How to Finish Drywall Around Windows with Tear Away L Bead

For countless drywall finishers, when they think “Trim-Tex,” they think “Tear Away Bead.” When you’ve got a lot of details in a room that require some finesse to finish to perfection — think windows, doors, exposed beams, built-in cabinets and plenty of others — and not a ton of time to do it in, pros already know they need to keep a box or two of Tear Away in their trucks. But if you’re not acquainted with this valuable piece of a drywaller’s arsenal, please allow us to introduce you — here’s how to finish drywall around windows with Tear Away L Bead, as demonstrated by Steve Tuer from Refresh Home Improvements.

In this video, Steve shows off how to go from bare drywall to a finished window detail with crisp, perfect lines:

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The first thing to know when learning how to finish drywall around windows with Tear Away L Bead is that it’s all about keeping your mud and other unwanted mess on the drywall and off the window itself. That’s what the tear-off strip on the bead is for — it acts as a protective mask to keep joint compound from getting in places it doesn’t belong. But Steve goes the extra mile to additionally keep any 847 Spray Adhesive (more on that in a bit) off the window, first by applying painter’s tape along each of the window’s edges, then by using a piece of scrap drywall to shield the window from wayward adhesive as he sprays down the drywall. That kind of ingenuity is the mark of a true pro. (For what it’s worth, Trim-Tex does make a variation on the bead called the Pullaway L Bead, which features an extra-tall removable strip, ideal for being extra careful not to get mud on your nice, clean window.)

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To install Tear Away L Bead, dry fit the bead and then cut it to size. Your best bet is to next pick up a can of that 847 Spray Adhesive, a high-tack formula engineered specifically to flawlessly install vinyl corner bead. We recommend hitting both the drywall and the bead with 847, and after a minute or so when the adhesive starts to get tacky, apply the bead into place. While you’ve still got some wiggle room, make sure the bead’s flange is fully inserted into the small gap between the drywall and the outer rim of the window. Then grab your staple gun and shoot half-inch staples into the bead every six to eight inches (and if you’ve neglected to get the 847, make that every two to three inches).

Now you can start mudding, which is where the bead’s tear-off strip is going to make your life a whole lot easier. It will act as a guide for your joint knife while you mud, and make sure you’re not spilling your mud onto your window. Once your second or third layer of mud has been applied — consult our guide to the various levels of drywall finishing if you’re not sure which you’re going for here — and have fully dried, you’re ready to peel off that tear-away strip in one clean, satisfying motion. If you’ve got a buildup of mud left over after removing that strip, as Steve did here, it’s pretty easy to just run your joint knife along the edge to chip away the dried mud and leave a totally straight finished edge behind.

In Steve’s words, your finished window will look “pretty good — perfect.”

Once you’ve mastered how to finish drywall around windows with Tear Away L Bead, there’s no end to the building components and household essentials you’re ready to finish with clean finished edges. If this L Bead isn't the right fit for your job, we have a range of solutions available featuring that handy tear-off strip. As one of Trim-Tex’s most popular finishing solutions, a drywall supply dealer near you may carry enough sticks of Tear Away L Bead to outfit a small army of drywallers. Use the tool below to find a local dealer, and a huge thanks goes out to the guys at Refresh Home Improvements for the video!

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Trim-Tex beads are flying off the shelves at a dealer near you. Snag a box or a truckload of your favorite corner profiles today.