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My drywall tape was coming off the wall in my bathroom so I pulled the loose stuff out. It left this channel behind. I'm not sure if I should put a coat of mud on first to smooth it out, or maybe sand it first, and then tape? Should I fill the little crack first?

Thank you

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Do yourself a favor and run a taping knife over the edges of the compound that remain. ( like this: Knife> /__ direction>>> )That will knock off loose bits and particles that will get in your compound and drive you nuts.

If you are using paper tape, apply compound, then the tape then more compound.

My preference would be applying mesh tape to the cracks, then mud over the entire width from the old tape. Let that dry and fill in any cracks and low spots, Lightly sand, then prime and paint.

Since it's a bathroom, I would paint another coat in the entire room to protect from moisture. Having an exhaust fan and using it will help with having to repeat this job.

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