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concealing bad cracks and previous repairs on plaster ceiling

Hello,  wanted to know if there are any techniques or products I could use to conceal or hide the previous repairs and cracks on one of my bedroom ceilings.  I was hoping I could use a sponging technique with paint?  Thanks for any help or advice!

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Posted 2011-04-23T11:57:58+0000  by kfletcher kfletcher

Good morning and welcome kfletcher!


My name is Christine and I work at The Home Depot in Atlanta in the paint department.


You mentioned cracks in your ceiling. Before you do anything else, you are going to want to fill those cracks. If it is a shallow crack, a lightweight spackle will be just fine for you. If it is a deep crack, something heavier duty will needed. 


Do you have textured ceilings? If you do, you will need to purchase spray texture. At The Home Depot we sell all kinds of spray textures, so you should be able to find the one that is close to your ceiling texture. After you spray that on, you can paint.


If you want to do a sponging technique, you can certainly do that. A natural sea sponge is what most people do when they do sponging faux finishes. This will hide any blemishes on your ceiling and look way cool once you are done.


The possibilities are endless as far as what kind of sponging technique to use. Since it is on the ceiling, you should attach the sponge to a long pole and apply paint with the sponge that way. It will be easier and safer than moving the ladder all over the room. :smileyhappy:


If you need anything else, please let us know!



Posted 2011-04-23T14:24:48+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL

Spackle is a registered trademark of the Muralo Company, located in Bayonne, NJ. Please include our company name when using our trademark.

Posted 2011-05-08T23:53:43+0000  by jsnorton

When you mention filling ceiling cracks with lightweight spackle.  Are you referring to caulk?   I just purchased my new home in March.  I did not water the back of the house which is where the crack is.  THere is a long crack in the corner.   So you think this is a simple fix or do I need a contractor?

Posted 2011-10-13T02:49:17+0000  by shatay01

Hello KFletcher!


Glad you joined us at The Community!


Foundation shift is a common cause of cracks in sheetrock and other wall materials. In my experience, even the best repair is likely to open back up as the building continues to settle. So, your idea of repairing and then disguising the repair is outstanding, fun, and very creative!


If the crack is small, the best repair will likely include using the tip of a keyhole saw or a sheetrock knife to make the crack larger. This will allow the sheetrock mud or plaster to embed and bond to the interior layer of the sheetrock or ceiling core instead of just the paper sheathing on the sheetrock or the plaster surface of the ceiling.


If the crack is larger, you may have to consider using seam tape. First fill the crack with mud, apply a layer of tape, and then overcoat the tape with another layer of mud. I prefer paper tape because it is very thin and covers easily. If using plaster for the repair, you may consider creating texture on the plaster to look like the original ceiling.


Follow the dry-time instructions on the container between applying mud.


Once the repair has dried, I like to wet-sand using a tile sponge dampened and wrung out. All you need is a bucket of fresh water and a tile sponge. Go back to the bucket regularly to rinse the sponge and then wring it out and continue until you can touch the repair and it feels smooth. This will prevent sanding dust from coming down into your face and onto over the area below. It also makes the smoothest finished repair.


As for faux finishing the area, there are several threads available that instruct "How To Faux Finish." Not all are on walls, but the idea is the same. Have a look: Faux Finish Trim and Cabinets, Martha Living Faux Finishes, Want Faux Wood Grain, and there are others.


NOTE: The one problem with faux finishing a ceiling is that ceiling paint is traditionally flat. Faux commonly requires either a satin or semi-gloss base so the faux glaze can "slick around." If you try to faux over a flat finish, the glaze will embed into the finish, preventing you from manipulating the appearance. So use satin or semi-gloss paint to repaint the ceiling before applying the faux finish.


When you complete the project, take time to share your photos here on The Community. We'd love to see your handy work!

Posted 2011-10-13T13:01:01+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Hi Shatay!


No, caulk and mud are not the same materials.


When sheetrock is manufactured, a layer of sheetrock mud is sandwiched between two layers of paper. The combined materials go through a press and dryer, the mud dries into a hard core to create large sheets of sheetrock ... aka drywall.


Sheetrock mud and heavy spackle are sister products that have approximately the same weight or density as the sheetrock mentioned above.


When patching holes in sheetrock or drywall, always use sheetrock mud or spackle. Because it is the same density as the material you are repairing, it will expand and contract at the same rate as the surrounding wall and stay in place longer.


If you use caulk to patch sheetrock or drywall, the material expand and contract at different rates and result in the repair "caving in" or falling out.


NOTE: The same is true for wood repairs ... use wood filler to repair wood because it is designed to expand and contract along with the wood.


TAKE AWAY: For the longest lasting repair, use repair materials similar to the surface you are repairing.

Posted 2011-10-13T13:17:33+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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