Indoor finishes are usually where homeowners get creative because they’re often DIY-friendly and are not too expensive to get into. Although the application may be simple, they still need to be done right, and this part can get quite confusing as most online guides assume that you already have the correct technique down.
Drywall mud can bubble due to multiple factors, but the main reason is the incorrect application of drywall mud or drywall tape. When applying drywall mud and tape, you need to be delicate and mindful as any wrong moves will end up damaging something, thus creating bubbles.
To address these main reasons, you’re going to have to know more about what drywall mud is and how you should ideally apply it. Most drywall mud finishes, such as knockdown texture, require specific tools for the finish to be installed properly.
How Do You Stop Drywall Mud From Bubbling?
Bubbles are usually formed when the drywall tape is not placed on the drywall correctly, causing the rest of the applied drywall mud to bubble because of the moisture seeping in. If you want to keep your drywall mud from bubbling, you’ll have to make sure that your tape is placed correctly, and then when you apply the mud, it doesn’t get sag.
NOTE: A good general tip for DIY projects is always to have everything that you need on hand, especially when you’re working with something time-dependent, like drywall mud.
In this case, applying the tape too late or not being able to properly spread out the drywall mud will cause bubbles. It’s also best to study and know all the steps well so you can continuously work instead of having to pause to recheck the instructions.
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How to Correctly Apply Drywall Mud?
Applying drywall mud correctly boils down to two parts: applying the tape and applying the mud itself. You can easily do these two parts DIY, but you have to ensure that you get each step right. We’ll be going over a brief overview of each part and giving a few tips on how to get it right!
Technique for Applying Drywall Tape
Drywall tape is applied to the wall to support the drywall mud and cover the seams between the drywall. If there’s no drywall tape placed, what ends up happening is that your drywall mud can end up sagging while it sets and will have weak points since the seams aren’t appropriately covered.
DID YOU KNOW? Some people use drywall mud as wood fillers in their DIY and home improvement projects. Here’s an article I wrote discussing the situations where you can use drywall mud as a substitute for wood fillers.
To prevent this from happening, here are a few tips when applying tape to your drywall.
Tip #1: The tape should be placed in such a way that leaves no gaps of air and should be completely stuck to your wall. The trick here is to press along the tape at an angle to avoid moving the tape, to smoothen it out while you apply that second coating of drywall mud.
Tip #2: Another trick is to avoid overlapping your tape for you to get a smoother finish. The overlapping tape will end up causing bumps, and you may just end up damaging the tape you just installed.
Technique for Applying Drywall Mud
Drywall mud, also known as joint compound, is used to finish a newly built wall. It helps cover gaps, holes, or dents left over from construction and provides a smooth working area for applying finishes.
Tip #1: The technique here, to avoid bubbling, is that you should always be mindful of how much force you’re applying when using your tools.
Only use enough force to apply and spread out the drywall mud, don’t directly apply your tools towards the wall; instead, place your taping knife along the wall and use your body instead of your arms.
NOTE: Using your body will make it easier for you to apply a consistent amount of force and make the application easier. Using your hips to apply torque and using your arms instead to focus on steadying the taping knife will help you get the job done much quicker and with a lot less effort.
Tip #2: Also, be mindful of where your drywall knife is going. You always want to have a predetermined direction and axis whenever you’re applying drywall mud; doing this will allow you to manage your coatings better and get a smoother finish. When using drywall mud vertically, it’s best to go from top to bottom rather than bottom to top.
Can the Drywall Mud Cause Bubbling?
Even if you use the correct technique, there is still a chance that bubbles can form on your wall if there’s something wrong with your drywall mud mixture.
Drywall mud can be made out of all kinds of ingredients, depending on its purpose. Each of these types of drywall mud comes with its pros and cons; you must use the right type for the proper purpose.
Typically, drywall mud can be classified under the following categories:
- All-Purpose Drywall Mud (Amazon link)
- Hot Drywall Mud
- Topping Drywall Mud
- Taping Drywall Mud
All of these types of drywall mud can either come in dry form or pre-mixed form. The pre-mixed form of drywall mud is intended to be more DIY friendly as you no longer have to mix the dry form drywall mud with water and do the guesswork of figuring out the correct consistency for it.
The only reason why drywall mud would end up bubbling is that you mixed its dry form incorrectly. There’s no significant benefit to using dry-form and mixing it yourself than just using a pre-mixed form that has already been prepared for application.
A FRIENDLY REMINDER: Working with dry-form drywall mud is quite laborious without a mixing machine and requires you to get it right, or else you’ll end up wasting it.
Paying extra attention and taking extra care of applying drywall tape and drywall mud onto your wall will keep bubbles from forming.
Make sure that you get each part right before you move on over to the next step. Remember that any openings left will end up allowing moisture to steep in and cause bubbles to form.