How to repair ceiling tape joints

Written by kevin mcdermott
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How to repair ceiling tape joints
(Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Ceiling drywall is installed in sheets, with the seams covered in drywall tape and then covered in joint compound, a form of plaster. If the tape wasn't installed properly, or if structural movement has caused it to split or bulge, it should be replaced. Re-taping a seam is essentially the same process as the initial taping of it, once you get the old tape and plaster off.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Stepladder
  • 6-inch drywall knife
  • Razor knife
  • Mesh adhesive drywall tape
  • 10-inch drywall knife
  • Joint compound
  • Drywall sanding pad

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  1. 1

    Scrape the damaged drywall tape off the seam with a 6-inch drywall knife, pulling up the plaster that's over it as well. Get the seam between the two sheets of drywall completely exposed.

  2. 2

    Press mesh drywall tape along the seam, covering it completely. Press it firmly to the surface. Cut it with a razor knife at the end to fit.

  3. 3

    Cover the whole seam with joint compound, from end to end, using your 6-inch drywall knife. Smooth and flatten the compound so it completely covers the tape.

  4. 4

    Allow the compound sit for six hours. Scrape it with your drywall knife to knock off any ridges or high spots.

  5. 5

    Spread on a second layer of compound, this time using a 10-inch drywall knife and making the seam of compound about 1 inch wider on either side. Get it smooth. Let it dry.

  6. 6

    Scrape over the second to knock off any ridges or high points. Apply a third layer, making it wider still. Smooth it out and let it set.

  7. 7

    Sand the final layer smooth with a drywall sanding pad. It's now ready for painting.

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