DIY Guide for Repairing Small Cracks in Plasterboard Ceilings

Plasterboard ceilings are a common feature in most old houses as well as some modern homes. The presence of small cracks in these ceilings is often one of the earliest signs that the plaster is deteriorating. It is important to patch up the cracks as soon as they begin to show. The good news is that repairing small cracks in plaster is a DIY-friendly job. Here is a basic repair guide for homeowners who would like to fix the small cracks in their ceilings by themselves. 

Mark the work area

The first step is to mark the area you will need to repair. You can do this by driving some screw plaster washers into the wood laths along and around cracked area. Wood laths are the wooden support blocks that were initially installed in the attic above to help hold the plasterboard in place.

Prep the cracks

The next part of the project is to scrape off any paint peelings and plaster fragments from the cracks, so as to make sure the surface is clean and sound. Once you have done that, you should sand over cracks with medium grit sandpaper in order to smooth out the surface. When the cracks are smooth to the touch, grab a clean, dry cloth or rag and wipe off all the sanding dust.

Apply the first layer of the patching compound

Once the cracks are smooth and clean, you should use a trowel to spread a single layer of a suitable plaster sealer over the cracked area and smooth out the area with your trowel. Try as much as possible to spread the joint compound evenly and avoid overspreading. Also, make sure to allow the sealing compound enough time to dry properly before you start sanding away high spots and filling low spots with more sealer.

Apply the second (final) layer of the patching compound

Once the first layer of sealer is dry and level, spread the second layer. Let it dry thoroughly before you smooth it out with sandpaper one last time. You may want to start with coarse sandpaper and work your way to fine depending on how uneven the patch is. Start with Wipe down any plaster dust once you're finished sanding.

Paint your ceiling

To restore the nice, uniform look of your ceiling, be sure to give your ceiling a fresh coat of paint once you are done patching up the small cracks in your plaster.

If you're concerned about doing plasterboard ceiling repairs on your own, make sure to consult with a professional.