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How To Get Rid of Bubbles on Drywall Tape

How To Get Rid of Bubbles on Drywall Tape

Professional contractors know that bubbles have no business anywhere near drywall tape. They’re unsightly and prevent the tape from hiding seams as it should. But this doesn’t mean they don’t develop. The bubbles are actually some of the more common occurrences to happen when installing drywall.

But leaving them to set can throw a wrench in further development plans. Here at Timothy’s Toolbox, we’re all about keeping tools in their proper place. Read on to learn how to get rid of bubbles on drywall tape.

What Not To Do

Before diving into what you should do, we want to tell you what not to do first. There are lots of common mistakes floating around when it comes to handling bubbles on drywall tape, and we figured we’d clear them up.

First up is painting. Do not, under any circumstances, paint over the bubble on your drywall tape. Masking a problem doesn’t get rid of it. All it does is cover it up. Underneath, the bubbles still exist, and they could create further issues down the line. Plus, the bubbles will be far more noticeable with paint on top.

The second error is sanding. No, you can’t sand it away, either. Sanding may seem like a good option at first, but it’s not. The bubbles come from air trapped behind the tape. Sanding through the bubble will only wear through the drywall tape, and you need that to stay intact. The covered drywall seam will shrink, warp, or crack with too much sanding.

Initial Installing

Once you apply the drywall tape on the seam, it looks relatively normal. Naturally, there might be a few wrinkles in the tape, and you may figure that’s normal because it is. But once you start to apply a few coats of mud, you’ll see maybe one or two bubbles form.

The bubbles come from a loose installment. Either there wasn’t a good bond, or you may have pushed too much mud out from behind it when you taped. Sometimes, you won’t see bubbles immediately. They could appear after you get the tape wet again. From there, they can pop out because of the wetness on the surface.

Cut It Out

Take your utility knife and start for the end of the bubble formation. Take the knife and drag it underneath the bubble all the way to the other end. Stop where the mud starts to appear solid again. You don’t have to press too hard into the mud. The blade should be relatively sharp so that all you need to add is some light pressure.

Once you’ve cut the top and bottom of the bubble, peel it back from the rest of the seam. It will come off pretty easily, especially if the mud is still wet. Toss it away because you won’t need it again.

Prepare the Mud

Next, you’re going to reapply the mud. You can use the same taping knife as before or a new one. Depending on the area of the bubble you cut out, you may want to use a different taping knife to float that joint compound easily with no issues or lumpiness.

Put the mud on the knife and run it over the area you cut out. Makes sure you cover the entire drywall tape. You don’t want one section to look uneven or flatter than another. Float it across the entire seam. Add the compound so that it’s slightly wider than the width of the tape.

You might see the area in the mud where you cut out the bubble, but that’s fine because you’ll solve that problem. A few more coats of mud will help even everything out and keep it looking consistent.

Add a Piece

Now you can’t leave the cut-out area bare. The additional mud doesn’t solve the problem entirely by itself. Cut out or tear a piece of drywall tape again. It should be big enough to overlap the existing tape beneath the coat. Make the measurement about ½ inch or 1 cm. The additional length will ensure there are no gaps between the pieces of tape.

Center the tape over the area and place it directly on the drywall compound. Hold onto the top edge of the tape, and pull the drywall knife down onto the tape. Press one end of the new piece of tape to the gap, then make sure it overlaps with the existing tape.

Use the putty knife to smooth out the tape so that it lays flat on the drywall seam. There can be no bubbles in this new tape. Everything needs to be smooth and flat. Press evenly to embed the tape into the compound and remove bubbles. Small wrinkles are okay because you can fix those next.

Apply More Mud

Finally, scoop a small amount of joint compound onto the edge of the taping knife and apply the mud over the new piece of tape. Pull the compound from one end of the tape to the other. You want to have a smooth, thin layer of mud that covers the entire tape.

This layer of mud doesn’t need to be thick to cover everything. Apply a thin layer of compound over the strip of drywall tape. Allow the compound to dry completely before repeating this last step one more time.

Give it about 24 hours to dry so that it sets evenly. Then, you can use the sandpaper for drywall finishing and any additional coats you may need. Whether you apply the tape manually or with a tool, such as a drywall taping banjo, you may still need to follow these steps.

There’s no such thing as perfection, and that’s especially true in the drywalling business. It’ll take a few tries to get the desired results, but you will get them.

We have all the tools for you to try out to ensure you complete your drywalling installation with precision. And now that you know how to get rid of bubbles on drywall tape, you should be able to do so effectively.

How To Get Rid of Bubbles on Drywall Tape

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