the painted surface
How To Patch a Crack
There are several types of crack that can develop in walls and ceilings. They are usually minor and are simple to repair. If the crack is not repaired it can ruin a otherwise good paint job. The following will help determine the type of crack that has developed and lay out the steps of how to patch the crack.
A wall crack or ceiling crack is found in the corner where two walls meet or where the ceiling and wall meet. This crack is probably caused by the drywall mud being applied too thickly and as it dried it shrank and cracked. The solution is to caulk the crack with paintable acrylic caulk. Cut a small opening in the tube of caulk and apply a small bead of caulk to the corner. Wipe off the excess and smooth the seam with a moistened finger. No primer is required, just allow the caulk to dry before painting.
A crack is seen at the joints of wood trim and the walls or ceiling. This is common around door frames and baseboard trim. The crack is there because the trim is not tight against the wall. To repair, renail the trim if it is loose and caulk the crack with a small amount of paintable acrylic caulk. Try to fill some of the crack then wipe off the excess and smooth with a moistened finger. See “How to Caulk”.
Metal Corner Crack
A crack appears very near the edge of an outside corner on drywall. It is very straight running about two inches from the edge of the wall. This type of crack can be a few inches or several feet in length. The metal corner has loosened. The metal corner is nailed to the corner of the drywall where two pieces meet. Its purpose is to strengthen the corner and protect it from being dented. It is not seen because it is covered with drywall mud and painted. To patch this crack, hammer in additional nails along the corner to tighten the metal corner to the wall. If this causes the metal corner to buckle or loosen more try screwing in drywall screws. If the metal still buckles move on to just patching over the crack. Dig, cut or scrape out any drywall mud that may have loosened as the crack developed. Scrape or sand over the crack to level the surface as much as possible. Apply self adhering fiberglass drywall tape over the crack. Skim over the tape and crack with three coats of drywall mud. Allow each coat to completely dry and sand lightly between coats. Feather out each coat of drywall mud to create a smooth, level surface. When the last coat is dry sand with a fine grit sandpaper, prime and then paint.
Loose Drywall Tape Crack
A wall or ceiling has a crack that is very straight. It is lifting or peeling away from the sheetrock. There may be a stain around the crack. This type of crack is probably a portion of the drywall tape and mud that has lost adhesion from the sheetrock. It is often caused by a moisture problem. If the surface is stained check for a leaky roof or upstairs bathroom pipe or drain leak. To patch a loosened drywall tape joint, cut away the portion of tape and mud that is no longer adhered to the sheetrock. A sharp utility knife works well for cutting through drywall tape and mud. Do not pull on the tape, it will pull away continuously and create a larger area to patch. Only cut away what has lost adhesion. Wipe away any dust left on the sheetrock or prime over it. A clean surface is needed for the new tape and drywall mud to adhere properly. Apply one layer of self adhering drywall tape over the joint. Skim over the tape and crack with three coats of drywall mud. Allow each coat to completely dry and sand lightly between coats. Feather out each coat of drywall mud to create a smooth, level surface. When the last coat is dry, sand with a fine grit sandpaper, prime and then paint. If there was a water stain it will need to be sealed to prevent it from bleeding through the finish paint.
Diagonal Drywall Crack
A crack appears at the corner of a door or window. It is jagged and irregular, moving diagonally away from the corner. This crack is usually not serious but it is an indication that some settling or movement has occurred. To repair this crack is not a difficult task. Begin by cutting or scraping away any loose material. Scrape over the crack to level the surface. Apply a single layer of self adhering fiberglass drywall tape over the crack. Skim over the tape and crack with three coats of drywall mud. Allow each coat to completely dry and sand lightly between coats. Feather out each coat of drywall mud to create a smooth, level surface. When the last coat is dry sand with a fine grit sandpaper, prime and then paint.
These steps should make patching a crack a simpler task. More details about specific painting subjects are covered in the additional articles. In those will be found details, tips and techniques gathered from over 20 years of painting experience. Here is a list of links to the articles:
More helpful painting tips, techniques and how-to articles can be found by following these links.
How To Paint a Room ◊ How To Paint a Stairway ◊ How To Paint a Two-Story Room ◊ How To Choose Colors ◊ Six Step Color Choice ◊ Popular Color Ideas ◊ How To Choose Paint ◊ Tools ◊ How To Caulk ◊ How To Patch a Hole ◊ How To Patch a Crack ◊ How To Cut In a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Roll a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Paint Woodwork ◊ How To Paint a Window ◊ How To Paint Baseboard ◊ How To Paint a Door ◊ How To Paint Crown Moulding ◊ How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets ◊ How To Choose a Premium Paintbrush ◊ How To Paint a MDF Bookcase ◊ How To Paint Aluminum or Vinyl Siding ◊ How To Paint Over Faux Finishes ◊ How To Use Magnetic Paint ◊ How To Use FrogTape ◊ How To Paint Repair Water Damaged Drywall ◊ Hiring a Contractor ◊ Paint Stripper Safety ◊ Painting Louvered Shutters ◊ 2013 Color Trends ◊ Choosing Front Door Colors