After applying mud to the drywall seams and then bedding tape, can you immediately apply a coat of joint compound over the tape? Or will this cause bubbling?

Is it best to let the tape dry in the bed overnight than apply joint compound?

1 Answer 1


It should be done separately, set tape first let it dry, then the build up coat, let that dry, then final skim. If you do the build up coat immediately after setting the tape, the shrinkage will be enough where the skim coat will not fill the depression left by the excessive shrinkage of the 2 coats applied together.

I have gotten past this by using a fast setting joint compound that is dry in the package and mixed with water. Not only can you do tape and do the buld up coat, shrinkage is less than regular ready mixed joint compound.

  • the shrinkage around the edges of the tape you mean? further I suppose if you are using mesh it doesn't matter because you dont have to set it so you just straight up build up?
    – Alex
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 5:44
  • Edges, under or through the mesh if that is what you use. Where ever the compound is, it shrinks. I usually use mesh and build it up straight away, usinbg fast set, and top with regular mix, it sands easier.
    – Jack
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 5:46
  • and I take it that shrinkage can also cause bubbling or poor adhesion over life if not done in three steps as you mentioned?
    – Alex
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 5:48
  • I have done as your question asks, it does not bubble nor weaken the joint, it just shrinks excessively with regular mud
    – Jack
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 5:49
  • 1
    Bubbles occur with paper tape when there is not enough mud under the tape
    – Jack
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 5:50

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