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  • Writer's pictureSteve Frechette

Mastering the Art of Flawless Finish: Unleashing the Power of Flax Boxes

Updated: Jul 19, 2023



If you've ever marveled at perfectly finished walls and ceilings, you may have wondered how the professionals achieve such flawless results. Enter the humble yet powerful tool known as the flat box. In this video, I'm using a Northstar 12" box.


Whether you're a seasoned drywaller or a DIY enthusiast eager to elevate your finishing game, understanding and using flat boxes can be a game-changer.


In this comprehensive blog, we'll take you on a journey through the ins and outs of these versatile tools, sharing expert tips, techniques, and insider secrets to help you achieve picture-perfect surfaces like a pro.


Get ready to level up your drywall finishing skills and say goodbye to taping and sanding woes!


How to prepare your box for use:


  1. Before filling the flat box, make sure it is clean. Check for any dried mud from previous jobs and remove it.

  2. Cleaning the box thoroughly at the end of your current job will make it easier to start the next job quickly.

  3. Ensure that the trowel bar is flexible because it helps create a smooth surface on the wall or ceiling joint.

  4. When adjusting the flat box blade, make sure there is at least a fingernail width of the blade exposed.

  5. If you need to adjust the blade, you can use a screwdriver to lower or raise it as needed.


Using a drywall flat finishing box along butt joints:


  1. Start with the vertical butt joints on the wall.

  2. Begin at the bottom and stop halfway.

  3. Then, start at the top and overlap the bottom run.

  4. Aim to have your lap marks run into the intersections of the butt joints.

  5. The first run may create bubbles and pits in the mud.

  6. Go over the mud again to cover any imperfections from the first run.


Using a drywall finishing box around wall boxes:


  1. Working around electrical boxes requires caution.

  2. Start from the opposite end of the receptacle.

  3. As you get closer to the receptacle, apply the brake and lift off.

  4. Avoid getting any mud into the receptacle.

  5. Finish the remaining area around the box using a taping knife.


To use a drywall finishing box on a ceiling:


  1. Begin at the edge of the wall.

  2. Run the finishing box straight across the ceiling.

  3. To prevent lap marks, run your lap marks into the closest joint.

  4. Feather the joint, which means gradually tapering the mud, to blend it smoothly with the surrounding surface.

  5. This technique helps reduce the amount of sanding required later on.


Cleaning your flat box between laps:


  1. As you use the flat finishing box, the mud may start to harden.

  2. Use a sponge or brush to clean off the mud every few joints you tape.

  3. Occasionally, the mud box may catch paper or imperfections under the blade.

  4. In such cases, wipe it clean with your finger

  5. Always clean thoroughly at the end of each use.


The flat box is undeniably a game-changing asset in the world of drywall finishing. With its ability to create smooth and seamless surfaces, it has revolutionized the way professionals approach their projects. Through this blog, we've uncovered the importance of prepping the box for optimal performance, ensuring it's clean and well-adjusted. We've delved into various techniques for using flat boxes along different joints and surfaces, from butt joints to windows and wall boxes. Armed with this newfound knowledge, you're now equipped to tackle your drywall projects with confidence and precision.


Remember, practice makes perfect, so don't shy away from honing your skills and experimenting with different techniques. The more you work with flat boxes, the more you'll unlock their potential and discover your own unique approach to achieving that flawless finish.


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