Hanging and patching drywall is a common part in any paint or DIY project. There are many different types of drywall mud that are available and everyone of them has their own purpose.
Taping compound- Taping compound is usually the first type of mud that is applied when taping a joint. Taping compound is a durable mud that typically comes premixed. The fact that taping compound does not crack easily and shrinks little is perfect for filling the joints in between drywall sheets.
Topping compound- Topping compound, just like taping compound, usually comes premixed. Topping compound is a smoother and easier to sand drywall mud that is applied on-top of taping compound once the taping compound has had enough time to dry.
All-purpose compound- All-purpose compound is the most commonly used drywall mud. All-purpose compound can be used in place of both taping and topping compound. All-purpose compound can also be used for adding texture to a surface. The down side of using all-purpose compound is that it does have a better chance of cracking than taping compound.
Lite drying compound. There is a lite compound option for taping, topping and all-purpose compound. The only difference is that lite drying compound has a lighter density than the previous three that were mentioned. The lighter density means sanding is much easier.
Setting compound- Setting compound is typically used for repairing small patches. Setting compound dry much faster, dries harder, bonds better and is more resistant to cracks and shrinkage. Setting compound come in a variety of different dry times ranging from 5 minutes to 90 minutes.