How to Retape Drywall

What You'll Need
Utility knife
Drywall tape
Drywall mud
Straight edge trowel

Nearly every home has drywall as interior walls. Every piece is mudded and taped to seal the seams. Over time, or if the job was poorly done, the drywall tape can come loose exposing the seams. This can happen between drywall sheets as well as where the drywall meets the floor and the ceiling. Either is unsightly but can also be repaired. The article below will walk you through how to retape drywall.

Step 1 – Remove Old Drywall Tape

The old tape has to be removed prior to retaping the drywall or else you will be left with ugly bumps which gives the drywall an unfinished look. Inspect the drywall for where the tape is beginning to peel or bubble from the surface. Use the utility knife to cut along the seam of the drywall. This will relieve the pressure on the tape and cause it to recoil. Continue to use the utility knife and slide the blade under the drywall tape. This will lift it off the surface allowing you to peel it away. The likelihood of you being able to remove the tape flawlessly is slim so do not worry too much about it. Remove as much of the drywall tape as you can.

Step 2 – Sanding

With most of the tape removed you can begin to sand down the rough edges. The trick here is to use the sander on a slight angle. You will not be able to completely sand away the tape to create a completely fresh surface without damaging the drywall. Sand the edges of the tape down so that they are flush with the wall.

Step 3 – Taping the Drywall

The choice of drywall tape is entirely up to you. Start at the top of the seam and center the starting point of the tape. In one swift motion roll the tape from the ceiling to the floor in one piece. Use your hand to press the tape to the drywall as you use a finger to press it in to the seam. This will help to create a smooth and airtight seal which leads to the drywall tape not peeling up in the future.

Step 4 – Mudding and Sanding

With the drywall tape in place you can begin mudding. Use a trowel and apply some of the mud on to it and apply it to the wall. Use the straight edge to spread the mud over the tape and the seams until it is built up. Once the mud is on the wall you will have to wait until it is dry. Certain mud will turn color when this happens to make it easy to know when it is ready. Use the sander to sand the drywall mud until it is flush with the wall. It may take you three or four times of mudding and sanding to get the desired effect of a flush and even wall.