How to Fix a Bad Mud Job on Painted Drywall?

Would you like to repair a bad mud job on painted drywall? No problem! This is a simple operation to perform. In fact, mud work on drywall is very popular, especially if it is done right. In addition, the application of paints and stains by skilled people can achieve a flawless finish of the work.

Despite this, it is worth noting that an untidy work on painted drywall dirties the quality of the construction. In this article, you will clearly know how to remedy the defects that appear on painted drywall.

Fix a Bad Mud Job on Painted Drywall

What to Consider Before You Start the Job?

A bad mud job on painted drywall requires repair over time. There can be many reasons for this, from simple aging and accidental damage to the desire to change the interior. 

The drywall itself is quite fragile, which means it can sag, crack or dent. Besides, it can also require major repairs related to the effects of water.

Before starting any work, a thorough inspection of the entire ceiling should be done to detect damage and possible causes. This will not only allow for the proper development of the repair algorithm, but also the advanced preparation of all necessary materials and tools.

In the case of scratches, it will not be difficult to get out of it alone, while in other cases it is worthwhile to hire specialists who will guarantee the work.

Does Drywall Mud Absorb Paint?

Painting on drywall can sometimes lead to disappointment. Depending on the condition of the surface, the paint can be absorbed at different rates.

This can be due to several causes: the presence of covered joints or holes, of paper or other porous surfaces for example.

Thus, after painting, there is a gap between these areas and those that were perfectly fine.

Faced with such a case, several coats of paint are necessary to obtain a uniform and smooth finish.

Signs of a Bad Drywall Job

While it is true that there is no such thing as perfect work, it is also true that quality work must be free of blunders. In this case, as signs of drywall imperfections, we can mention among others:

Visible Joints

Exposed joints and gaps greater than 1/8 inch indicate poor installation.

Visible Screws /Nail Holes

Visible nails and screws are a sign of a dad drywall job. The presence of nails or holes left anywhere on the wall indicates that the drywall is in poor condition and may have been improperly installed.

Uneven Edges or Corners

Regardless of the level of finish, the following signs should not be visible:

  • Twisted lines.
  • gaps,
  • indentations,
  • bubbles,
  • folds

Rough Surfaces

Ridges result from the following:

  • Leftover joint compound,
  • Poorly applied second layers of joint compound
  • Air bubbles or problems with the adhesive tape

However, it is the responsibility of the person installing the drywall to sand them down.

Twisted Boards

Drywall often gets twisted when an installer goes it alone. This is since it is difficult to keep a heavy drywall panel and install screws simultaneously.

Sagging ceilings

Assuming there are no water leaks in the area, any sagging of the drywall on the ceiling is usually the fault of the installer. Another possible cause of drywall sagging is the use of nails rather than screws.

Ways to Fix a Bad Mud Job on Painted Drywall

Repairing drywall on a previously painted wall is possible if the drywall seams are uneven. This repair is also possible when cracks or other defects occur after painting the wall. Below, we have listed a few tips for you to remedy this defect.

  • Use a solution of detergent and warm water to clean the glossy or semi-glossy paint
  • Using a paint scraper, rid the paper parting joints of mud residue
  • 1st Remove the paper from one side of the tape using one corner of the scraper. Then remove the separated paper or cut it with a utility knife
  • Apply drywall primer to areas to be repaired
  • Using a 4-inch drywall knife, apply drywall joint compound or mud to the taped seams with a little pressure.
  • Place the paper tape over the mud after it has been moistened with water and scrape it flat;
  • Then spread the second layer of mud on the tape and scrape it flat;
  • Remove the loose drywall nails and replace them with 1 ½ inch drywall screws;
  • Apply a coat of mud to any joints where tape has not been removed. Allow the first coat of mud to dry overnight, then cover all areas you are repairing with a second layer.;
  • Apply a third coat;
  • Sand all the areas you have repaired with 120-grit sandpaper;
  • Point a work light at the wall at an angle to level the layers;
  • Give the wall a texture identical to the existing one and wait for it to dry;
  • Prime the repairs with a drywall primer
  • Touch up by rolling on the wall color as it dries



Q: Can you sand-painted drywall mud?

Sanding mud off drywall can be a frustrating job. So it’s important to understand the process. Part of the taping and mudding process is to sand the drywall compound (mud) once it is dry to smooth the edges.

When the process is done correctly, the wall surface will be perfectly smooth. Also, the joints will be invisible to the naked eye. Finally, the finished drywall surface will be ready for painting or a textured finish.

For example, if the drywall joints are uneven or cracks or other defects occur after the wall is finished and painted, you can easily sand them out. But you’ll probably have to re-prime and repaint the wall.

This time, before you apply another coat of paint, pay special attention to sanding.

Q: Do painters fix drywall?

Painting a wall requires certain prerequisites for its drywall. If these are not met, the paint is uneven and ugly. The desired result is not achieved. A good painter can and should make sure that the drywall is flawless.

Through processes such as texturing and finishing, etc., it will first repair the cracks. He will also take care of rough and irregular areas. This way, he obtains a smooth and uniform surface. Only at this point can he apply the paint for a smooth finish.

Q: Why does drywall mud bubble over paint?

Bubbles appearing on painted drywall after the application of mud are a recurrent phenomenon in the field. The reasons for this are varied. The main cause is that the surface of the painted wall is not as porous as expected. It is indeed too hard because of the paint, the plaster, a previous coat that was too hard, etc…

Nevertheless, the air dissolved in the mud must find a way to escape by evaporating. Thus, not being able to go down by the bottom, it forces its way up by forming bubbles called “Pocks”. However, solutions are available to overcome this problem.

Q: Is drywall repair expensive?

The use of a plasterer is essential for drywall repair. However, there is no fixed and regulated price list. Each professional is, therefore, free to define his price. Finding a cheap dry repairer is an effective way to reduce the budget for labor. However, it is important to ensure that they have the right skills and experience.

Plasterers often offer either an hourly rate or a rate per square meter for their services. Most of them, however, choose the pricing per m² which is considered more realistic.

Nevertheless, in both cases, the price varies depending on several factors, including the type of work to be done on the drywall. The complexity of the work, the accessibility of the premises, or the current price of materials are also taken into account when establishing the estimate of drywall.

Q: Can You Put Drywall Mud Over Paint?

The repair of a long finished wall can happen more often than you think. Cracks, holes, and other mishaps can be the cause of this through mostly harmless facts. If the wall was not yet painted, it is easy to do the work before covering it with a good coat of paint using for example a nap roller. But what if your wall has already been painted?

These repairs often require the application of mud (drywall joint compound). This is totally feasible. Depending on the situation, the application may involve several layers of mud. It is important to do this first part of the job thoroughly. 

The second step is to sand the mud after it has dried before applying a coat of primer. Make sure, however, that the repaired area is not higher than the rest of the wall. Then paint over it, matching it to the rest of the wall.


Drywall work or repairs are inevitable. However, if poorly executed, they can incur even more costs. It is advisable to have a certain mastery of the domain before rubbing oneself there or better, to call upon a professional if necessary.

We hope through these few points to have helped you to know what it is about and to prepare yourself to face this kind of risk.

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Melia Karneva

This is Melia Karneva, a mother of two young gentlemen. A stay-at-home mom, she loves nothing more than cleaning and cooking for her family. Her true passion, is writing, which she pursues with great zeal. She loves putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) in her spare time. Karneva thinks of herself as a Renaissance woman - she can do many things but doesn't like to brag about them.

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