The success of concealing drywall seams with paint entirely depends on the quality of your preparation work. Every form of paint will show through a poor drywall finishing job.
As a result, it’s critical to thoroughly tape and mud your walls before applying multiple coats of joint compound and finishing with a topping compound.
Then, using the grit sandpaper, sand your drywall seams to integrate the patched areas with the rest of the drywall. Prime the walls before applying the final coat of paint to smooth out any blemishes.
However, things are not as easy as this, as a joint compound isn’t the only thing you need. In our guide, you can learn more about how to fix a bad drywall job that has been painted.
By the end, you’ll have far more information to fix drywall imperfections such as uneven drywall, visible drywall joints, and how to hide drywall seams. Once done, there shouldn’t be any visible drywall tape lines, and you’ll know how to fix drywall seams after painting for a smooth finish. (Learn How To Remove Drywall Anchors)
How Do You Fix Seams After Painting?
After a wall has been finished and painted, uneven drywall seams, nails, cracks, and other problems can all appear. You can quickly fix them, but you’ll have to re-prime the wall and have to repaint it.
Almost all drywall repairs will be made with drywall joint compound, yet this doesn’t attach well to gloss or semi-gloss paint.
A coat of primer, followed by a second coat before painting, gives the essential adherence and enhances coverage and sealing the repair.
- Using a detergent and warm water solution, sponge the wall.
- To clean gloss or semi-gloss paint, you should use strong detergents such as trisodium phosphate. It not only removes oil and filth, but it also etches the surface and increases paint adhesion.
- With a paint scraper, chip off any loose drywall mud on seams where the paper is separating.
- With the corner of your scraper, puncture any bubbles forming in the tape.
- Remove the separated paper using your fingers or a utility knife. With a dry paintbrush, remove any leftover dust, peeling paint, and loose mud.
- Apply a coat of drywall primer to any spots that need to be repaired. Apply it with a brush/ roller and wait for it to dry before you carry on.
- Using a 4-inch drywall blade, coat seams from which you removed tape with drywall joint compound or mud.
- After moistening the paper drywall tape with water, scrape it flat on the mud. Apply a second coat of mud to the tape and smooth it out.
- Remove any popped-out drywall nails and replace them with 1 1/2-inch drywall screws.
- Using a drill and a No. 2 Phillips bit, drive the screw heads about 1/16 inch past the drywall surface. Apply a coat of mud on the heads to conceal them.
- Apply a coat of mud to any uneven seams where you haven’t removed the tape using the drywall knife. With the knife, scrape the mud flat.
- Allow the initial coat of mud to dry overnight before re-coating all the places that need to be repaired.
- Create a broader seam that spreads out into the wall with a 6-inch knife. Allow that coat to dry before using an 8-inch knife to apply a third coat.
- With 120-grit sandpaper, sand all the areas you mended. If the space doesn’t have natural light, you’ll need to shine a work light onto the wall to help you get them flat. To protect lungs, wear a dust mask.
- If there is an existing texture on the wall, apply a texture to it to match it.
- A pattern can often be duplicated by using can texture and using your drywall knife. Carefully use your drywall knife to copy the pattern as it hardens.
- Wait for your new texture to dry before you apply drywall primer to your repairs. When it’s dry, use matte paint to finish your wall.
Can You Tape Over Painted Drywall?
To begin, make sure the painted surface is clean. Scuff the surface using 80-grit sandpaper or coarser should the paint have a gloss finish. (Read Drywall Mud Vs Spackle)
To embed tape, use a heavyweight drying-type joint compound over paint, and for finish coats, use a mid-weight or lightweight drying-type compound.
Faster-setting compounds don’t adhere as well, as the drying time is too fast, and you need to sand the surface before using them to get the necessary adhesion.
Because there is limited absorption into the surface when you tape over a painted surface, you may get air bubbles in the compound. If this happens, wait until the compound has dried before scraping or sanding the bubbles away and applying another coat.
Using tape here can also show a smoother finish than the existing texture. It will require a thin coat of joint compound and sanding with 120-grit sandpaper to blend it into the exiting texture.
Can See Drywall Seams Through Paint?
There is no easy way to conceal drywall seams, yet here are a few ways you can help mask their appearance.
Apply Setting Compound Skim Coat
The seam will be permanently removed by applying a skim coat of compound to the entire wall. This eighth inch-thick single layer of compound will act as a spackle to cover any holes or seams that need to be filled.
You will need someone capable of doing this work as applying a skim coat requires a fine eye and skill in using a trowel.
Drywall comes in six various levels of finish:
0#: The base level used on any construction. It isn’t finished to any degree and has no definitive purpose.
1#: Edges for tape seams are angled, and the new tape can be held in place using a tiny bit of compound.
2#: Not often used where it can be seen. Tape and mud dry, yet excess compound is removed.
3#: Needs a steady eye to finish the wall. A work light is helpful to spot imperfections.
4#: You’ll need flat paint as it won’t have a reflective surface to show imperfections.
5#: Uses all the methods to create a high-quality, smooth finish. You’ll need a skim coat layer, two coats of compound, and a suitable primer for the whole wall.
Sand the Seam
Once the compound and drywall tape has settled, the seam will then be sanded. When the compound is first built out, it may appear to be in good condition. The margins of the compound can be harsher than previously believed once it has dried.
Carefully sand the seam to provide the flat texture required for a seamless appearance. For a smooth finish, use 150-grit sanding paper and a sanding sponge when sanding the drywall.
Use Matte Paint
Matte paint is ideal for drywall seams because it hides faults that are visible in any light. Now is the time to think about using a dark hue. If you can’t find a matte finish, a darker color will also reduce light reflection. (Learn How To Use Mesh Drywall Tape)
It’s much easier to achieve with a simple aesthetic alteration like this than it is to hire a professional to skim coat your visible drywall joint compound.
Use Paper Tape
Drywall tape should be used to fix drywall seams, and drywall paper tape should be used as a preference. Paper drywall tape is more durable than mesh tape and does not expand.
If the tape has elastic properties, it fractures along the drywall seam, making it unsightly.
Even as mesh tape comes with an adhesive backing, paper tape has a crease in the center to make it easier for the installer to fold it. As the fold is pushed down using mesh tape, it can be off-center from the drywall seam.
Another benefit here is that paper tape and the compound harden as they are laid down.
Use Better Quality Drywall Mud
Joint compound or drywall mud and used with drywall tape to patch gaps or cracks. Tapes and finishes can are made from different types of wall compound.
All-Purpose Compound: This compound is pre-mixed and used during your drywall seam repair or installation process at any stage. Because you would apply it with your putty knife and let the mud dry overnight, it takes far longer to dry; thus, you can remove some with a paint scraper if you have bulging drywall compound that needs too much sanding before you add a second layer of another compound.
Topping Compound: Because it is the last stage, it is usually employed after the tapping compound. It’s a topping compound on top of the first coat since the finish should be a skim coating to deliver a smooth surface.
Taping Compound: When laying down your tape, you’ll need to use a taping compound. This will help your tape stick to the drywall. This compound keeps cracks hidden and delivers a flat seam ready for your first coat of primer.
Quick-Setting Compound: Used on jobs you need to be completed in one day, or there is an insufficient joint compound in some areas, such as to cover drywall nails or loose tape.
Use Good Primer
Before applying paint, a drywall primer helps mask any flaws. Make sure the drywall seam is sanded if necessary and that the primer is applied correctly. If you painted straight on drywall, the result would be a sloppy finish. There are a variety of primers available, each customized to a specific need. If you need to conceal a drywall gap, a primer for wall cracks is available.
Polyvinyl acetate is the primer that you’ll need (PVA). This primer works best when applied to bare drywall.
If this is done during the drywall installation, ensure sure the compound on the seams is totally dry before proceeding. I
If you apply the primer before the compound has finished shrinking and is completely dry, it continues to shrink. As a result, after the primer has cured, cracks appear.
Once your primer dries, you can apply the next layer if you still see signs of the seams or are ready for your top coat of wall paint.
A drywall primer’s role is to ensure that everything is sealed in place so that the paint may lie uniformly.