Sign In to join the community | Help

Repairing cracks in drywall

I want to repaint my drywall in my living room, but there are cracks in each corner where the walls join.  The tape is split and is clearly visible under the present paint job.  I don't think  the drywall was applied properly and after settling (this is a room addition) it just cracked. Should I try to remove the old tape or just tape over and putty the edges over?  Should I try to fill in the cracks with putty before re-taping?

Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question
Posted 2011-10-06T16:25:18+0000  by Homey Homey

Hey there Homey,


Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!~


Cracking corners are a common sight when houses settle, especially older houses. But it's a natural part of the houses life cycle as it were, so no worries.


I would replace the tape and re-compound the corner, because if you just place spackling over it, you're not really fixing the problem..just putting a bandaid over it : )


Now I'm not sure how big the cracks are exactly, so let's assume for my reply that it's in an isolated spot on the corner. If the tape is really in bad shape, then you'll want to remove it for sure.


When replacing it, you can opt to go with a mesh or paper tape in your new repair. The mesh will provide extra durability over the paper, but can be a bit more difficult to work with. I usually opt to use the traditional paper tape when I work with drywall.


Once your new tape is applied, coat it with a layer of compound using a 4" drywall knife. You'll want to spread the compound about 3" over where the actual tape line ends, so that it makes a good bond with the drywall. Make sure when spreading it that you thin the layer out as much as possible, because you're not going back to sand this later. An All-Purpose Compound (usually with green top or label) works great for this step.




Let that layer dry overnight and then come back for a second pass the next day with your compound. In this layer, feather out the compound a bit further than the last time, so that it creates an even finish that you won't notice later. If needed, you may need to go over with a 3rd pass to properly feather the job down. For this, I would use a lightweight compound, as those are easier to sand. You can usually find those with the blue packaging/lid.


Sheetrock Dust Control.jpg


When it's all said and done, be sure that you prime over this repair job before you go on with your new coat of paint. The joint compound will absorb the paint much faster than your wall will, and you'll end up with spots called "flashing" where you can easily see the area that you made the repair on. And we don't want that :o


Hope this helps you get yourself on your way to a quick and easy repair = ) Let us know if you have any other questions on it!~


Posted 2011-10-06T18:22:19+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI

Hello, I work for a General Contractor that works on commercial projects...Another method that I have used, and works is :


1. Clean out crack with 5-in-1 tool or Utlility Blade


2. Dust and fill crack with caulking/silicone (I use a polyurethane caulking called "SikaFlex". Mostly for harsh outdoor environments, but remains flexible and dosen't crack -  I'm prob overdoing it in this step, but this ensures that crack does not reappear if there is future movement since SikaFlex is super flexible. Its an extra step that is not neccessary, but I like to use in conjuction with the mesh tape)


3. Apply mesh tape (better choice than paper tape)


4. Apply 1st coat of Joint compound  with 20 minute fast drying joint compund made by Westpac.  (I like to use a fast setting compund, as I can finish the job in one day, and not have to wait until the other day to finish.  Westpac sells little carton boxes perfect for your repair project, and they have some that dry in 20 mins that I like to use...)


5. Apply second coat with 20 min fast setting compound, and "feather" out the joint. Float it out plently until you are happy with the results, and so you won't have a lump when you see it from the side. You can mix it up a little soupier to have a smoother finish, and so it can be easier to work with. I like to use the consistency of thick mayonase.


6. Prime, Texture, and paint after about half an hour dry time.


* Using the fast setting compund made by Westpac significantly speeds up the process, and you can finish you project the same day!


Hope this helps, -Mark

Posted 2011-10-07T04:55:53+0000  by mgonzo

Hey mgonzo,


Thanks for the tip! Glad you can bring your expertise to our community and help out our other users = )


I've heard of the caulking method, but I haven't personally used it. Thanks for adding it in!


Hope to see you around the community more in the future!~

Posted 2011-10-07T13:46:30+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI
Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question