McClurg's Home Remodeling Blog

How to Repair Ceiling Cracks

Posted by Brian Ciota on Thu, Apr 8, 2010

Ceiling crack repairRepairing ceiling cracks requires patience. Cracks can occur when roof trusses expand and contract, or when the framing materials of the house move due to seasonal heating and cooling.

You'll need these tools and supplies to repair a ceiling crack:

  • Paint scraper
  • Joint knife
  • Cutting and taping knives
  • Drywall tape (paper tape works well)
  • Sanding block
  • Joint compound
  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Sandpaint (if repairing a textured ceiling)
  • Paint brush and/or rollers (with ceiling extension if possible)
  • Paint pan
  • Ladder
  • Drop cloths
  • Goggles and face mask, for protection from plaster dust, and a hat.

Here's how to make the ceiling crack repair:

  • Clear the area. Cover floors and furniture with drop cloths.
  • Put on the face mask and goggles to protect you from breathing in plaster and getting dry compound dust in your eyes. This is a messy job so use a hat or head covering too.
  • If applicable, remove old drywall patches and tape with the scraper. Use the scraper underneath the lip of the tape and take the entire strip off.
  • Widen the ceiling crack. Use the joint knife to widen the crack just a bit to give the joint compound something to adhere to.
  • Apply the joint compound to the crack.
  • Apply the drywall tape and spread the joint compound over the tape with the drywall knife.
  • Let the surface dry. Add additional joint compound if needed and check the surface after it has dried. Then sand smooth and wipe with a dry cloth. You may want to vacuum the area before you paint and wipe plaster dust off adjacent walls.
  • Apply primer and let dry.
  • Paint the crack. If your ceiling was painted with sand, use sandpaint to cover the crack. The sandpaint should be applied with a brush. Carefully blend the sandpaint with the existing surface. It may be possible to feather in the paint if you're using the same paint that's currently on the ceiling. Blending is often difficult to do if you are an amateur. If the repaired area is still evident after you've tried to blend the paint, consider re-painting the entire ceiling. It will give your room a fresh look.

Topics: How-To Tips, Repair and Maintenance, HomeRepair by McClurg