Repairing Drywall Tape Cracks

Related Articles

Patching a Ceiling

Replacing a Ceiling

Dear Natural Handyman,
In some areas of my ceilings, the tape is separating from the wallboard. Any repair suggestions??
ML from New Haven, CT

If I was a drywall snob, I would tell you to do a complete replacement of the wallboard tape. This involves first tearing the old wallboard tape off the wall, stopping if you reach an area that the tape is firmly attached. Use a utility knife to trim the tape as necessary. Sand the area lightly; then apply more drywall compound to the wall and press a new piece of tape into the seam.

There is an easier way that is especially useful when only one side of the seam is a problem, which is a common occurrence especially in newer homes caused by normal settlement. It actually requires less skill and may also take less total job time. Instead of completely removing the tape, force some drywall compound underneath the loose side of the tape and press it back into place, using a drywall knife to press out excess drywall compound. If you apply just the right amount of paste, it will reglue the tape without causing a lump. Once the patch dries, sand if necessary and then apply a thin coat over the surface to smooth out your work. You will, of course, have to do more surface work to smooth the ceiling with compound.

If your ceiling is a sprayed ("popcorn") ceiling, there are some tips in the painting section of the Natural Handyman website concerning preliminary prep and the final repair.
Good luck,


Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page

The Natural Handyman Site Directory

Take the Next Step

  • Could spending 5 minutes reading a newsletter twice a week save you time and money every day? Dollar Stretcher Tips readers think so. Subscribe and find out how many ideas stretch your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE.
  • Home improvements can be costly. For many projects, we can help you save. Just visit the Home Improvement section of the Dollar Stretcher Library before you start that next project.

Stay Connected with TDS

Little Luxuries

to the Dollar Stretcher newsletter and get a copy
of our ebook
Little Luxuries:
130 Ways to Live Better...For Less
for FREE!

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Debt Book