How to fill a gap between drywall and ceiling

Sep 25, 2019
man doing drywall work

Drywall work isn’t always a perfect process, even for experienced pros who sometimes feel like they could complete a job in their sleep. There is always a lot of room for error and a lot of opportunity for things to go wrong. We always do our best to minimize that opportunity, but mistakes are not always avoidable.

Thankfully, there is almost always a solution to whatever the issue may be.

The issue

In this case, the issue is a gap between the drywall and the ceiling, which may have happened for a number of reasons. The most common reason is the ceiling changing height across the length of the wall either due to the it settling unevenly or otherwise shifting over time. An occasional lack of precision during installation may also cause a gap issue.

Whatever the reason may be, any gap between drywall and ceiling is an issue and must be filled in. Here’s how to do so seamlessly to conceal the gap and create a flush look throughout.

Step 1: Mesh drywall tape

Start by placing a strip of fiberglass mesh drywall tape over the gap so that the top edge of the tape is flush against the ceiling.

Step 2: Apply joint compound

Then, cover the mesh tape with joint compound (also known as mud) using a putty knife. Press the mud firmly so it goes through the mesh tape and into the gap – this is ultimately what is filling in the gap.

The mud should cover the tape completely. You’ll want to spread it about two inches past the edge of the tape both on the wall side and on the ceiling side.

Step 3: Paper tape

Next, place a strip of paper tape along the seam between the wall and the ceiling, pressing along the seam with the knife to create a crease between the two surfaces. You can apply some mud to the wall and ceiling to provide a little extra hold for the tape.

Step 4: More mud

Cover the tape with some additional joint compound – but just a light coat this time. Spread it over the tape and about an inch onto the drywall with the knife, feathering the edges so they blend together smoothly.

Step 5: Let the mud dry

Now you can allow some time for the mud to dry, and then repeat the entire covering process, first covering with some more mud and then another strip of tape, followed again by the additional light outer coat of mud.

Step 6: Sand

Once you’ve applied another covering layer, sand the dried mud so it smooths out and blends with the drywall. Make sure you don’t sand through the paper tape, however. Wipe the surface with a cloth when you’re done to remove any remains from your sanding work.

Step 7: Paint

Lastly, paint both surfaces to match their colors and hide your work. Once the paint is dry, a second coat may be needed to completely hide the tape and mud.

Al’s Taping Tools has been providing contractors with the highest quality and most extensive selection of tools, parts, and accessories in the industry since 1985. Our experts are here to help you find easy ways to save time and money on your next project. Shop our products today to give yourself an advantage on any job site.

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