First of all, I'm new to all this. I recently applied mud to the corners and did some texturing in my basement. Two days later I notice there are cracks in some places. Why is this happening and what should I do about it?

UPDATE: Putting it on too thick was definitely what happened. I was just slathering it on like no ones business. Lesson learned...

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • Are you using joint compound or some other type of filler, such as spackling?
    – bib
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 23:38
  • I am using joint compound that states it is good for skim coating as well.
    – Programmer
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 23:42
  • Did you use any kind of tape?
    – Edwin
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 23:50
  • 3
    Looks like it's applied too thick.
    – Tyson
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 23:51
  • I used tape on all joints
    – Programmer
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 23:52

3 Answers 3


"Why is this happening?"

  • The drywall mud was applied too thick

"what should I do about it?"

  • Either apply additional thin coats (sanding between each), or scrape it down and start over, this time using several thinner applications and sanding between each
  • 3
    No need to scrape it off and start over. Wait for it to dry (no longer feels cool to the touch), scrape the high points (only), add more mud, move on. I did cove corners using mud and mesh tape in a room last year, and they looked u.g.l.y. after the first coat. Two coats later, just about perfect. A year later, still good.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 2:22
  • @Ecnerwal, normally I would agree you are absolutely right, but since the OP mentioned he/she was texturing I was thinking maybe too late... already too thick. Commented May 25, 2016 at 2:54
  • I think this is definitely the correct answer (although others did mention similar answers). I definitely put it on thick in some places. I didn't know that putting it on thick would cause cracking.
    – Programmer
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 15:14

Drywall compound shrinks as it dries, so if applied thick or if it has too much water it will crack. A few cracks on the first coat are ok since later coats will fill the cracks.

From the image it appears the first coat here is much thicker than needed. Excess mud on any layer will just mean more work and more sanding later. Ideally the first coat should be just thick enough to cover the tape and the tape should be tight to the surface (or even below it when the joint is over two tapered edges. Avoid butting tapered and non-tapered edges together as the different heights makes it a lot trickier.)

  • You're right that t's too thick for a first coat, but this does answer the question: drywall mud cracks if it's too thick, and the solution is a second thinner coat. Not a big deal.
    – iLikeDirt
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 1:24
  • @mfarver didn't specifically state it, but I think he meant that it appears from the picture that it was applied too thick to expect it not to crack. Commented May 25, 2016 at 1:33

What are you mudding? It looks like cement board it doesn't look like drywall or green back. The cracking is from too much humidity. Place some industrial fans around to circulate the air.

Your inside corners are slightly too thick but shouldn't be an issue to cause the cracking. This is coming from a drywaller that has seen some disastrous DIY home owner jobs.

Inside Corners and Angles are always the worst for holding in the moisture to cause cracking and are always the last to dry. You need air circulation to help the drying process.

Different rooms have more humidity than others especially in a basement. Small rooms you can feel it more so than bigger open areas such as a entertainment room or rumpus area.

There's lots of different factors at play but it all ends with humidity.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer, but it's a bit hard to read; a few more sentence breaks and even a paragraph or two would help. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Commented Aug 11, 2019 at 11:54

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