How To Repair Ceiling Drywall Corner? (Expert Advice)

It’s no fun to have a dented, cracked or missing corner bead on your ceiling. If this has happened to you, don’t despair! 

There are several simple ways to repair a corner bead and make it look as good as new. With just a few basic tools and supplies, you’ll be back on track in no time at all.

Repairing An Inside Drywall Corner Using Paper Tape
Repairing a drywall corner requires basic tools and materials
You can repair most drywall corners instead of replacing the entire thing
Properly preparing the area before starting can make a big difference
Multiple coats of joint compound may be necessary for a thorough repair
Allow joint compound to dry fully before sanding

Remove the Drywall

You will need to remove the drywall from the ceiling in order to repair it. Make sure that you are using safety precautions and wearing protective gear before beginning. 

You can use a hammer and chisel or reciprocating saw to cut out the damaged section of drywall.

Next, using a utility knife or box cutter, make sure that you are cutting through any staples holding the piece of drywall in place so that it can be removed without damaging anything else nearby.

Remove any nails with pliers or snips and pull away all pieces of the old board so that they do not get left behind when putting up new boards later on!

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Pull Away the Adhesive (if applicable)

If you’re repairing a corner joint where the drywall was replaced, you’ll want to remove all traces of the old drywall. 

If you’re repairing an existing corner joint, there’s a chance that some of the original adhesive is still stuck in place. 

This can make it difficult to get your new piece of drywall completely flush with your ceiling, so if this is the case and getting rid of it looks like too much work (or if you don’t have time), try applying some regular construction adhesive around where your patch will go instead.

If there’s still some adhesive left over after scraping out all that you can see, use sandpaper or a paint scraper (which has sharper edges) until there’s nothing left but smooth walls on both sides of your corner joint. Be careful not to damage either side as you do this!

Steps to Remove Adhesive When Repairing a Corner Joint

Start by heating the adhesive with a hair dryer or heat gun. This will loosen the adhesive and make it easier to remove.
Use a putty knife to carefully scrape away the softened adhesive. Be careful not to damage the drywall surface underneath.
If the adhesive is proving difficult to remove, you can try using a commercial adhesive remover. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid damage to the drywall.
Once the adhesive is removed, use a sanding block to smooth out any rough spots and make sure the surface is even.
Finally, wipe the area clean with a damp cloth to remove any remaining debris or dust.

(Note: I have created a table with a single column to list out the steps to remove adhesive when repairing a corner joint)

Trim the Edges of the Existing Corner Bead (if applicable)

Now, you can use the utility knife to trim off any excess corner bead that is protruding past the ceiling. 

Be sure that you are cutting at a 90-degree angle so that your drywall patch will be perfectly flush with the existing bead. Make sure that you are not cutting into drywall while doing this!

If there isn’t any excess corner bead sticking out from under your existing bead, skip this step and move on to Step 3.

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Measure and Cut New Corner Bead

With the old bead removed, you can now measure and cut your new corner bead to size. First, find the center of one of the walls by measuring diagonally across your room. 

Take note of where this point is located, then measure from that point outwards to each corner on both walls in order to find their centers as well (see image). 

Use a metal ruler or straight edge to guide your utility knife as you cut tiny slices into each side of the wall’s corner until you reach a length equal or slightly shorter than that recommended by your drywall supplier. 

Once all four sides are cut down to size, place them on top of one another in order for them all fit back together perfectly into place. Make sure both pieces meet up evenly before applying any adhesive so there won’t be any gaps later on when taping strips overtop during assembly!

Steps to Measure and Cut New Corner Bead

Start by measuring the length of the wall, from the corner to the end.
Cut the corner bead to size, making sure it’s an inch or two longer than the measured length of the wall.
To find the center of the wall, measure diagonally from one corner to the other. Mark the center with a pencil.
Apply a small amount of joint compound to the wall where the corner bead will be installed.
Press the corner bead firmly into place, making sure it aligns with the center mark.
Use a drywall knife to slice off the excess length of the corner bead, allowing it to fit perfectly into the corner.

(Note: I have created a table with a single column to list out the steps to measure and cut new corner bead for easy reference)

Install the New Corner Bead

Next, you will need to install the new corner bead. You can do this with a miter saw.

When installing the corner bead, make sure that it is cut to fit the corner precisely. Use a spackling knife or trowel and apply adhesive onto the back of each piece of your new corner bead and press into place. 

Be sure to use enough adhesive so that there are no gaps between each piece of your new corner bead; this will help keep water from leaking into your house if it rains hard enough outside!

After you have installed all three pieces of new drywall in place (including top & bottom), trim off any excess material with a utility knife

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Apply First Coat of Joint Compound

You’ll need to apply a thin layer of joint compound to the area. To do this, use a putty knife to spread the compound and let it dry for 24 hours before sanding.

The next day, smooth out any lumps with your putty knife and then keep adding more layers until you’ve reached an acceptable level of smoothness and coverage. Let dry overnight before applying your second coat.

Sand the Repaired Area Smooth

Once the area has been patched, you can sand it smooth. There are several options for doing this:

Use a sanding sponge on drywall corners to smooth out any imperfections and feather the edges of your repair. This works best if you get a fine grade sponge and use light pressure until all rough edges are gone (or as close as possible).

Use a sanding block to give yourself more control over how much material is removed. A good rule of thumb here is two-thirds up into the corner, then one third at an angle towards the edge of your work piece to make sure that everything is even with no overlapping or gaps between pieces when finished with repairs.

If you have access to power tools like an orbital sander or palm sander, these can be used as well; however, it’s generally easier if you have some experience using these types of tools before trying them on drywall because they’re harder than other materials like wood or metal when being used on fragile surfaces such as walls where wrinkles could cause problems later down line after painting finishes have dried completely

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Protect Floor and Walls

You should always protect the floor and walls with a drop cloth to avoid damaging the floor or getting any dust on the walls. 

To ensure that you don’t accidentally scratch or dent your walls, use plastic sheeting to cover them. You may also want to wear safety glasses when working with drywall because it can be sharp and cause injury if handled improperly.

If you have furniture in the room where you’re repairing drywall, make sure it’s covered as well so that there are no scratches or dents from being moved around by mistake. 

If there are valuable objects such as paintings, antiques, books and other items that can’t be moved out of harm’s way then tape them off with painters tape so that they don’t get damaged by falling pieces of drywall dust during the repair process

Apply Second Coat of Joint Compound

Give the second coat of joint compound a few hours to dry. Then, you’ll need to feather out the edges of both coats with a putty knife or smooth-edged trowel. 

A 4 inch paint roller works best for this process, but it can also be done with a paint tray, paint brush and even by hand.

Next, sand the rough spots on your ceiling until they’re flat and even again (you’ll need to use 80 grit sandpaper). 

Use either a 3 inch paint brush or a 1 inch brush for this step the smaller one will give you more control over coverage so that no holes remain from missed spots when applying spackling compound over them later on in this project’s steps!

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Sand Again and Clean Up Dust

If you’re working with drywall, you’ll want to be sure to vacuum up all of the dust from sanding your corner. 

Be sure to use a brush or vacuum attachment as well as a shop vac. After this is done, clean up your work area with damp rags and let it dry before moving on.

If you have wallboard compound left messy after applying it, use an old paint roller to apply more compound over the area that needs repair until there is no mess left behind in any spot on the ceiling or wall where there was once damage done by water damage or other causes of cracking such as construction work going on nearby while using erosion tools like hammers which can cause cracks even if they aren’t hitting anything hard enough yet!

Apply Paint to Match Ceiling Color

When you are satisfied with the appearance of the repaired corner, apply paint to match the ceiling color. Apply two coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next coat.


If you follow these steps, you can repair a ceiling corner that looks like it’s ready for retirement. You might not be able to go back in time and fix the whole thing, but at least you can make it look better than ever before!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources you may find helpful:

How to Repair Drywall Inside Corners: This article provides a step-by-step guide to repairing drywall inside corners and gives tips on how to avoid future damage.

How to Repair a Battered Drywall Corner: Martha Stewart shares her methods for repairing a damaged drywall corner, including how to smooth out rough areas and apply mud.

How to Patch and Repair Your Ceiling: Lowe’s comprehensive guide explains how to repair water damage, cracks, and holes in your ceiling, as well as tips for safely removing a popcorn ceiling.


How do I know if I can repair my drywall corner or if it needs replacing?

Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be able to repair your drywall corner with basic tools and materials. However, if the damage is severe, it may need to be replaced entirely.

What are the basic tools I need to repair my drywall corner?

To repair a drywall corner, you’ll typically need joint compound, a putty knife, sandpaper, a utility knife, and a corner bead. It’s also a good idea to have some drywall tape on hand as well.

How do I prepare the area before starting my drywall corner repair?

Before you begin repairing your drywall corner, you’ll need to remove any loose or damaged material, including old mud or paint. Sanding the surface can also help smooth out any rough spots.

How many coats of joint compound do I need to apply to my drywall corner?

Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to apply multiple coats of joint compound to your drywall corner. Typically, you’ll want to apply at least two or three coats, allowing each to dry completely before applying the next.

How long does it take for joint compound to dry before I can sand it?

The drying time for joint compound can vary depending on the humidity and temperature, but generally, you’ll need to wait around 24 hours before sanding it down. However, make sure the joint compound is fully dry before proceeding with sanding or else it could cause more damage.