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Tape not cooperating - do I really need it?

moveright's Avatar

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07-23-14, 04:09 PM   #1  
Tape not cooperating - do I really need it?

I've patched a couple spots and I suppose I wiped the tape too hard and some of it did not bond correctly. After the second mud coat, the tape peels on the edge. I cut off the loose part but then I noticed that some of the pieces of tape were not bonded well at all so I pulled the whole piece off. the mud underneath seems sturdy. Do I really need the tape?

On the ceiling, I replaced a central ceiling light with recessed lights so the junction box was flipped upside down so I could patch over the hole but the box is still accessible from the attic. Some of the tape peeled off here too and the paint underneath is loose too! You can see the drywall nail in one of the pictures. In these two instances, can I just scrape off the loose stuff and smooth it over with mud?


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pugsl's Avatar
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07-23-14, 04:35 PM   #2  
Tape need plenty of mud under it. I always have problems with tape but getting better the more I do. Are you pop corning or smooth ceiling? Smooth you will need the tape or seams will pop out later.

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07-24-14, 03:38 AM   #3  
The tape bridges the gap between 2 pieces of drywall without it the j/c will crack - sooner or later.
You only need a small amount of j/c under the tape to act as the adhesive. If you apply the next coat of mud before the tape coat is good and dry it can pull the tape loose. The only fix is to cut out the loose and reptape as needed. Sometimes you can cut the bubble and 'glue' it back down with more j/c.

retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

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07-24-14, 05:51 AM   #4  
While I wouldn't do this myself, you could switch to the mesh tape IF you put a coat of setting compound on top of it instead of joint compound. Personally, I stick with the paper tape (not intuitive but it's actually stronger than the mesh) even if it means I have to do some areas more than once because my skill level is not high.

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07-24-14, 04:11 PM   #5  
I wet the tape first. The putty knife slides smoothly. You didn't have enough JC under it. Also make sure that the fold is facing the wall.

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07-24-14, 04:47 PM   #6  
Took me a while, and I'm still not very good, but on a smooth wall, I can make it disappear.

I probably waste a lot of compound, but I put it heavy on the joint, then embed the tape holding the end so it doesn't slip. Once all but the end is good, I go the other way on the part I was holding.

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07-25-14, 04:31 AM   #7  
You need enough mud under the tape but it doesn't have to be a lot. I apply a thin coat of mud over the entire joint and then start my tape pressing it down with a knife and continue to press it down as I run the length of the joint. I'll then run the knife across the tape one more time to remove any excess mud. The only problem with having too much mud under the tape is it will raise the tape and make the joint harder to make disappear.

I've never wet the tape first but know there are those that always do although I do thin my mud slightly.

retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

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07-25-14, 05:19 AM   #8  
If you are using a setting type compound with paper tape, you need to wet the tape first to get a good bond. This from experience, as it was always iffy whether the tape would properly set up. After numerous frustrations like the OP, I found wetting the tape fixed the problem.

While not a forum favorite, I use a lot of mesh tape and setting type compound. Doing repairs, I would lose my shirt if I had to return multiple days to the same house waiting on joint compound to dry. The mesh tape eliminates the first "set tape" coat of mud and you proceed directly to a full coat on the seam. 20 minute mud allows me to attend to another task and return in short order for the 2nd and hopefully final coat before sanding. I'll hit it with a hair dryer if I need it to set up even faster.

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