My house was built in the 1940s and apparently WWII had the craftsmen understandably distracted. My kitchen ceiling has a multitude of cracks consistent with the dimensions of the drywall boards used at that time. Several tradesmen agree with my belief that the joints were not taped initially. The ceiling is not stained, warped or soft. The 2nd floor room over that space has an original hardwood floor that is in fine condition and there are no utilities in that space, so I am not concerned about water damage as a cause. The paint is in good condition, but since there presumably was never tape there, do I need to remove the paint so that the subsequent tape/joint compound combination bonds to the original joint compound to produce an appropriate joint? I am considering using a crimped wire wheel to remove the several layers of paint from the area before I perform the repair. However, I don't want to make a mess if it really isn't necessary. All comments appreciated.