Erase home's plaster cracks

3 steps to simple patching

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Q: I have a 1940s/1950s-era plaster house with many cracks around the ceilings. I really don’t think I have enough space in the cracks to shove in Sheetrock tape. Can I just apply drywall joint compound and sand it after it dries? Or do I need to do something else altogether? I want to paint over it.

A: We don’t know how one shoves tape into plaster cracks. If the cracks are big enough for drywall tape, it’s time to get out the hammer and do a little demolition.

Cracks are the result of earth movement. Successful repair will ultimately depend on the amount of movement. If the cracks are stable, simply patching them may be possible. But if cracks continue to appear, the best way to get rid of them is to place a layer of drywall over the ceiling.