Smooth drywall corner bead
To achieve a smooth drywall corner bead, you’ll need to remove the damaged portion of the existing corner bead.

Your wall’s outside corners take a lot of abuse — from run-ins with a vacuum cleaner, moving furniture, and occasional hit-and-run accidents with a tricycle — and can become dented and damaged over time. Eventually, you’ll need to do to fix them and the only option is to replace the damaged drywall corner bead.

But first, some information. When two pieces of perpendicular drywall are installed, you need something to protect them and create a nice, clean corner edge.

What you need is a drywall corner bead. When this piece of construction is damaged, there’s just one solution: grab a hacksaw and replace it.

Now that you understand how this works, and why we’re doing what we’re doing, here’s the how-to:

  • First, use a hacksaw to cut a few inches above and few inches below the damaged section of drywall corner bead.
  • Next, grab a utility knife and score along the edge of the damaged corner bead about 1¼-inch back from the corner.
  • Then, pry the damaged corner bead off the wall.
  • Cut a new piece of drywall corner bead to fit the space.
  • Nail the new piece of corner bead in place.
  • Apply several coats of joint compound to the repair. Don’t forget to allow adequate drying time between each coat. (Check the joint compound’s label for directions.)

That’s all there it is to it! You no longer have to look at those unsightly corners every time you pass your formerly damaged walls!

And best of all? No one will ever know you had damaged drywall corner bead, and they’ll never even notice there was a repair!

For more on working with wallboard, see our article on How to Cut and Hang Drywall.


Further Information

11 COMMENTS

  1. Hi John, Well, as you probably know, inside wall corners differ from outside corners in that they are covered with paper tape, not metal corner bead. When you say “cracked or split,” I assume you mean a vertical slit running about 1 1/2 inches from the inside corner. That’s caused when the paper tape pulls away from the drywall. It typically occurs in bathrooms and against outside walls, and is usually caused by excessive moisture or settling/movement in the wall framing.

    Regardless, the best remedy is to remove the entire piece of tape from floor to ceiling, and install a new piece. Here are the basic steps: Score the wall with a utility knife to the left the right of the wall corner, just beyond the tape seams. Use a putty knife to loosen the paper tape then peel it off. Brush the inside corner clean, then apply a thick bead of joint compound along the inside corner. Crease a length of paper tape down the middle lengthwise, then embed it into the compound. Smooth the tape with a 4-in.-wide drywall knife, then allow the compound to harden overnight.

    Sand the compound smooth, then apply another layer of joint compound, using a 6- or 8-in. knife. Again, let it dry, then sand. If necessary, apply a third and final joint compound coat, using a 10- or 12-in. knife, making sure you feather the edges.

    Now, with all that said, you can try spot repairing the cracked joint: Lift the loosened edge of the tape with a putty knife and squeeze in a little water-resistant carpenter’s glue. Hold down the repair with painter’s tape. Repeat wherever the tape is loose. This is much easier than replacing the tape, but it doesn’t always work as well. Anyway hope this helps. Thanks for writing and good luck!–Joe T.

  2. Hello,

    I am extremely new to this and I have a section about 2 inches long on the metal that needs to be replaced due to it being bent on the outside corner, your video was great, but would you mind given me a very specific play by play, it is somewhat urgent I get the repair done soon. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Paco,
      You can find written step-by-step instructions on how to replace a drywall corner bead under the video in the text at the bottom of the post.

  3. Thin I am goin to try to just repair the ‘bubbled’ places, however, the the crack goes all the way down to the floor. I have a deep color on the walls and I can see white all the way down. Is this drywall or tape? Thank you.

  4. Hi,

    Great video! I have a wall that is all bad, can I replace a long piece all at once and still make it look good? (I am very inexperienced) My second question is, your videos show flat drywall. Is the another step needed after to match the texture? Is there a video for that if yes?

    Thanks!

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed this content. Please feel free to share it with friends — that’s how we’re able to create similar content.

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