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How to Fix Peeling Drywall Tape: Only 4 Steps [DIY]

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How to Fix Peeling Drywall Tape

Last Updated on January 16, 2023

Peeling drywall tape is a common problem in homes with plaster walls. The tape is used to hold the layers of plaster together, but over time it can loosen and start to peel away from the wall. This can be a cosmetic issue, along with a structural one. If the peeling is extensive, it could weaken the plaster and cause it to crack or crumble. 

Fixing peeling drywall tape is not as difficult of a task as one might think. There are a few quick and easy steps that anyone can follow if you are wondering how to fix peeling drywall tape. In this blog post, we will go over what you will need in order to fix it and also the steps you need to take to accomplish this.

How to Fix Peeling Drywall Tape: Detailed Instructions

How to Fix Peeling Drywall Tape

What Do You Need?

In order to fix peeling drywall tape, you will need the following materials: 

  1. Sturdy ladder or step stool 
  2. Utility knife 
  3. Putty knife 
  4. Sandpaper 
  5. Dust mask 
  6. Primer (optional) 
  7. Paint (optional) 
  8. New Roll of Drywall Tape 

Step 1: Determine the Cause

Start by determining the root cause of the problem. There are a few different reasons why drywall tape might start to peel, and it’s important to identify the cause so that you can address it properly.

The most common causes are insufficient adhesion between the tape and the wall surface, poor-quality tape, or excess moisture.

Step 2: Address the Issue

Once you’ve identified the source of the issue, you can begin taking steps to fix it. If the problem is due to insufficient adhesion, you’ll need to apply a coat of primer to both the wall surface and the back of the tape. This will help promote better adhesion and prevent future peeling.

If poor-quality tape is the problem, your best bet is to replace the old tape with the new one. Be sure to use a high-quality product designed specifically for use on drywall surfaces.

And also, if excess moisture is causing your drywall tape to peel, make sure that you’re taking steps to keep the area well-ventilated and free of moisture. Using a dehumidifier can help cut down on moisture in the air and promote better drying conditions.

Step 3: Reattach Drywall Tape

Once you’ve addressed the underlying issue, it’s time to reattach the drywall tape.

  1. Use a putty knife or another sharp object to remove all of the loose tapes. Be careful not to damage the drywall beneath the tape. Once all of the loose tapes have been removed, you will need to clean the surface. You can do this by wiping it down with a damp cloth.
  2. After you have cleaned the surface, you will need to apply primer to it. This will help to ensure that the new tape will adhere properly. Measure and cut the new tape to size. Make sure that it is big enough to cover the entire area where the old tape was located.
  3. Apply the new tape to the surface, making sure that it is smooth and even. Use a putty knife or your fingers to remove wrinkles and bubbles. Once the new tape is in place, you will need to paint it. This will help to blend it in with the rest of the wall and make it less noticeable.

Step 4: Allow Setting Time for Drywall Tape

Allow plenty of time for the adhesive to set before moving on to painting or wallpapering over the area. Depending on the type of adhesive being used, this could take anywhere from 24 hours to a week. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions regarding cure time before proceeding with your project.

Why is My Drywall Tape Peeling?

Why is My Drywall Tape Peeling

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of repairing drywall tape that’s peeling, it’s important to understand a little bit about how drywall is made. A drywall panel is covered with a thin coating of joint compound, which helps to fill in any gaps and further strengthens the bond between the gypsum and the paper or fiberglass.

Now that we know how drywall is made let’s take a look at why the tape might be peeling. One explanation may be that the joint compound was not applied correctly in the first place. If the joint compound is too thin, it will not adhere properly to the tape, causing it to peel away eventually.

Another possibility is that the joint compound was applied over a surface that was not clean or smooth. This can cause the joint compound to bubble and create voids that allow the tape to peel away.

Last but not least, if the room experiences drastic changes in temperature or humidity, this can cause the tape to come loose as well.

Can You Mud over Peeling Drywall Tape?

If your drywall tape is peeling, you may be tempted to cover it up with a layer of mud simply. In any case, this is not the best solution. The mud will not adhere well to the tape, and it will eventually start to peel off.

Also, the mud will not fill in any gaps or cracks in the tape, which can allow moisture to seep through. Instead of covering up the problem, it is best to remove the peeling tape and start over. This may seem like a lot of work, but it is the only way to ensure that your drywall tape will stay in place.

Can You Overlap Peeling Drywall Tape With More Tape?

Can You Overlap Peeling Drywall Tape With More Tape

According to most experts, it is not advisable to overlap peeled drywall tape with more tape. The reason for this is that the adhesive on the new tape will not bond well with the surface of the old tape. This can cause the new tape to come loose, which can then lead to bubbles or wrinkles in the repair area.

Also, even if the new tape does bond well with the old tape, it is likely that the edges of the new tape will be visible once the repair area is painted. For these reasons, it is generally best to start with a clean surface when applying new drywall tape.

Should You Paint Over Peeling Drywall Tape?

Whether or not you should paint over peeling drywall tape will depend on the extent of the damage and the condition of the remainder of the wall. If the tape is only peeling in small areas, you may be able to cover it with a fresh coat of paint.

But, if the damage is more severe, you may need to take off the old tape and replace it with new tape before painting. In either case, it’s important to repair the damage as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration of the wall.

Does Sanding After Taping Drywall Cause Drywall Tape to Peel?

Does Sanding After Taping Drywall Cause Drywall Tape to Peel

The decision to sand after taping drywall really depends on the type of tape you’re using. If you’re using self-adhesive mesh tape, then sanding is definitely not necessary.

In fact, it could actually cause the tape to peel. In contrast, if you’re using paper tape, then sanding is a good idea in order to help the tape adhere properly. The key is to not over-sand, as this can also cause the tape to peel. Just sand lightly until the surface is smooth.

Is It Possible to Fix a Ripped Drywall Tape?

If the drywall tape becomes ripped or damaged, it can cause the drywall to become loose and create an unsightly appearance. But drywall tape can be repaired.

To begin with, remove any loose pieces of tape. Next, apply a thin layer of joint compound to the back of the repair patch. Then, press the patch firmly into place and smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles.

In the end, allow the joint compound to dry completely before painting or wallpapering up the repair. With some time and effort, it is possible to repair ripped drywall tape and restore your walls to their original condition.


The best way to fix peeling drywall tape is to remove the old tape and apply new tape. This will enable proper adhesion of the new tape and not peel. If the old tape is not removed, the new tape will eventually peel as well.

Also, it is important to avoid using excessive amounts of the joint compound when applying the new tape. Too much joint compound can lead to the new tape buckling and eventually lead to peeling. By following the simple steps, you can easily fix peeling drywall tape.

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