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I removed a door from a wall, and of course needed to fill in the hole. After framing in the hole and screwing drywall to it, I started the mud portion.  I use mesh tape rather than the regular solid tape.  I figure this allows the drywall to penetrate into the cracks beneath the mesh and I don't have to fool around with embedding tape into the drywall mud.  I use a 6 inch blade to go over the mud several times.  I make sure to apply some pressure and keep the blade about a 20 degree angle from the wall so I don't scrap off too much in one go.  I do this a few times to keep evening out the drywall.  I'm done once the blade can go all over the drywall mud and the mud is 6 inches wide the entire way. 

I used a technical this time where I went over the mud afterwards with a 10" blade, applying pressure more to one side of the blade.  What I'm trying to achieve is a smooth edge with the existing wall so that I don't have a lot of sanding to do.  I go over everything again but applying pressure on the opposite side of the blade.  This should create a bit of a hill effect, where the edges of the mud are close to the wall and the middle is a bit higher.  The I go over the mud one more time applying even pressure to get ride of the hill.  Since this is a door, always go up one side and along the top, then I go up the other side and along the top.  At the top I gradually ease off the pressure, so that when I remove the blade in the middle of the top section, there isn't much of a bump to sand.

On this I notice on the first coat of the mud is little bumps form in a ridge where the tape covers the gaps between the drywall.  I'll gentle sand these out after things dry and they should be gone after the second coat is done.

On the opposite side of the door, I am already on my third coat.  I applied mud in a wide swath using the 6" blade to scoop out and apply the mud.  When it comes time to smooth things out, I use a 12" blade for the third coat.  I use a similar procedure as above, holding the blade at about a 20 degree angle, taking off more and more of the drywall, making it level with the wall and filling in dips.  Waiting for it to dry now.

On another wall (the one I put a door into), the second coat was applied too think and I've been dealing with this.  I could tell there was a problem, first because the mud did not dry in a day.  Second, I'm having to do a lot of sanding to even things out.