drywall joint/taping/sanding question

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I'm working on my first drywall project. I used paper tape for the joints. I think I followed the directions, essentially I spread on a layer of jointing compound, put the tape over that, spread on another layer of compound, let it dry, did another coat, let it dry, did another coat, all done.
But then I started sanding yesterday, and for several of the joints I started sanding into the paper tape before the joint was flat.
So I think for at least some of the joints, my first layer of compound was too thick, and now the tape isn't far enough below the joint surface. Is there a way to fix this? Can I sand out the joint and re-tape it, or is it so bad that I need to tear down and start over?
Thanks for your time,
-Charles
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Charles Lockhart wrote:

Spread your first layer of compound, put on the tape, add a little more compound on top, and here is the key: press the tape firmly as you go over it with a taping knife. When you press firmly, you will press out a lot of the mud from underneath the tape so that it should sink down into the bevel (assuming you are taping the beveled edges, and not butt joints). But don't press too firmly, or else you will force out all the compound from underneath the tape, and that's no good either.
Secondly, if you find that you are sanding down to the paper tape, stop before you sand that deep. If you don't get the tape down into the bevel for some reason, or if this is a butt joint, then the tape will just sit a little higher and you will need to feather out the joint over a longer distance with more coats of compound. Even if you do everything perfectly, you should still have three coats of compound.
I patch a lot of cracked plaster and add tape over cracks that are bowing outward from the wall slightly. I have feathered joints out to 1.5 - 2 feet wide with 4 or 5 coats of mud in extreme cases, and those joints pass the light-against-the-wall test.
Ken
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Ahh memories... Just about forgot the first time that I did my first tape and mud job....
Reason why I forgot it was because using paper tape was a nightmare that I would like to forget. I know I know, some people love it, I personally loath it.
Fiberglass mesh tape was the way to go for me. Its somewhat sticky (so you can first tape up a whole room at once) then you go around and use your favorite joint compound.
Seams look great (cant find them) and I havent had a crack yet (hey its only a few years now)
Do yourself a favor and buy a small role of this stuff (its next to the conventional paper tape) and give it a shot.
Charles Lockhart wrote:

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You will have the exact same problem with mesh tape as paper tape - you can sand down into it.
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just remud it, taper it off each side, then LIGHTLY sand it. there is a tendency to oversand when you first start mudding.
the wall will never be billiard table flat.
in the future, press harder when you mud. you should see mud squirting out from under the tape. dont be fooled by fiberglass tape. it has its own issues, and is particularly bad when used for inside corners.
randy

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Thank you, very much. I've been really sweating that I'd have to tear down and start over again. Not a happy feeling.
-Charles
On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 14:12:57 -0700, xrongor wrote:

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Sometimes you don't know what to believe when you get conflicting opinions.
Ken and Xronger both gave you sound advice.
Happy mudding.
Colbyt
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What is light-against-the-wall test?
Brian
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if you hold a light near the wall, you can easily see all the little places you didnt quite sand flat.
hold the light in one hand, and a sanding sponge with light grit in the other and go over the whole wall.
randy

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Oh well, guess some people here just dont like the fiber tape for doing sheetrock. Too bad.
P.S. didnt say to use it for corners, never would use it for that myself. (never get a square corner)

opinions.
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i never said you cant use the fiber tape... it saves you exactly one step. you dont have to put mud down first.
but its thicker than paper tape so its a little more tricky to get it to taper cleanly without exposing the tape, not the end of the world, just something to remember when you are sanding.
and the paper tape is basically free since you already bought it to do the corners. last time i checked it was about 6 bucks for a small roll of fiber tape, and about a buck and a half for a huge roll of paper tape. if you can do a corner with paper tape, a flat should be a no brainer.
both will last equally long if applied properly. both will look equally good of applied properly.
use whatever floats your boat...
my point is simply that some people think this magic fiber tape will take all the work out of the job. it doesnt. it saves one small step.
randy

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Actually, paper tape makes for a stronger joint. Whether or not that will ever come into play is another matter.
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Another stupid moron trying to compete over his level. How about rip it off and call a professional or start smearing thick coats of mud on top of it, and call it stucco. Whoops you'll probably screw that up too. Hope you tackle an electrical job soon so we can read about you in the paper.
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Obviously an angry contractor with no customers. (gee wonder why!!!)
I dont understand. Just let the guy give it a try. If he (or she) screws it up, then they call someone in. To a contractor, whats the difference?? Just rip the shit out and start over. You'd make the same one way or another.
Its almost like these guys get all upset because someone gives something a try. Ok I understand that if a guy is clueless about electric and tried to upgrade his service on his own house, thats a real saftey issue. But complaining about someone doing a little drywall work?? Its harmless and can be rewarding if it coues out right.
The hooligan wrote:

it
top
the
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How did I let this webtv asshole get through?! PLONK!
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Heh, heh, yeah, I can't completely disagree with that sentiment. There've been quite a number of times where I've wondered if doing the job myself is one of the dumber choices I've made or not.
Overall, it's the right choice for me because of two reasons:
1) I like to do this kind of stuff. If I get it wrong, I'll do it again, and chances are I'll do it right. I'm a fairly capable person, and I enjoy the goods and the bads. And really, none of the stuff has been all that complicated.
2) I've been kind of disappointed with the results I've seen from *most* of the professionals. A lot of them didn't care, didn't know what they were doing any better than I do, or just sucked. A lot of times you get charged too much, the job takes way longer than it's supposed to, and the results are crap.
So, for me, doing it myself is the way to go. Whether you agree or not really has no significance, but, like I said, I don't completely disagree with what you're saying.
Thanks for sharing, take care,
-Charles
On Tue, 15 Feb 2005 20:28:49 -0600, The hooligan wrote:

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You said it brother. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if "the hooligan" was precisely one of those "professionals".
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Yawn. Nice try, contractor troll.
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On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 14:12:57 -0700, "xrongor"

Too true. Actually, it can be worse. The mastic holding the threads together can fail during the initial coat and can leave threads popping up at the ends. I use mesh tape for repairing plaster cracks, where I want a little more bonding strength but rarely on drywall.
Actually, I ran out of paper tape on a renovation job I'm doing and used mesh tape on the remaining drywall. It worked well but I also used a 16" squegee(sp?) to lay the second (final) coat so it was wall bedded.
Steve Manes Brooklyn, NY http://www.magpie.com/house/bbs
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Mesh tape is avoided by most pros as it needs 'perfectly' clean surfaces to adhere and not much drywall mud goes into clinical labs. Use paper tape and a fast setting compound mixed @50% with standard compound. Usually a durabond 90 mixed with mud gives best results with wetted paper tape.
wrote:

out
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