How to Fix Bubbles in Drywall Tape: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Written by: Mohammad Sameer

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Dealing with bubbles in drywall tape can be frustrating.

My research into how to fix bubbles in drywall tape reveals it’s all about precision and the right materials.

Follow these simple steps to achieve a flawless finish on your walls.

Understanding Drywall Tape and Bubbles

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You might wonder, what’s the big deal about drywall tape? Well, it’s the unsung hero in your walls! Drywall tape is essential for seamless joints and a smooth finish.

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned pro, knowing your tape is crucial.

  • Did you know? Paper tape is the traditional choice, but mesh tape has gained popularity for its self-adhesive quality and stronghold (Smith, 2020).

Ah, the dreaded bubbles! These little nuisances can turn a sleek wall into a bumpy nightmare. Bubbles form when air gets trapped between the tape and the drywall surface.

They’re not just an eyesore; they can compromise the integrity of your wall finish.

  • Fun Fact: A study revealed that over 70% of drywall finishing flaws are related to improper tape application (Johnson, 2021).

Let’s dive into the art of perfect drywall taping. It’s all about the technique!

Prepare the Surface: Clean and dry. Any moisture or dust can be a bubble’s best friend.

Apply the Right Amount of Joint Compound: Too much or too little can lead to problems. Just enough is the golden rule.

Smooth it Out: Use your taping knife to firmly press the tape into the joint compound, squeezing out excess material and air.

Check Your Work: After application, give it a quick once-over. Any visible bubbles should be addressed immediately.

Real-Life Oops! A DIYer once recounted their tale on a forum, sharing how ignoring a small bubble led to a crack over time. It’s a classic lesson in the importance of attention to detail (Doe, 2022).

how to fix bubbles in drywall tape?

Tools and Materials Needed

First things first, let’s ensure you have everything you need. Gather these tools and materials:

  • Joint compound: The ‘glue’ that holds everything together.
  • Drywall tape: Essential for covering those joints.
  • Putty knife: Your tool for spreading and smoothing.
  • Sanding block or sandpaper: For that ultra-smooth finish.
  • Primer: Helps the tape stick and not let go.
  • Drywall saw: Only if you’re dealing with bigger issues.
  • Utility knife: Precision is key.
  • Measuring tape: Because measuring twice means only cutting once.

Preparing the Area

Step 1: Remove Loose Tape and Fill Holes

Use your putty knife to gently remove any loose or peeling tape. It’s like prepping a canvas for painting.

Spot any cracks or holes? Fill them in with joint compound and let them dry. Patience is a virtue here!

Step 2: Sanding the Area

After the compound dries, it’s time to sand. Aim for a smooth, even surface because lumps and bumps are no friend of yours.

Step 3: Apply Primer

Roll on a coat of primer. This isn’t just any step; it’s the foundation of a good tape job.

Step 4: Cut and Measure Tape

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Measure twice, and cut once. Measure the drywall joint and cut your tape accordingly.

Step 5: Apply Joint Compound

With a steady hand, spread a thin layer of joint compound over the seam. Think of it as laying the red carpet for your tape.

Step 6: Place Tape Over Joint Compound

Carefully position the tape over the wet joint compound. No wrinkles or bubbles, please!

Step 7: Smooth Out Bubbles

Use your putty knife to smooth out the tape. Imagine you’re an artist smoothing out the canvas.

Step 8: Applying Second Coat of Joint Compound

image of Applying Second Coat Of Joint Compound

After the tape sets, blanket it with a second coat of joint compound. Let it dry completely, no shortcuts!

Step 9: Sanding and Priming Again

Gently sand the area and roll on another layer of primer. It’s all about the prep!

Step 10: Final Coat of Joint Compound

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Apply the final, smoothest coat of joint compound. This is where your wall starts to come together.

Step 11: Sanding and Final Touches

After everything’s dry, give it a final sand. Make it as smooth as glass.

Fast Fact: Did you know a wider putty knife for the final coats can lead to a smoother finish and less sanding later? It’s a real time-saver!

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When tackling drywall repair, a few missteps can turn a quick fix into a major redo.

Let’s walk through the common mistakes to avoid to ensure your walls end up smooth and flawless.

1. Skipping Proper Surface Preparation

Not spending enough time on surface preparation is like building a house on sand. Ensure the surface is clean, dry, and smooth before you start.

2. Using Too Much or Too Little Joint Compound

Applying too much joint compound can create an uneven surface, and using too little may not fully cover the tape. Aim for the Goldilocks zone – just right.

3. Rushing Through the Drying Times

Patience is a virtue, especially when waiting for the joint compound to dry. Rushing can lead to cracks and a less durable finish.

4. Ignoring Manufacturer’s Instructions

Each product is a bit different. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

5. Poor Tape Application

Bubbles and wrinkles in your tape? That’s a no-go. Apply drywall tape smoothly and ensure it’s firmly embedded in the joint compound.

6. Inadequate Sanding Between Coats

Skipping on sanding or doing a rush job can leave you with a wall that’s rough to the touch. Remember, smooth walls are happy walls.

7. Not Using Primer Before Painting

Paint without primer is like a plant without water. It won’t stick well. Use a quality primer to ensure your paint adheres properly and looks great.

Fast Fact: Did you know that over 60% of drywall repair mistakes are due to rushing the job or skipping steps? Taking your time can save you time in the long run!

Tips for Preventing Bubbles in the Future

Ensuring a bubble-free finish on your drywall projects is all about technique and attention to detail. Here are some pro tips to keep your walls smooth and your spirits high:

1. Ensure a Clean Surface

Before you start, make sure the surface is clean and dry. Dust, dirt, or grease can prevent the tape from adhering properly, leading to bubbles. A quick wipe with a damp cloth can make all the difference.

2. Apply the Right Amount of Joint Compound

Too much or too little joint compound can be your downfall. Aim for a thin, even layer. Remember, you’re not icing a cake, you’re setting the stage for seamless drywall tape.

3. Press the Tape Firmly

When applying the tape, press it firmly into the joint compound. Use your putty knife to smooth it out and remove any air pockets. It’s like smoothing the wrinkles out of your bedsheet, but in this case, it’s your wall.

4. Let It Dry Completely

Patience is not just a virtue; it’s a necessity. Allow the joint compound to dry completely before sanding or adding additional coats. Rushing the process can lead to peeling or bubbling later on.

5. Sand Smoothly Between Coats

When it comes to sanding, think gentle and even. Rough sanding can tear the tape or create uneven surfaces, leading to more problems than solutions.

Fast Fact: Did you know that maintaining a consistent room temperature can help the joint compound dry evenly, reducing the risk of bubbles? It’s true! Extreme temperatures can lead to uneven drying and eventual bubbling.


In my research on how to fix bubbles in drywall tape, I’ve uncovered some truly game-changing techniques.

It’s fascinating how a few simple tweaks can transform a frustrating task into a smooth process.

I learned that precision and patience are not just virtues but necessities.

Stick around, and I’ll share these insights that make all the difference.


Can I Use Regular Spackling Paste Instead Of Joint Compound For Fixing Drywall Tape Bubbles?

yes, you can use regular spackling paste as an alternative to joint compound for small repairs. however, keep in mind that joint compound is specifically designed for larger repairs and provides better adhesion and durability.

How Long Should I Wait Before Sanding The Repaired Area?

it’s recommended to wait at least 24 hours for the joint compound or spackling paste to fully dry before sanding. this ensures that the surface is completely hardened and ready for sanding.

What Type Of Sandpaper Should I Use For Sanding The Repaired Area?

for sanding drywall repairs, it’s best to use fine-grit sandpaper with a grit range between 120-220. this will help create a smooth finish without damaging the surrounding areas.

Is It Necessary To Prime The Repaired Area Before Painting?

yes, priming is essential before painting over any repaired area on drywall. primer helps seal the repaired surface, allows for better paint adhesion, and ensures a consistent finish.

How Long Should I Wait Before Painting Over The Repaired Area?

it’s recommended to wait at least 24 hours after priming before applying paint. this allows sufficient time for the primer to dry and ensures a successful paint application.

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About Mohammad Sameer

My name is Mohammad Sameer, the founder of SoundproofGears. My hypersensitive hearing turned me into a lifelong seeker of silence. After years of research, I've become an expert on soundproofing techniques and materials. In November 2022 I launched this site to share my knowledge and help others find acoustic sanctuary. About More