How to Remove Bubbled or Loose Mesh Drywall Tape

Lead Image for How to Remove Bubbled or Loose Mesh Drywall Tape
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-45
What You'll Need
Putty knife
Drywall tape
Joint compound
Utility knife

Mesh drywall tape that becomes loose, or starts to bubble, looks bad. It’s important to keep the wall looking good, and you need the tape sitting properly to keep the joints on the drywall secure. Repairing mesh drywall tape isn’t a complex procedure and doesn’t even take too long. You’ll already have the tools around from hanging drywall.

Removing Tape

Removing loose mesh drywall tape is easy, but it needs to be done very carefully. Slide the utility knife under the loose section and then pull it off slowly. Often, that will be enough to remove the tape.

Where it’s not, you’ll have to cut along the edge of the tape with the knife, then take off the entire section. This is the method you’ll need to follow when the mesh drywall tape has a bubble. It’s important, however, that you only take off the tape and not the paper cover of the drywall that’s under it.


Take the putty knife and scrape off all the joint compound in the area where you’ve just removed the drywall tape. Go all the way down to the paper beneath. Mix up more drywall compound according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You don’t need a great deal, so don’t mix up a large batch.

With the putty knife, spread the joint compound over the area you’ve just cleared. Do it as you would for putting any drywall tape on the wall, by applying a coat just thick enough to cover and feather out into the drywall.

Drywall Tape

Push new mesh drywall tape into the compound you’ve just applied to the joints on the wall. Be certain that the tape is set straight and properly pushed in the compound with no folds or bends. Use your fingers to set it in place.

Now, put another layer of compound over the tape. It’s important that you cover the tape fully, so it’s not visible, and also that you have enough compound to extend beyond the tape, using the putty knife to feather it into the wall. This takes some skill, especially as you want to make the joint between compound and wall seamless. There should be no need to extend too far onto the wall-a a few inches on each side should be ample for the job.


Allow the compound to dry and then sand lightly so it’s smooth. You might need to apply another coat of compound to the mesh drywall tape. If so, sand that when dry, until the tape is completely hidden, and the joint between pieces of drywall is invisible.

When the last coat has dried and been sanded, you’re ready to paint it in the same color as the rest of the room. As tape problems generally occur soon after installation, you should only need to fill in the area with paint. Use a paintbrush for the job. Expect to put on 2 coats of paint, each applied lightly on the wall.