We have some minor drywall damage on a ceiling due to a toilet overflow above. This happened years ago and everything should be dry now. At the time I should have dried it out, but did not.

I am trying to figure out how to fix this to look better, without replacing or remudding anything, because I worry about the uniformity of the look. It looks like the tape has bulged and split the mud, or something. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to cosmetically deal with this. I'll need the repaint the whole ceiling probably but that is fine.

Photo of damage

  • 2
    The best way is to remove what is loose and then tape and mud again. If you feather the mud out to the sides of the picture or more, the repair will look and feel flat.
    – crip659
    Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 19:56
  • 1
    not possible without mud touchups
    – Traveler
    Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 19:57

2 Answers 2


Some parts can be covered with paint.

The cracked one can not be covered with paint.

Those need to be scraped, the tape replaced and mudded


Without checking with a straight edge, I would assume that the board has swelled behind or around that split.

I did a similar repair and cut out a section - in my case about 2' long and across 3 joists so I could easily control the edges. It is possible to use battens behind and join mid-sheet but I decided not to in my case.

Fix and finish as you need.

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