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Sf49168 01-05-2014 02:46 AM

Cracks in sheet rock repair before painting

What is the best method to fix cracks in walls & ceilings before I can paint ? I have some small ones ( less than 1ft ) and I have one Almost 3/4 my living room ceiling ( 8-10ft ). ( from what I assume is from the house settling )



bud16415 01-05-2014 06:16 AM

I like to get anything loose out of the crack then cover the crack with mesh drywall tape. If its a straight crack just one strip down the length. If it changes direction very much you will have to cut and start a new strip. After that cover the tape with a thin layer of drywall compound (mud). Just enough to fill the holes in the tape. Let dry and sand lightly with a screen sanding pad made for drywall. Add another thin coat of mud feathering out the edges let dry and repeat until it all blends. Prime and paint. Only catch is if there is a texture then there are lots of things you can do to try and match it.

That's my method I like to use others may do it different.

GBR 01-05-2014 10:20 PM

IMO, use paper tape/setting compound-on first coat at least, it is stronger against movement from settling;


nealtw 01-05-2014 11:40 PM

That sound like a big crack. How old is the house? how long since last painted? Type of foundation? Have these cracks showed overnight so to speek?
No sence fixing cracks for an ongoing problem.

chrisn 01-06-2014 02:10 AM

I agree:banana:

bud16415 01-06-2014 06:51 AM

In my above reply I suggested just what I normally do for repairing cracks in drywall and or plaster. For many years all that was available was paper tape with a mud base and I fixed lots of cracks that way as well. In thinking about this and with someone new to this I would suggest actually trying your hand at both and see what you think.

One thing you don't want to do and I see lots of DIYers try is just filling the crack and sanding and paint without anything to bridge. Even the finest hairline crack will come back and you have wasted time effort and materials. The only time I might work that way is if I knew I was going to wallpaper.

I just finished a whole first floor that had 100 yr old horse hair plaster that was in very bad shape with hundreds of holes and cracks that needed fixed and then total skim. When plugging a hole the gap around the patch sometimes was wide. I would fill the gap then mesh tape over the fill right away. With the compound being able to pass thru the holes it really makes the connection strong.

My point is if you are new to this having both and learning about them might be the way to go. Then use the one you feel best suits the problem at hand.

Sf49168 01-06-2014 12:04 PM

4 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by nealtw (Post 98118)
That sound like a big crack. How old is the house? how long since last painted? Type of foundation? Have these cracks showed overnight so to speek?
No sence fixing cracks for an ongoing problem.

Thanks all

@Nealtw. How was built in 59.. i havent painted ceiling in 4+ years and not sure other owners. I also added some pics below. The Long cracks used to be small ( 1/4 - 1/2 size length ) I also had blown insulation out in my crawl space over ceiling 2 yrs agoSo I think weight of person could of Made it worse. Pic 6001 & 6002 is ceiling. There is actually 2 cracks , 1 rugged and 1 almost perfect straight line . Attachment 5999Attachment 6000Attachment 6001Attachment 6002

nealtw 01-06-2014 05:55 PM

If these cracks have been there for years without changing I would go ahead and fix them, if they are new and or changing you need to find out why.

Drywallinfo 01-07-2014 08:48 PM

Drywall Crack Repair
You will want to retape this - just filling it will quickly crack again. Personally, I like paper tape cause it is easy to snag mesh if you are overcoating. If this is already a taped seam, you can use the procedure shown at
For real problem areas where there is stress, you might want to use a high strength crack repair tape - this is also mentioned on the linked site.

GBR 01-07-2014 08:58 PM

They appear to be settling/structural cracks in plaster walls/ceiling, not drywall. I had the exact same ones, lol. I used some Durabond after gouging them out and a water spritzer -30 years ago, still unable to see them;

One step better add paper tape. This guy likes mesh tape on plaster- for a $$$ reason;

Little self-advertising there, eh...... lol.


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