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Old 02-25-2012, 11:23 AM   #1
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Those *#@& air bubbles under drywall tape


I am convinced that smooth mudding of drywall is not a skill...it is an art form.

I replaced a section of drywall and I used paper tape to cover where two sheets meet. I laid down a layer of mud, pressed the tape on that, then I spread more mud on top of the tape. As it dried, I later found little sections of the tape had risen up like little pockets of air had suddenly appeared under the tape.

Should I cut out those little raised areas? Why are they appearing? Should I wet the paper tape with water as I set it in place?


Last edited by spaceman spif; 02-25-2012 at 11:24 AM. Reason: Reason is classified top secret
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:30 AM   #2
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Those *#@& air bubbles under drywall tape


I would think that is from not enough mud under your tape, tape not firmly embedded into the mud, or maybe your mud was not mixed enough??

as to whether to cut it out-depends on how bad it is, and whether thin coats of mud will cover it or not. If not, cut it out. Some do use water for tape, I don't personally.


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Old 02-25-2012, 11:39 AM   #3
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Those *#@& air bubbles under drywall tape


Pressing to hard as your setting the tape can push out all the mud behind the tape also.
I hold the knife at a steep angle and use light pressure.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:11 PM   #4
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Those *#@& air bubbles under drywall tape


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Originally Posted by spaceman spif View Post
I am convinced that smooth mudding of drywall is not a skill...it is an art form.

I replaced a section of drywall and I used paper tape to cover where two sheets meet. I laid down a layer of mud, pressed the tape on that, then I spread more mud on top of the tape. As it dried, I later found little sections of the tape had risen up like little pockets of air had suddenly appeared under the tape.

Should I cut out those little raised areas? Why are they appearing? Should I wet the paper tape with water as I set it in place?
Who told you to do that?

Had you done a "Search" or two on this very forum, you would have found volumes on how to do this.

It's not an art form. It is a very logical process, and it responds predictably to errors.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:31 PM   #5
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Those *#@& air bubbles under drywall tape


Embed the paper--using all purpose (green lid) It contains glue--Never light weight (blue lid)

Bag mix (easy sand) can be used--but is more difficult--This should be used to pack any voids or gaps before taping.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:01 PM   #6
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Those *#@& air bubbles under drywall tape


To those of you who offered suggestions and advice, thanks!

To those of you who offered little more than criticism for me following the manufacturers directions on the bucket of topping compound...oh well...
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:23 PM   #7
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Those *#@& air bubbles under drywall tape


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To those of you who offered suggestions and advice, thanks!

To those of you who offered little more than criticism for me following the manufacturers directions on the bucket of topping compound...oh well...
I did not carefully read all the above but am pretty sure you said you put down mud ,put down the tape into the mud, then put MORE mud on top, right?

you need to put a thin layer of mud down, embed the tape gently but firmly into it, LET IT DRY, then proceed
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:26 PM   #8
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Those *#@& air bubbles under drywall tape


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To those of you who offered suggestions and advice, thanks!

To those of you who offered little more than criticism for me following the manufacturers directions on the bucket of topping compound...oh well...
Good, maybe you'll think a little more next time, and ask questions before screwing up a job.

It's a lot easier that way.

And I think by now, you've learned that TOPPING COMPOUND is not for taping. Right? The word "topping" will help you remember....... it's for the "top" coats.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:28 PM   #9
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Those *#@& air bubbles under drywall tape


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Good, maybe you'll think a little more next time, and ask questions before screwing up a job.

It's a lot easier that way.

And I think by now, you've learned that TOPPING COMPOUND is not for taping. Right? The word "topping" will help you remember....... it's for the "top" coats.
To be specific, I used Lafarge All Purpose Joint Compound. I sometimes call it "topping compound" in a generic way, same as some people call any carbonated drink a "coke" or any large mowing deck a "Bush Hog".

And the directions on the bucket said to lay down a layer with a finishing knife, press in the paper joint tape, then immediately apply a fill coat and trowel it smooth. And I followed those directions exactly. I didn't realize following the manufacturers directions is not a logical process. Nor did I realize I should ask questions before ever following the manufacturers directions.

Stating "don't press too hard on the knife when setting the tape" is helpful. Telling me "let it dry before putting on the second coat over the tape" is helpful. Telling me "the green lid compound has glue and sets better than the blue lid compound" is helpful.

Telling me the way I did it wasn't "logical" and I "screwed up" and I need to "think a little more"...not so helpful.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:07 PM   #10
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Those *#@& air bubbles under drywall tape


I agree with your first post spaceman....I think it is an art form. I have learned over the years that the best way to get a good taping job is to know when to walk away from it. The more you work at it the worse it gets. Thinner coats allowed to dry always seem to give the best results. And I always wet the paper tape when taping, or use the adhesive mesh when I can. Seems like it's more luck when it comes out well. That being said I knew a painter several years ago we always called in for jobs that the drywaller had done poorly or just screwed up. He always mixed his own mud and no matter how bad the drywall job was he threw up the mud and tape and it came out perfect every time....it's an art form, at least it was for him.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:19 PM   #11
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Those *#@& air bubbles under drywall tape


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I agree with your first post spaceman....I think it is an art form. I have learned over the years that the best way to get a good taping job is to know when to walk away from it. The more you work at it the worse it gets. Thinner coats allowed to dry always seem to give the best results. And I always wet the paper tape when taping, or use the adhesive mesh when I can. Seems like it's more luck when it comes out well. That being said I knew a painter several years ago we always called in for jobs that the drywaller had done poorly or just screwed up. He always mixed his own mud and no matter how bad the drywall job was he threw up the mud and tape and it came out perfect every time....it's an art form, at least it was for him.
I agree! I consider it an "art" because I've seen a few people who can walk up, slop on some mud, and with one smooth trowel motion it's done and perfect. No need for any sanding at all. They know the exact amount of mud to use and angle and pressure of the trowel for a perfect finish with one swipe.

I'm also thinking you're right about what happens the more you work on it. I keep trying to trowel it so it practically needs no smoothing later on, and the more I work on it, the worse it gets.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:58 PM   #12
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Those *#@& air bubbles under drywall tape


Most novices use to much mud--thin coats---whipping the mud with a drill and paddle is worth the effort--the mud will be smoother and more consistent --giving a better application.

look at your blade--it should have a tiny concave bend on the good side--yes they have a front (concave) and a back side (convex )

It is an art--and a thin flexible blade is easier to work than a stiffer blade--

The 6" knife is the work horse --have a spare if you have a large job---they get nicked easily when scraping the walls---darned screw heads,
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:22 PM   #13
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Those *#@& air bubbles under drywall tape


It's not an "art" until you get into domed ceilings, "freestanding" 360 degree radius stairways where the underside is drywalled, and such. Other than that it's a "technique" learned from repetition. Of course 35 or so years helps....

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