How to Install Flat Tear Away (With Drywall Shorty)

Why use a Flat Tear Away bead instead of the standard Tear Away Bead? It would be great if every detail you’d need to finish in a room had enough of a gap between it and the drywall to slip Tear Away Bead’s return leg in there, but that’s just not the reality of the business. For these situations, where the component you’re finishing is butted up flush against the drywall (or that gap is already filled with a backing material like acoustical sealant), you’ll need a box of Flat Tear Away handy. This solution gives you the perfect finish of a Tear Away Bead without needing a return leg. Check out the video below, where our expert friend Lydia Crowder, AKA Drywall Shorty, shows you how to install Flat Tear Away around a fireplace mantle — but the same steps would apply no matter where you’re installing it.

The first thing to know when learning how to install Flat Tear Away is that it’s a spray-and-staples bead: for proper installation, you’ll want to come prepared with a staple gun and a can of 847 Spray Adhesive. Give the bead a light coat of 847. If you’re like Lydia and want to make sure no stray bits of adhesive get on the detail you’re finishing around, be sure to apply some masking onto it beforehand, and spray the drywall as well.

Before you start shooting staples into the bead, press your length of Flat Tear Away firmly into place. You’re going to want to ensure the bead is flush with both the drywall and your other substrate; the bead’s tear-off strip should be lined up nice and tight against the surface of the detail, whether it’s Lydia’s fireplace mantle or a window. As Lydia points out in the video, while the spray adhesive is still getting tacky, you’ll have some wiggle room to get the placement of the bead just right before it’s permanently set into place.

How to Install Flat Tear Away 4

Grab your staple gun and apply staples every six to eight inches along the Flat Tear Away bead. Then take your favorite taping knife and mud the leg of the bead. Once you’ve applied two or three coats (the amount of coats will depend on the level of finish you’re aiming for) and everything’s had time to dry, you can begin the most satisfying step — ripping away that tear-off strip attached to the bead in a single, fluid motion. If you’ve done everything correctly, after removing the tear-off strip, you’ll be left with a clean, crisp finished edge on your detail that will look absolutely flawless after everything’s painted.

Thanks to Lydia Crowder for showing us how to install Flat Tear Away like a true pro. Be sure to follow her on Instagram for more instructional content like this. And hit the button below to check out Trim-Tex’s own Instagram account, where we are always posting tips, news, giveaways and amazing work from other drywall finishing pros from all over the world!

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