4) Taping Joint Compound

The initial stage of completing drywall joints calls for using a taping compound to embed the joint tape. In contrast to topping and all-purpose compounds, taping compound dries more slowly and requires more sanding. When excellent bonding and crack resistance are required–such as around door and window openings–you can use a taping joint compound. Taping compound also comes in handy when covering plaster cracks. It is also the ideal drywall mud alternative for laminating drywall panels in multi-layer partitions and ceilings.

Tips for Applying Quick-Set Joint Compounds on Drywalls

The following are tips for applying quick-set joint compounds like Easy Sand 20 and Easy Sand 45 on drywalls.

  1. To accelerate the drying of a quick set drywall compound, your best bet would be to use a hair dryer or a fan. You can also mix hot water with the powdered drywall compound to speed up the drying process.
  2. Properly prepare the surface before drywall mud application by ensuring that the drywall surface is clean and clear of dust, debris, or any other loose material. Use a dry cloth or a vacuum to remove any debris that can obstruct the application.
  3. It’s critical to properly and quickly mix quick-setting joint compound, also known as a quick set or setting-type compound, because it hardens quickly. To produce a smooth and lump-free consistency, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to get the proper water-to-compound ratio and use a mixing paddle or a mechanical mixer.
  4. Ensure you use the proper tools for application. Tools like a taping knife with a wide blade or a broad knife can help to spread the joint compound evenly. The tools also have to be clean and in a good state for an effective job.
  5. Apply the quick set joint compound in small layers rather than attempting to increase the thickness all at once for a smooth finish. To blend in with the surface around it, start with a thin coating and feather the edges. Before applying the coat that follows, let the previous one dry first.
  6. If you use the quick set joint compound in numerous coats, softly sand the surface using fine-grit sandpaper between the coats. This makes the surface smoother for the subsequent layers by removing any ridges, imperfections, or bumps.
  7. Wait until the final layer of the drywall mud drys and hardens, then lightly sand with fine-grit sandpaper to achieve a smooth finish before you apply a primer or paint.
  8. Ensure the surface or room you apply the joint compound is properly ventilated to allow the compound to dry and set appropriately, prevent moisture accumulation, and create a durable finish.

Bottom Line

There you have it–the best applications and the main differences between the Easy Sand 20 and Easy Sand 45 quick-set joint compounds. If you have a small project, the Easy Sand 20 is right for you, but if you’re dealing with a large project, Easy Sand 45 is the best choice.