I keep flip-flopping between paper and fiberglass mesh tape, this time I went with the fiberglass. It’s a bit easier to put on, as you can do it without any mud, but you need to cut it with a knife as opposed to the paper stuff which is easily torn by hand. In addition, the mesh is more difficult to put in corners, nor does it work as well there.
The walls in general were in quite bad shape, so in addition to the patch over the pluming, I needed to pull off a 4’x4′ section that was extremely bowed, and had to do a lot more skim coating and sanding. I typically use the USG Dust Control joint compound, that comes pre-mixed in a large bucket. However this time I tried using the setting type joint compound instead. The primary advantage is the faster drying time, but it also shrinks a bit less and goes on smoother. Of course the setting type needs to be mixed, but thats easy enough with a drill mixer. I got the 90 minutes kind (there is a 45 and a 15 minute as well) despite the name its actually supposed to take between 90-130 minutes to cure. Mine actually took more like 5 or 6 hours. I’m not sure what the reason for this was, however it was still alot faster than the pre-mixed kind, and allowed me to finish in a weekend instead of a few weeks.