View Full Version : Drywall Joints + Loose tape

Tim Hickey
03-27-2003, 10:25 PM
I am not at my wits end yet, but I can see them from here:
I have just read what there was to read on this forum about joint tape: Paper vs fiberglass mesh.
The vote seems to be for paper.
However, I seem to be having a bit of trouble making the paper stick to the wall under the joint compound. (I just ordered Myron's book, and maybe the answer is in there)
But for discussion, here is what I think and what I have tried.

At first I thought that maybe I was squeezing out the compound from under the tape by applying too much pressure to the knife as I stroked the compound flat.
Then I thought that maybe the tape was too dry to stick to the compound well, so I tried dipping the tape in water to make it damp. (Seemed like a good idea at the time)
I also tried mixing up a slurry of joint compound and pulling the tape through it so that the tape would be "well acquainted" with the compound. But this is a mess and very slow.
I seem to remember that paper tape used to be perforated so that the compound would bleed through the tape and make a tight bond. The tape I am using is not so perforated. Is perforated tape still around and should it be used?
What I have done in cases where a bubble exists under the tape is to take a razor knife and cut the bubble out. Then I have to take a couple of applications to smooth out the joint with compound. In several joints I just pulled the tape completely off. It is not sticking well.

Somebody give me a clue. Lord knows I need one or two.

Thanks, fellas.

Fred G.
03-27-2003, 11:15 PM
It sounds like you are getting dry spots under the tape. When you apply the (thinned) compound to the joint, put it on a good 1/8th thick and get your tape on right away. If you wait a few minutes, the mud will start to dry and you will end up with the sort of problems you describe.



bill burns
03-31-2003, 08:09 PM
I recently had to repair walls that were done with light weight joint compound. had lot of dry spots. might just be coincidence,but I know that the light stuff spreads differently.

Tim Hickey
04-02-2003, 10:36 PM
I think you are on the right track. I tried to use the method Fred described, and I can't really say that it helped much. Maybe a little, but in my earlier efforts I did not let much time pass between applying the first layer of mud, and then the tape. I am still enjoying the problem.
I now have to believe that the root problem is the material.
What kind and type of compound do you use to embed the tape? And what do you use for the second and finish coat? And what do you use for filling the screw heads?
(It took me a while to figure out what Fred was saying at the end of his note. HTH. Hope this Helps.)
Thank You

Tim (I will figure this out) Hickey.

bill burns
04-03-2003, 04:39 PM
I like to use regular all purpose joint compound for all steps. I have tried the light weight and as I said earlier, have seen issues with it.
I also have used bedding and topping compounds from supply houses that supply only drywall, and while effective, not worth the price.
What works best for me is to mix the bucket thoroughly to eliminate lumps. then work with clean, quality tools. take your time and occasionally pull back apeice of tape to see actual coverage you are getting on tape. This will help you get feel for adjustments you may need to make as far as amount of pressure to apply and amount of compound to use.
One other thing to do is to make sure to dust walls off before starting. You can get a lot of drywall and sawdust on surface and not realize it.

04-08-2003, 11:38 AM
I agree with Bill Burns, dust the walls first. I also agree that the all purpose compound is the best product. I have had nothing but grief with the light weight mud. The fiber glass tape is, in my experience, not worth the price. I've had to use more mud to get it to look right, and sometimes painters will sand it to the point that it shows through the paint.

Myrom Ferguson
05-14-2003, 06:58 PM
Dry spots come from not having enough compound in those areas. You are putting the compound on too thin in places or letting it dry too much before embeding the tape. As you are embeding the tape you can squeeze out most of the compound and it will be fine. The problem is with the application of the compound before the tape is embeded.

07-17-2003, 03:09 PM
My partner and i have recently started to try using mesh tape on the corners. He tells me that it will makes the corners tighter. But i think it only adds to the risk of cracking. What do you think?

Myron Ferguson
07-17-2003, 08:57 PM
I don'like mesh in corners because it is harder to work with and easy to cut with a taping knife and you have to embed it in a setting compound. There are people out there that are using it so as long as you follow the rules and take your time you will get good results. There is a tool that I know a few companies sell or rent that rolls along the corner and installs the mesh tape. I know that Ames is one of them.

10-03-2003, 09:55 AM
I thought I was loosing it the other day when I came back to the job site and saw air-bubbles all under the place under the tape. I do all sorts of home-improvement and am not ever satisfied with even the slightest of imperfections. I am glad you posted this problem-the first thing I thought of was check jlconline and see if I'm the only guy that this happens to. I think a little of this happens every time I spackle---makes me nuts. I will follow the advise from above but I swear I'm putting on enough spackle. I'll try all advise-Paul.

Kirk Grodske
10-03-2003, 11:56 AM
I like to wipe all seams with a damp sponge. Then I let it dry while I get all my other stuff together.

I then apply fiberglass tape to all seams except corners. I use Ultra Flex light there first, then fiberglass then paper if the job is small or cheap. I prefer the Ultra flex light. If I am using metal corner bead, again I prefer Ultra Flex, I will apply fiberglass tape to the edges of the metal bead.

I then use Hamilton's Easy-sand hot mud, typically the 20 minute mud mixed with a little 5 minute mud. I am typially only doing one room at a time or small areas. For a full room I will use 5 min mud to pre fill, then 40 minute, 20 minute or a mix to embed the tape.

After two coats of hot mud, I switch to General purpose USG (white bucket, green lid) and do two coats of that. There is little if any sanding required at that point.

I have never had a problem with adhesion following this procedure. Since I use the hot mud, there is time saved enough to do the four coats and no sanding means very little dust in the air. I shave the ridges off the hot mud while it is still soft and use a corner trowel to start the corners, if I use fiberglass in the corners.


10-03-2003, 03:50 PM
Sounds like you got it down to a science. Thanks for the advise. I don't know if I've ever seen the Hamilton easy sand hot mud or maybe I'm not looking hard enough. Is it available at the home depots of the world? or do you go to a special supply center. Thanks again, Paul.

Kirk Grodske
10-03-2003, 07:48 PM

The mud is available at Home Depot. It is on the shelves above the buckets. It is available in 5 min, 20 min, 40 min and 90 min here in Calif.

Just a point of clarification, I don't use all three(Ultra-/flex light, fiberglass, and paper tape) at one time in the corners, just one of them in decending order of preference.

A trick with the mud is mix it in a bucket and then load it onto a hawk and/or scrap drywall if you mix a lot, then immediately clean the bucket. It only takes a couple of seconds with a brush in a bucket. I mix in a one gallon bucket and clean in a 5 gallon bucket. If you wait until it hardens, then it takes 30 minutes to clean!

After applying all the mud off the hawk, you just wipe it with a sponge and you are ready for the next batch. I used to use a mud pan, what a pain!. I still use the mud pan for the general purpose mud as I make it more loose and it cleans fast and easy with a spray attachement on a hose.


10-04-2003, 10:40 AM
Got the message--thanks again. I plan on trying your method on the next job. Appreciated, Paul.

Tom B
10-12-2003, 03:55 AM
H.D. here in oregon carries beadex brand hot mud not hamiltons. I like beadex or hamiltons the same. usg hot mud is crap. Always turns out lumpy.

A few tricks I came up with for mixing small batches: I got a stainless steel mixing bowl (for cooking) and electric cake mixing beater at goodwill. (Just the beater, not the motor.)Use the beater in the cordless drill, and it mixes up much faster than by hand. Easy to clean, just spin it in the water. Bowl cleans up fast with a brush. This works well for tile thinset and grout also, and vitex.
Also I transfer the mud from the bowl to a mud pan with a rubber cooking spatula. And an old paint brush cleans the corners of the mud pan better than a cleaning brush.

10-12-2003, 07:09 PM
I do all my houses with hot mud,I use fiberglass mesh on all the flat joints and paper tape in all the inside corners.We still use metal corner beads on all outside corners,I usually will put mesh on the edges of each side also.I use GP gyprock 90.the trick with mixing is to put 4 inches of water in first (for a full bucket)and slowly add powder while mixing until you get the right consistency.I always use a light weigt compound for the final coats for easy sanding.

10-16-2003, 02:46 PM
has anybody used paintable sealant for corner cracks? because my house sits on clay soil, there is some house movement. I have vertical corner cracks from floor to ceiling of both side of a wall that's perpendicular to exterior wall. Mud had been applied but the cracks reappeared. Can you apply paintable sealant in the corners so that it is flexible to accommodate movement? Or applying fiberglass mesh is the better route?

Tom B
10-29-2003, 10:21 PM
I've used paintable caulking with great success. Even used it in my own house. And it is great when you are replacing walls but not replacing the brocaded ceilings. No need to retexture the ceilings, as you would if you taped it.