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Old 05-21-2013, 01:12 PM   #1
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


I've done a fair amount of drywall over the years and almost always seem to get some bubbles in the tape, spots that don't adhere that I have to cut out and fill in. I usually use sheetrock brand easy sand 90 minute or so mud with paper tape. I put a decent amount of mud on the joint and then put the tape on and put a little mud on my knife and run it down the tape applying pressure to get the tape to sit flat. Then let dry until next day. Then put second and third coat on to feather it out. Overall I can do an alright job for a DIYer but would like to learn what I'm doing wrong that causes these bubbles? Am I not leaving enough mud under the tape, to much pressure when bedding the tape? Or leaving to much mud under the tape? Not enough mud on top of the tape while it's drying?

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Old 05-21-2013, 03:19 PM   #2
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


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Originally Posted by ponch37300 View Post
I've done a fair amount of drywall over the years and almost always seem to get some bubbles in the tape, spots that don't adhere that I have to cut out and fill in. I usually use sheetrock brand easy sand 90 minute or so mud with paper tape. I put a decent amount of mud on the joint and then put the tape on and put a little mud on my knife and run it down the tape applying pressure to get the tape to sit flat. Then let dry until next day. Then put second and third coat on to feather it out. Overall I can do an alright job for a DIYer but would like to learn what I'm doing wrong that causes these bubbles? Am I not leaving enough mud under the tape, to much pressure when bedding the tape? Or leaving to much mud under the tape? Not enough mud on top of the tape while it's drying?
I, and others have written tons on this. Use the SEARCH feature.

But one hint: NO mud on top of the bed coat, at all. And don't be afraid to wet things up a whole lot.... tape included. (Despite what pros will tell you. They already understand this stuff, you may not. Cheat, and get everything wet.

Now go do the SEARCH thing.

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Old 05-21-2013, 08:40 PM   #3
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


Here to help. I hate looking up old posts so use a 4 inch knife thinned out well mixed mud sour cream consistency. apply the mud to the seam then I use my pan to hold on part of the tap as I drag my knife down the tape then go back an smooth out the tape that I held with the pan voila done! come back in the morning put the first coat on! easy cheesy squeeze. want to know how I learned how to do that. I watched Myron Ferguson on you tube. Just saved you 30 seconds of typing.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:46 PM   #4
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


The mud on top of the tape is causing the bubbles.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:01 PM   #5
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


Wrong mud----Use Multipurpose--green lid--it is designed to bed tape and contains glue.

Like others said--thin the mud--do not top coat it until the bedding coat is dry.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:14 PM   #6
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


Same problem here. Today was my first attempt at trying to tape. I used paper tape and all purpose mud. So many bubbles that I couldn't squeeze out that I took off the tape and threw it out. I had prefilled with hot mud (the joint was between an existing plaster wall and drywall) and both sides of the joint were pretty smooth, but at slightly different angles. After removing the tape I decided to make the surface where the tape goes totally flat (same angle for old and new wall) before taping rather than after. That will require another coat in 24 hours, and I'll use new compound. I may have added too much water or mixed in too much air. I'll stick with paper tape this time because I already put premix on and I don't want to keep alternating (mesh should be used with hot mud) but from now on when there's any imperfection in the walls or the joint isn't perfectly filled or the mud is a little old, I'm using hot mud and mesh.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:04 PM   #7
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


there should be no need to thin the tape mud. the green lid which should be used is already pretty soupy. and i think i know what your talking about. the tape looks fine and when you go over the joint it bubbles up. there is no mud under the paper. if you felt the tape better coating it you'd feel that it feels hollow and once wetted it pops out on you.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:11 PM   #8
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


I used green lid but I guess it was too old and thick. And it took me a few minutes to apply the mud to the wall before the tape so it got even thicker on the wall, and I didn't wet the tape.

Someone needs to think up a consistency test. I haven't had sour cream in years.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:55 PM   #9
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


So the bag mix stuff is no good for bedding the tape? Here I always thought hot mud was good for taping and have only used the premixed stuff for top coating?

From the sounds of it I am squeezing to much mud out from under the tape when bedding it. And using the wrong mud.
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:00 AM   #10
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


I love it. There are literally several hundred thousand words written in this forum on this subject... in great detail............................. but the desire seems to be to get the answer here and now in a few lines in maybe 6 or 8 posts.

All I can say is..... "Get used to the bubbles."
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:14 AM   #11
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


I searched again and this seemed like another good thread but even there people are saying to search for other threads. In that thread someone had to wait for the tape to dry before he found bubbles. I think I'll use mesh and hot mud.
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:52 AM   #12
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


Ponch: try Fibafuse. I'm probably going to order it too. It's like paper tape with holes so bubbles shouldn't be a problem. I read that it doesn't flatten out as easily with a taping knife, but you just have to hold the unmudded part to eliminate slack. Mesh is easier to find but it's not good for corners.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:34 AM   #13
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


I have never had bubbles in my tape. maybe I use a libral amount of mud and don't over work the tape. All you do is put the tape on the mud run your knife over it one time your done! Don't over work it. Simple easy
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:56 AM   #14
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


you can use hot mud for taping but you have to be careful. as soon as it starts setting up the paper wont stick. and mud on the wall will set quicker then what you have in your pan. green mud dries pretty quickly and theres no real need to rush that much.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:15 AM   #15
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What causes bubbles in paper tape?


Just my $.02 Like Willie T says cut your tape to length roll it up put in a bucket of water, pull it out and pull it between your fingers to remove the excess and you will never have bubbles. And Prince I don't think I have ever opened a bucket of all purpose that didn't need thinned some. Straight from the bucket it's thick and hard to pull. The light weight yea. And easy sand is great for fill and first coat.
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