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bublsort 07-28-2011 04:02 PM

how to cut out peeling drywall tape
Hi all,

I have drywall tape on a corner between wall and ceiling that is peeling. I know it needs to be cut out, re-taped and plastered over.

It's in several places in the house. I've fixed one or two, but there are more. The problem is, I haven't found an easy way to cut through several layers of plaster and paint to get to the original tape. Many instructions just say to use a knife, but that is very hard.

I've tried some different Dremel attachments, which eventually cut through but make a giant, giant mess.

What is the tool for this?

Thanks a lot for your help!

boman47k 07-28-2011 04:48 PM

Are you dealing with drywall or plaster?

What do you mean by "giant mess"? Dusty?

bublsort 07-28-2011 04:52 PM

I'm dealing with drywall tape that is peeling but still partially buried under paint and plaster where it isn't peeling. Should this thread go somewhere else?

What's worked for me is a Dremel sanding attachment that sands through the paint/plaster that is covering it. It puts out a LOT of dust.

GottaFixIt 07-28-2011 05:12 PM

So you're sanding down into the tape?

You want to cut it. If it's just joint compound, then you just cut it with a good utility blade. If it's really plaster, then get either use a rotary cutting disc or the cutting blades for your multimax, but you're going to burn through them quick. You may even be able to use an old, but sharp chisel.

Either way, you're going to make a mess...

bublsort 07-28-2011 05:37 PM

I wasn't sanding down the whole tape, I was using the tiny sanding disc to cut edges, then chiseling bits off from there.

I tried the cutting blades first but like you say, you go through them really fast. Is a real rotary cutter better?

Bud Cline 07-28-2011 07:44 PM


You are calling the product "plaster" but is it really real plaster or is it typical "joint compound?" There is a distinct difference in the two. Maybe you don't know the meaning of the terms.:)

Do you know for sure which it is?

bublsort 07-28-2011 08:36 PM

you're right, I don't know the difference. :)

I also don't know what it is. I assume it's whatever you'd normally have used in 1982 to cover paper tape on a corner where a wall meets a ceiling, plus a couple layers of paint.

So I'm trying to get the tape off both the ceiling and a wall. To get to the tape I have to remove something hard to a depth of 1/8 - 3/16 inch , and it sure doesn't want to come off.

I would be thrilled to hear another way to do this.

Bud Cline 07-28-2011 08:41 PM

Okay good, then it is safe to assume it is joint compound probably coated with a topping compound.

Unfortunately you have all the advice that there is basically. Joint compound is relatively soft believe it or not. I know, you don't believe it. But then paint is also somewhat soft in most cases. The "sharp" utility knife and a flexible narrow putty knife is your best bet. All you can do is "go after it" that I know of.:)

bublsort 07-28-2011 08:58 PM

ah well. some things are just a pain I guess. Thanks Bud and everyone :)

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