How To Fix A Bad Mud Job On Painted Drywall? (Easy Fixes)

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

When putting up drywall, there’s an additional coat of mud you must apply after you paint the wall.

It has to be applied perfectly because even the tiniest imperfections will show once you’ve painted the walls.

Drywall mud jobs can be tricky because the texture has to be just right to look good and last a long time.

However, sometimes things don’t go as planned, and your finished drywall job might not look as good as you hoped, or if the mud dries out too much or you didn’t spread it evenly enough, you’ll get muddy streaks running through your paint job.

Here’s how you can fix a poorly done painted drywall job to keep your home looking its best!

To fix a bad mud job, you must repair the wall by replacing and painting it. To do this, you must first prepare the wall, prime the bad drywall job, replace the nails, coat the seams with mud, sand the area, apply texture, and then the primer before repainting the wall.

Step by Step Process on How to Fix a Bad Mud Job on Painted Drywall

How to Fix a Bad Mud Job on Painted Drywall

To fix the drywall patches in your painted drywall job, you must ensure you do it correctly with the right tools to avoid having to do it all over again.

Follow the steps below to fix the bad mud job:

  •  Inspect the area to see how bad the damage to the drywall mud paint is.
  • Before working on your drywall mud paint, you must clean the wall of any excess mud on the drywall mud job. Sponge a mixture of detergent and warm water on the wall. Apply a detergent-and-warm-water solution to sponge the wall and clean the gloss or semi-gloss paint using trisodium phosphate; this removes oil and dirt and improves paint adhesion.
  • Using a paper scraper, scrape loose drywall mud from seams where paper is separating. Puncture bubbles in the tape with the scraper, then use a utility knife to pull or cut the separated piece. Using a dry paintbrush, remove all dust and mud.
  • Apply drywall primer to the drywall patches showing and spread it evenly from end to end with a roller. Then wait for it to dry so you can correct your mud job properly.
  • After removing the tape from the seams, use a 4-inch drywall blade to apply joint compound, also known as mud, to the seams. After wetting the joint compound with water, apply paper drywall tape on top of it, and then scrape the surface until it is flat. On top of the tape, apply a second layer of mud and rub it into an even layer.
  • Replace seams with 1½ -inch drywall screws. It would be best to use a drill and a Phillips 2-bit to drill past the drywall. Cover the head in a coat of mud.
  • Spread mud on uneven seams where you haven’t removed the tape. Wipe the mud flat with a  knife
  • First, let the drywall mud paint dry overnight, then reapply it to the damaged areas. Create a wider seam with a 6-inch knife. Let the mud dry, then apply a third coat using an 8-inch knife.
  • Use 120-grit sandpaper for sanding all patched areas. If the room doesn’t have enough light, shine a work light directly on the wall. Make use of a dust mask to protect your lungs.
  • Apply texture to your drywall mud job and, if possible, match the wall’s existing surface. The method used depends on the texturing pattern. There are three methods to apply texture, as shown in the table below.
Joint CompoundTexture Sprayer Sponge
A joint compound known as “drywall mud” is suitable for novices. This tool offers several textures to match your wall’s surface.You use a texture sprayer to evenly apply dense joint compounds to huge surfaces. This tool may be suitable for extensive drywall repairs.A sponge is an economical and easy way to create a faux texture. Without a joint compound, this creates a surface. You do not need painting skills for this easy and economical solution.
  • Prime drywall repairs once the texture dries. Roll on the wall color when it dries.

Can You Fix Drywall Mud After Painting?

Yes! It’s not easy, but if you have time and don’t mind putting in a lot of work, you can fix your bad drywall job after painting.

You’ll need to sand down all your surfaces where new drywall was applied and remove all of your paint before applying new mud and painting.

Then you’ll have to repeat that step until you’re satisfied with how it looks, but with enough time, it’s possible.

The first step is to remove all of your paint. Removing all that paint is essential, whether you hire someone to do it for you or do it yourself.

Otherwise, when you apply new mud and drywall mud paint, there will be an apparent difference between it and your current paint job, which ruins any chance of making the repairs seem unnoticeable. 

That can be a lot of work because you need to sand down every inch of your walls and ceilings where new drywall is applied.

Once you’ve removed all of your paint, it’s time to apply new mud. It should be easy enough once you’ve removed your existing color and sanded down all your surfaces. 

Apply a thin layer with a knife or putty knife and let it dry. You’ll need at least two coats; after that, you’ll have repaired any issues with your original drywall job and be ready for touch-ups!

Once you’ve applied your new mud, you’ll need to sand it down again; this is necessary because otherwise, there will be a difference in texture between your existing paint and your new patch.

The best way to do it is with an electric sander, but you can use sandpaper if that’s all you have available. 

Sanding down both coats of your new wall compound is essential; otherwise, you won’t get an even texture across every inch of surface area.

Here are some tips for covering your drywall mud job yourself; if you want your bad drywall job covered but don’t want to pay for professional help,

  • Get some self-adhesive patches from a hardware store and hide the bad patches with these pieces of material.
  • Let them dry thoroughly, and then paint over them with several coats of primer and topcoat – this way, you’ll have an entire new drywall surface. 
  • If you still see drywall patches showing even after completing the steps above, try applying a coat of drywall sealant. 
  • The sealant should appear to have done something right and might trick anyone who doesn’t know better! 
  • You can also use drywall sealant if you want to change colors in the room or conceal damage caused by leaks, animals, or abuse. 

There are many methods for getting rid of a bad mud job, but sometimes you may find it best just to hire someone else. 


Fixing your drywall mud job is not that difficult; it might take some time, but once you ensure you follow the steps in the article with the right tools, you’re good to go.

You only need to strip down the old drywall to fix it and then repaint it to have a smooth texture.

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