How to Keep Drywall Tape from Bubbling

Do you have drywall tape that has started to bubble up on your walls? Whether it’s in an area that gets a lot of traffic or near an air vent, these unwelcome bumps in the wall can be unsightly. Fortunately, there is a way to prevent bubbling and keep your drywall tape flat – get the right materials and use a few simple steps!

How to Keep Drywall Tape from Bubbling

In this blog post, we will cover how to do just that – by discussing why some drywall tapes are more prone to bubbling than others, what kind of products work best to prevent it, as well as go over step-by-step instructions for how to keep drywall tape from bubbling so you can keep those pesky bubbles away from your walls. Read on for everything you need to know about keeping your drywall tape from bubbling!

Why Does My Drywall Tape Keep Bubbling?

If you’ve recently patched a wall and noticed the drywall tape keeps bubbling up, it’s likely due to one of the following reasons: 

1. Poor Preparation

Before applying any kind of drywall tape or joint compound, make sure your walls are properly prepared and cleaned. Any dirt, dust, or debris left behind can cause air bubbles that will be difficult to remove without redoing the job.

2. Applying Too Much Joint Compound

When applying joint compound beneath your tape, only use as much as is necessary to create a smooth surface. Over-application can lead to trapped air pockets which will eventually cause the tape to bubble.

Applying Joint Compound Beneath Your Tape

3. Not Applying Enough Pressure

When applying tape to the wall, use firm pressure and smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles as you go. If any air pockets are left behind, they can cause your tape to bubble over time.

4. Temperature Fluctuations

If your home experiences drastic temperature changes throughout the year, this could also be the culprit. High temperatures and humidity can cause trapped air pockets to expand, which can cause your tape to bubble as a result.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can prevent drywall tape from bubbling up in the future. With proper preparation, application techniques, and temperature control, your walls should remain smooth for years to come.

10 Methods How to Keep Drywall Tape from Bubbling

1. Applying the Tape Correctly

One of the most important things you can do to prevent drywall tape from bubbling is to apply it correctly in the first place. Make sure that you press the tape firmly into place and smooth it out with your hand to remove any air bubbles.

Press the Tape Firmly Into Place and Smooth

If there are any large bubbles, use a putty knife to carefully press the air out. Although this is a tedious process, it can make all the difference in avoiding bubbling later. Make sure the tape is completely affixed to the drywall, and don’t be afraid to use a little extra pressure.

2. Using the Right Type of Tape

There are different types of drywall tape available on the market, so it’s important to choose the right type for your project. Fiberglass tape is stronger and more durable than paper tape, so it’s a good choice for areas that are likely to get wet or experience a lot of wear and tear. It’s also easier to work with, since it’s more flexible and can be easily adjusted.

On the other hand, paper tape is lighter and easier to apply, making it ideal for small patches and repairs. Once you’ve selected the appropriate type of tape for your repair job, make sure that it’s properly sealed on all sides. If there are any gaps or cracks, the tape won’t adhere and could cause bubbling.

3. Applying Primer Before Tape

Another way to prevent drywall tape from bubbling is to apply primer to the area before you apply the tape. This will help to create a barrier between the wall and the tape, which will prevent moisture from seeping through and causing the tape to bubble. If you already have the tape applied, wait until it is completely dry before applying primer.

Bubbling is to Apply Primer

Be sure to use a high-quality latex or oil primer so that it will effectively form a barrier and prevent bubbling. After the primer is dry, you can then go ahead and apply your tape. This extra step can significantly reduce the risk of bubbling.

4. Letting the Primer Dry Completely

It’s important to let the primer dry completely before you apply the drywall tape. If you apply the tape while the primer is still wet, it will not adhere properly and is more likely to bubble. 

Allow the primer to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions before continuing. Though it may take a bit longer, making sure that the primer is dry before adding the tape will ensure better results and save you time in the long run.

Make sure the primer is completely dry before moving on to the next step. Additionally, if the primer is not applied correctly, it may cause bubbling and drywall tape to come loose. Applying the primer properly will help the tape stick and stay in place.

5. Applying Joint Compound Correctly

When you apply joint compound, it’s important to smooth it out as much as possible to prevent drywall tape from bubbling. Use a putty knife or trowel to spread the joint compound evenly over the area where you will be applying the tape.

Make sure to use enough joint compound to completely cover the tape and fill any gaps. While applying joint compound, you should work from the center outwards to avoid creating air pockets. Allow the joint compound to dry before you proceed with the next step.

6. Allowing Joint Compound to Dry Completely

As with the primer, it’s important to let the joint compound dry completely before applying drywall tape. If you apply the tape while the joint compound is still wet, it will not adhere properly and is more likely to bubble. It’s best to wait 24 hours for the joint compound to dry before adding tape.

To help speed up the drying time, you can use a fan or dehumidifier in the area. Before taping, run your finger over the joint compound to test if it’s dry. If it doesn’t stick to your finger, it’s dry, and you can move on to the next step.

7. Sanding Between Coats of Joint Compound

If you are applying multiple coats of joint compound, it’s important to sand between each coat. This will help to create a smooth surface for the next coat of joint compound, which will in turn, help prevent drywall tape from bubbling.

When sanding, it’s important to use fine-grit sandpaper and work slowly and evenly. Start off with light strokes, and increase pressure as needed. If you need to, use a sanding block or sponge to ensure even coverage.

8. Applying Paint After Tape Application

Once you have applied drywall tape and allowed it to dry completely, you can then paint over it. This will help further seal the area and prevent moisture from seeping through and causing the tape to bubble. However, you must ensure that the paint is of good quality and designed for use on drywall.

Apply a thin coat of paint to the taped area, feathering the edges out to blend with the surrounding wall. Allow this coat of paint to dry completely before applying a second coat. Once both coats of paint are dry, the taped area will be secured and ready for use.

9. Installing a Vapor Barrier

If your home experiences high humidity levels, you may want to consider installing a vapor barrier. This will help to keep moisture out, which can prevent drywall tape from bubbling due to trapped air pockets.

You can purchase a vapor barrier from your local home improvement store and install it yourself. Do not forget to tape the seams along the edges of the vapor barrier to ensure a good seal. Doing this will also help protect your home from mold and mildew growth in damp areas.

Vapor Barrier From Your Local Home

10. Choosing Quality Materials

Finally, it’s important to choose quality materials for any project involving drywall tape. Poor-quality materials are more likely to buckle or bubble over time, so be sure to use the best materials that you can afford.

Quality materials not only last longer, but they also look better for years to come. Be sure to read reviews or talk with a professional before making any purchase. This extra step can save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.


Keeping drywall tape from bubbling involves the right preparation and application. Once the walls are properly prepped, use a narrow knife to apply the tape in long, smooth pieces. Then add enough joint compound to just fill it in and make sure to smooth out any lumps or bumps as you go. Doing this increases the chances of preventing future bubbles.

Additionally, keep your room dehumidified and use a paint that is designed for high moisture areas. If you have trouble keeping the tape from bubbling, it’s best to begin again with clean materials instead of repeating a bad process. Following these simple steps can help ensure better success when tackling a drywall job, like how to keep drywall tape from bubbling and complete any home improvement project!

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Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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