How to Fix Bubbles in Drywall Tape? (6 Easy Steps)

A Person's hand repairing bubbles in drywall tape. How to Fix Bubbles in Drywall Tape?

If you’ve discovered bubbles in your drywall tape, don’t assume your project is ruined! Take a look below for the help you need.

Key Takeaways

If you need to know how to fix bubbles in drywall tape:

  1. Start by removing any compound on top of the drywall tape.
  2. Cut the bubbled portion of the tape out.
  3. Apply some fresh compound over the joint with an even hand and allow it to dry.
  4. Put new tape over the portion that you removed.
  5. Ensure the new tape overlaps the other pieces.
  6. Use a clean putty knife to lower the tape onto the compound with even pressure as you put the tape on.
  7. Put another layer of compound over that and allow it to dry.

Why does my drywall tape bubble up?

Typically, drywall tape will bubble up if it’s installed incorrectly. It’s the air that creates the bubble, of course. If there is not enough compound under the tape or on top of it, or the compound itself isn’t correctly mixed. You can find a bubble pop-up at the time of installation or even after you’ve let it dry and/or painted it!

Can drywall tape bubbles be repaired?

You can repair bubbles. You can repair bubbles even if you’ve painted your wall (more on this later). It’s an excellent repair task to take on yourself, and it will impact your wall and room!

How to fix bubbles in drywall tape

The process of repairing drywall tape bubbles will be basically what I mentioned in the introduction, but let’s go over it in detail to walk you through it!

  1. Remove any compound on the drywall tape
  2. Cut the bubbled portion of tape out 
  3. Apply fresh compound over the joint
  4. Put fresh tape down
  5. Put another layer of compound on
  6. Allow it to dry

1. Remove any compound on the drywall tape

Carefully wipe off any wet compound on top of the drywall tape. Try to stay within the tape line in case you wipe off any other areas close by.

2. Cut the bubbled portion of tape out 

Cut the bubbled tape out entirely. Do the cut as cleanly as possible unless you’re ripping off the entire line of tape.

3. Apply fresh compound over the joint

With a blank slate again, apply freshly mixed compound over the joint. Keep an even hand as far as thickness and allow it to dry completely. The drying process is essential to protect bubbling, so don’t cut corners!

4. Put fresh tape down

When the compound is dry, put a layer of fresh tape down. Double-check that your new tape will overlap the edges of the other tape that’s already there (this will hide the fact that you did a “patchwork job.”

Use your clean putty knife to run down the line when putting tape on. This helps push out any bubbles that might be hiding without your knowledge behind the tape! It also helps keep an even pressure.

5. Put another layer of compound on

Now mix up another compound layer and apply it over the placed tape. Use the same even hand and compound to coat the joint evenly.

6. Allow it to dry

Now everything will dry as it should. If you’ve done everything correctly, you’ll see that the bubble will be gone! If the bubble isn’t gone, you can always redo it. 


It might be annoying to redo a repair job, but it will always be worth it.

How to fix bubbles in drywall tape after your drywall has dried

If your drywall has dried by the time you notice the air bubble behind the tape, it’s okay — you can pretty much repeat the process. The only difference is that you’ll have to chip away at the compound instead of simply wiping it up. You can do this using your putty knife.

Be careful with your chipping to ensure you don’t slip and accidentally chip at the wrong part! Chip away the entire area over the tape the same way you did when wet. From there, just repeat the process above! 

How to fix bubbles after drywall has been painted

It’s frustrating to have painted already; there’s no question. Yet, it happens more than you might think! If you’ve got a coat of primer and paint on there only to see that you’ve got a pesky bubble, you’ll want to grab your sandpaper and sand it down over the paint. Keep the sanding focused on the line of tape so that you don’t unnecessarily have to do more work! Just repeat the process above after you sand it down to the tape.


Make sure the tape is bubbling rather than the paint! Benjamin Moore explains that heat and moisture can cause paint to bubble.

How are long bubbles in drywall tape best repaired?

If you’ve got a line of tape bubbling pretty severely. In that case, it’s probably crossing your mind to just cut off the long bubbles and repair them individually. If you’ve got more than one bubble (or a single long bubble) on a joint, you’ll want to strongly consider ripping the entire line of tape off and starting over. 

It’s much faster and easier to rip off the tape and start fresh rather than combine multiple pieces of tape to hide the bubbles you cut out. The more tape joints you have, the more likely you’ll have an issue.

The other thing is that a long bubble (or multiple bubbles) on one joint could indicate that the compound was improperly mixed. This could lead to future bubbling or a poor joint seam needing more attention.

Can you paint over bubbled tape?

Technically you can paint over the bubbled tape. But, it will be much more evident under the paint than it would be in the matte-finish compound. While it takes time to repair the bubbled tape, it will take even more time to do it after you’ve painted it. Take the time now to save yourself frustration, time, and the paint supplies like primer and the top coat. 

It’s also a bit harder to hide a patch job of paint since it’s intended to be applied in one coat rather than in smaller patches!

How do you tape drywall without bubbles?

Preventative drywalling will be your best protection for keeping your tape lines bubble-free. Here are some tips that the pros use!

  • Mix compound properly
  • Wait for drying times
  • Keep an even pressure while spreading the compound and taping
  • Get your tape wet

Specific to the compound mix, Tape-Finish-Texture-Drywall explains that mixing up a batch that’s too big is the biggest and most common error. Work in small mixes and batches!

Fun Fact:

Even professional drywallers have bubbles every once in a while!

Why does drywall tape bubble after painting?

That’s a fair question. Realistically, it depends on how many coats you have on your wall. If you have its first coat on, you’ll probably be dealing with a fault in the tape itself that didn’t show up until after you painted it. It may have been there before; you couldn’t see it due to the matte finish of the compound and primer. 

If you’ve noticed that the bubble is there after your second coat, it means that any repair you completed to fix it didn’t work properly. You’ll have to sand it down and repair it again. 

How to keep drywall tape from bubbling

If you’re looking for more help keeping your drywall tape bubble-free, the best thing you can do is apply your compound and tape slowly and carefully. Many professionals and DIYers simply try to go too fast to get more on in the short timeframe of the compound before it sets. This makes for sloppy work, no matter how well you’re trained!

How to fix bubbles in drywall tape after painting

If you’re having a problem with bubbling after painting and you’ve done what you can to repair the tape. In that case, you can switch from classic tape to a fiberglass mesh drywall tape that will be better at reducing bubbles.

Fixing bubbles in your drywall tape won’t be difficult but can take time and effort. First, remove any wet or dry compound on your tape, and cut off the tape itself that has the bubble in it. Apply fresh compound over the seam, dry it, and then put dress tape on top of it. Then, apply another layer of compound and allow it to dry. If that doesn’t work, there are all techniques to help you fix the bubbles for good!

FAQ: Drywall Taping Bubbles

How can I fix bubbles in drywall tape?

Here are 6 easy steps to fix bubbles in drywall tape:

What materials do I need to fix bubbles in drywall tape?

To fix bubbles in drywall tape, you will need joint compound, drywall tape, a utility knife, a drywall knife, sandpaper, and a paintbrush.

How do bubbles form in drywall tape?

Bubbles can form in drywall tape when air gets trapped between the tape and the wall surface during the taping process.

How can I prevent bubbles from forming in drywall tape?

To prevent bubbles from forming in drywall tape, make sure to apply the tape correctly, pressing it firmly into the wet joint compound and smoothing out any air pockets.

How do I fix bubbles in drywall tape?

To fix bubbles in drywall tape, follow these steps:

Step 1: Remove the bubbled section of tape

Use a utility knife to carefully cut away the bubbled section of tape, making sure not to damage the surrounding drywall.

Step 2: Apply a thin layer of joint compound

Apply a thin layer of joint compound over the area where the tape was removed, feathering the edges to create a seamless transition.

Step 3: Apply a new piece of drywall tape

Cut a new piece of drywall tape to fit the area and use a drywall knife to embed it into the fresh layer of joint compound, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles.

Step 4: Spread joint compound over the tape

Apply a layer of joint compound over the new piece of tape, using a drywall knife to spread it evenly and feather the edges.

Step 5: Allow the joint compound to dry

Let the joint compound dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 6: Sand and finish

Once the joint compound is dry, use sandpaper to smooth out any rough patches and then apply a coat of paint to finish the repair.

Know someone that needs a bit of help with drywall seams? Share this with them!

Rosa Peterson

Rose is the writer and creator of Better That Home, a blog about home design and decor. Rose has been designing spaces for over 10 years and writing home design and decor for big publishers. She has been inspired by many other creatives from around the world and loves to share those inspirations with her readers. Read more about Rose here