Top Uses for Scrim Tape
Scrim tape is an essential tool for any building project requiring filling gaps between plaster. The tape ensures a smooth finish over the wall and reduces the chances of future cracking, meaning a house will look nicer for longer. Learning about this material and how to use it can help increase your quality and professionalism when completing plastering jobs.
What Is Scrim Tape?
Scrim tape is a self-adhesive tape with a firm, open-weave fabric or fiberglass thread. The woven material without adhesive is called scrim. It looks like medical gauze but has a finer mesh net. Scrim tape can range in width from 48 to 100 millimeters, depending on the application.
When first invented, scrim was used as a reinforcement layer between paper in packing materials. Now, this tape also serves as a helpful plastering tool for jointing applications.
Scrim Tape vs. Joint Tape
In the plastering world, two methods exist for joining pieces of plasterboard or drywall. The first is scrim tape — the second is joint tape, which is made of paper and has a crease along its length to assist with jointing inner corners. Plasterers use both materials for joining flat surfaces or internal corners, but the materials have different designs.
Scrim tape uses a mesh net with adhesive backing, and jointing tape is a paper material without adhesive. The adhesive makes scrim tape easier and faster to use, especially for beginner plasterers.
What Is Scrim Tape Used For?
The top use for scrim tape is affixing two plaster sheets at the point they come together. The product sticks to the plaster to secure both sides in place while you apply joint compound. Once the joint compound dries, the tape holds it, creating a smooth finish and preventing cracking.
Scrim tape also works in other applications, like roofing, air ducts, laminations, filters and roofing. In all instances, the tape is applied and then covered with a sealant to create a durable joint between the two pieces. Scrim material, the fabric or fiberglass netting without adhesive, has an even broader range of applications, including:
- Theater special effects
- Plaster sculpture reinforcement
- Camouflage head coverings
Benefits of Scrim Tape
In general, scrim tape reinforces a joint between drywall or other materials. The mesh holds both sides together to reduce the chances of future cracks or breakage. When compared to jointing tape, this product has several distinct benefits that might make it a better fit for your plastering project, including:
- Adhesion: Unlike paper tape, scrim tape has a pressure-sensitive adhesive backing that adheres directly to walls, meaning you don't need a base layer of the jointing compound before attaching it.
- Finish: Scrim tape is less likely to bubble or slip out of place after application, creating a smoother, more seamless final product, even for those with less expertise.
- Speed: The adhesive backing means you can apply the tape directly to the plaster without waiting for the joint compound to dry as you would with joint paper tape.
How to Use Scrim Tape
Scrim tape is an excellent tool for beginners and experienced plasterers. Here are the steps for applying the tape to corner and straight joints and a few tips to help you get started.
Applying straight wall joints is relatively straightforward. The general process includes:
- Starting at the top of the wall, tape down the seam between two panels, equally spacing the tape on each side. Remove and restick the tape if it's crooked.
- After applying the strip, cut it to the proper size using a sharp knife. Run your hand down the strip of tape to ensure it's adhered securely to the wall.
- Cover the tape with joint compound using a spackle knife. The mixture will spread through the mesh and fill the space under it.
- Wait for the joint compound to dry and apply at least two more coats, creating a wider section of the joint compound each time to ensure the smoothest surface.
Corner joints require a bit of extra effort, though the general application process is the same:
Securely insert the end of the tape into the corner joint at the top of the wall, ensuring equal spacing.
- Run the tape down the wall using a blunt object like scissors to push it into the corner.
- Press the scrim on both sides to smooth it flat against the wall.
- Apply coats of joint compound using the same process as for straight joints.
Tips for Jointing With Scrim Tape
Here are a few tips to make the jointing process smoother:
- Don't overlap the ends of the tape because it could be caught by your tools when applying joint compound.
- Remember that the material doesn't have firm adhesion because it is only meant to hold the plaster as it dries.
- Don't use scrim tape for external corners like window recesses — these require other methods, like angle beading.
- Fill screw holes while waiting for layers of jointing compound to dry to complete your project more efficiently.
- Keep in mind that the tape sticks best to smooth surfaces, not areas with much texture.
- Use a dehumidifier to speed the jointing process by sucking moisture from the joint compound.
How to Use Drywall Joint Tape
Drywall joint tape lacks the adhesive backing of scrim tape, creating a slightly different application process. Here's an overview of how to use this product:
- Apply the first layer of the joint compound using your spackle knife.
- While the mixture is wet, lay the tape over the joints, use the spackle knife to smooth it and press it into the existing joint compound layer.
- Wait for the joint compound to dry completely, then run your spackle knife against the wall lightly to remove any bumps.
- Apply a second coat of joint compound wider than the first layer you used to adhere the tape.
- Wait for the second layer to dry, then follow the same process for the third coat, removing bumps and applying a wider coat.
- Once you apply the third coat, wait for it to dry and sand the layers to create a smooth finish for painting.
Purchase Scrim Tape From Magnum Tapes & Films
Rely on Magnum Tapes & Films to supply effective taping products for drywall or ventilation jointing projects. We manufacture and sell many types of pressure-sensitive adhesive tape, including high-quality fiberglass scrim tape. Learn more about purchasing from us or the unique options we offer your business by contacting us online today.