Fix cracked joint compound

I'm having trouble finding an answer to this because I keep finding topics on "fix cracked drywall with joint compound", but I want to fix cracked joint compound. Thanks for any help.
I took out my bath tub and replaced with a tile shower about 6 months ago. I put up hardibacker and it didn't quite line-up with the rest of the existing drywall. It wasn't too bad, I thought, only off by about 1/8". I applied tape and drywall compound to make up the difference. Pretty much as soon as it dried, it was cracked all over. The cracks look like a spider web pattern (pretty much random). I secured the heck out of the hardibacker so I don't think I have movement, I think maybe I just applied the drywall compound too thick, or otherwise incorrectly. It was pre-mixed, so it wasn't that I mixed it incorrectly.
Anyway, I'm wondering if I can apply another thin layer over the top, or if it will just continue to crack? Do I need to apply a mesh, or something? Or do I need to rip out the drywall and start over. No way I'm ripping out the hardibacker, since that would mean redoing the tile... I'd do wood paneling, or tile the whole bathroom before I do that.
O-ya, and if anyone can point me to a web-site (with pictures would be great) with info on this topic, that would be awsome!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Google knows....... http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_journal/how_to/4224995.html
If you want more sites, search on ' repair cracks "drywall compound" ' (type in only what is between the single quotes). Lot of hits.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: (snip)

Premixed all-purpose (and to a lesser extent, lightweight) joint compound will shrink as it dries. If you put on too heavy a coat you can get cracks in the compound as you describe, although I wouldn't expect it to occur at 1/8" thick.
If the mud seems to be well adhered and otherwise sound, applying another coat of mud (or two) should take care of the problem. There's no need to apply tape or mesh.
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I know it's a little late now, but they make a small, flexible, plastic trim piece for just that application. Kinda looks like a miniature version of "J-Channel" that is used on siding applications. I got some recently at Home Depot for just a few $$$ and used it to terminate drywall at the fiberglass shower enclosure in my shop .. .. it worked great.
That sai .. another coat of compound will probably fix your situation. If you want a bit better cure, dig out the cracked stuff, and get some dry powder compound that you mix with water just before application... It "cures" rather than "dries" and is much less prone to crack.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Thanks to all who replied... never had such consistant answers before, I guess my repair path is obvious this time, awsome! Of course, now if it doesn't work, I'll really be shocked =]
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On Jun 28, 3:23pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It was pre-mixed, so it wasn't that

FWIW, many drywall installers prefer setting type compounds in damp environments. The reduced shrinkage, higher strength and moisture resistance offset the extra work required compared to softer compounds. That said, don't change the compound type, just carefully rework it to a nice level finish. Shrinkage will probably be stabilized OK by now. Good luck. . Joe
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