Asked on Feb 26, 2018

How do we repair buckled paint tape at wall seams?

by Cra20419695
We built our home 11 years ago, and the tape in several rooms is buckling under the paint. Is there a DIY way to repair it or do we need to call in a pro?
Thank you so much for advice icon
Cynthia Blood
Burnsville, NC
Living Room
I love our home,
  11 answers
  • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Feb 26, 2018

    Hey Crawlblood. Yes you can definitely DIY this. Use a razor knife and a scraper. Score the seam and peel it back gently. Using your putty knife, scrape it back and forth until all “old” mud is gone. You should have a definite difference between the old drywall and the painted wall itself. Then just go back with tape and mud until it’s even and paint it up and feather your paint well. It’s really a pretty straight forward job.

    • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Feb 26, 2018

      sorry, I did not read it as a corner tape. Same as above just get you a good drywall corner tool. Slowly add mud till it’s level.

  • Carol Carol on Feb 27, 2018

    Our home is 12yrs old and we have this same issue. I hate it! Also nails slipping out of the ceiling, and settling cracks above door frames. It drives me crazy!! Ive never had a home that's done this.

  • Izzy Izzy on Feb 27, 2018

    Cynthia; If that were my wall, I would pull the old drywall tape entirely off. The reason being will get a much more uniform appearance. 1. Remove all old tape. 2. Sand area well. 3. Apply tape with a small amount of mud and let thoroughly dry. 4. Lightly sand and apply 2nd coat of mud feathering it out about 2" past 1st coat. Repeat a 3rd time. Always allowing each coat to completely overnight. Drywall mud is notorious for shrinking. Hence, the 3 coats.

  • Dawn Tortorici Dawn Tortorici on Feb 27, 2018

    DIY... with a little patience. Definitely must remove old tape and replace. Personally I prefer the mesh joint tape with a slightly sticky backing. It is much easier than trying to apply paper tape using spackle, especially if you are new to this. Once the new tape is in place you can apply your 1st coat of spackling compound. Don't be too particular leveling the mud at this step just get a fairly decent coating to cover the tape and beyond. Allow to dry completely! Now the messy part... I always sand between coats. Sanding sponges are great for this but if you have large areas you can also attach a sheetrock screen to a block of wood. Sanding allows you to even out the coating and see where your second coat may need to be applied a little more heavily. Patience.... you may need to sand and reapply a few times to get it perfectly smooth. Also, it helps to use a slightly wider spackling knife with each coat to feather it out. Pay close attention to sanding the edges meeting the wall for smooth transition. And... YOU MUST PRIME any areas you have redone before painting. Plenty of tutorials out there for applying compound.

  • Denise Denise on Feb 27, 2018

    I like to use the inside and outside corners available where you find the rest of the drywall supplies. I've done a fair amount of drywalling and find these faster than struggling with tape in corners. I second the commenter above who recommended the sticky mesh tape for all the other seams.

  • Angie Angie on Feb 27, 2018

    Hi Crawlsblood, to understand this problem, you should first know the reason for this is the fact that the drywall mud under the tape was too dry to adhere to the tape at the installation. I am pretty certain you have a light texture on your walls as well. In my opinion, your looking at quite a job if never done this before. As much as I cannot stand to hire someone to do anything 😏 I would suggest calling a drywall person to give you an estimate. I am just afraid it will never look quite right without an awful lot of effort. Sorry. ( I taped drywall for a long time). By the way, all of the previous suggestions suggestions are good. I wish you much luck.

  • Cra20419695 Cra20419695 on Feb 27, 2018

    Wow thank you all for the great suggestions!!!!

  • Lan7852066 Lan7852066 on Feb 27, 2018

    Slightly dilute white glue and with a syringe inject the glue behind the tape along the open side being careful not to pull it from the wall. With roller used in wallpaper push on the tape. As the glue becomes dryer and spreads underneath the tape it will cause the tape to stick to the wall. If you are real careful and do not put a lot of glue in any spot it should not ooze onto the painted surface; if it does a wet paper towel should easily remove the excess.

    I recently did this myself, good results.

  • Joann Felters Joann Felters on Feb 27, 2018

    I will have to try this...I have the same problem.

  • Alradborn Alradborn on Mar 06, 2018

    With the suggestion of the elmers glue, I'd use caution. You could end up with a crackle finish.