How Gary Johnston Plastering & Drywall Finishes Fast Edge®

The paper-covered corner bead has sped up this finishing crew's technique

On a particularly sweaty day in August, we had the pleasure of visiting a lovely custom home build in a developing neighborhood of Naperville, Ill. We arrived to find a crew of finishers from Gary Johnston Plastering & Drywall already hard at work, armed with a truckload of Trim-Tex beads and a whole bunch of bottled waters. Like just about every other finishing crew in the world, the guys from Gary Johnston were on a tight schedule and strict budget for this project. That made Trim-Tex’s Fast Edge® corner bead a no-brainer choice for almost all their outside corners — it’s faster to finish than any other corner bead out there, while using less mud to make it happen.


Fast Edge Paper, the game-changing paper-covered corner bead that’s been flying off our shelves ever since we introduced it, makes a lot of sense to use for a home like this one in Naperville. Besides the faster finish and reduced mud usage, this fairly large house has a ton of corners that need protecting, and not all of them are at straight 90-degree angles. Fast Edge’s vinyl core and laminated-paper flanges allow a certain amount of flexibility — for these more obtuse angles, you could find finisher Francisco Cardenas (pictured) simply leaning a stick of Fast Edge against the wall and lightly shoving inward to open the corner bead up, making it the perfect fit for the off-angles located all over the house.

How a Chicagoland Finisher Uses Fast Edge® Around Columns
How a Chicagoland Finisher Uses Fast Edge® Around Columns

To finish Fast Edge, first off, the Gary Johnston drywallers would dry fit their sticks to their corners, then used a pair of snips to quickly cut the beads to length.


Fast Edge needs no staples or spray adhesives to install; instead, you can just blade it onto the corner directly, use a compound applicator tube or, as Francisco selected for this job, run the bead through a hopper. Of course, we’ll always recommend using Fast Edge with a Trim-Tex Pro Series 4-in-1 hopper for peak performance. But Francisco’s more DIY approach, using two old compound buckets, pictured below, definitely still got the job done.


After firmly applying the mud-caked bead by hand to its corner, Francisco grabbed one of our Pro Series Quad Rollers specifically designed to finish Fast Edge sticks. By applying pressure to the bead with this tool, he was able to ensure a perfectly straight, even installation across the entire corner, every time.


(At this point, Fast Edge’s laminated-paper legs have already begun bonding securely to the drywall, while the mud locks within the bead’s vinyl core have hooked their way into the compound. Together, these two components give the bead a much stronger, more resilient bond to the drywall.)

After Francisco used his roller on his corner bead, excess mud has been squeezed out the back of the bead, which he skillfully, evenly wipes clean with his taping knife along the legs of the bead.


Pretty soon, he will be ready to do his final, finish coat of compound that same day — rather than coming back tomorrow, as you would a more traditional corner bead. Not even counting that extra trip, the time savings of Fast Edge (by our measurement, it’s 13 percent faster to install than a paper composite bead, and 17 percent faster than paper-covered metal) may not seem like a whole lot at first blush.

But multiply that time savings by all the corners located throughout a house like this one — especially considering the many columns that line the main living room, each of which required four corner beads — and you’re talking about hours, spilling into days, saved on installing and finishing corner bead.


Other than all that Fast Edge, Gary Johnston Plastering & Drywall also used our L Beads around all the house’s windows, and Chamfer Bead for an interesting ceiling detail in the dining room (check back later for photos and video of that). Francisco and the other finishers at Gary Johnston are true pros — check out their website to view more of their work and to get in touch. And to get a close-up look at Fast Edge for yourself, fill out the form below to request a free sample!