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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2

    Default Old house, new drywall, lots of cracks

    Hi everyone. Last year my wife and I remodeled our century old house. We pulled out the plaster and lathe, insulated, and drywalled the entire upstairs. The ceiling is low and sloped on either side, and it took a significant amount of mud to get the edges at the ceiling and wall to look nice.

    And unfortunately, those are the joints that are cracking. The is a balloon frame building and with the heavy snow we've taken this winter, I'm guessing that there is just enough movement in the house to cause these cracks to pop up. And since it's a structural issue, I don't really want to just plaster over the cracks as I'm guessing they'd just show up again next time we get a heavy snow or a strong wind.

    Does anyone know of any tips or products that can give us a smooth paint-able surface, but remain flexible enough to deal with the movement in an old house?

    Thanks,
    -Rick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: Old house, new drywall, lots of cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatRickGuy View Post
    Hi everyone. Last year my wife and I remodeled our century old house. We pulled out the plaster and lathe, insulated, and drywalled the entire upstairs. The ceiling is low and sloped on either side, and it took a significant amount of mud to get the edges at the ceiling and wall to look nice.
    And unfortunately, those are the joints that are cracking. The is a balloon frame building and with the heavy snow we've taken this winter, I'm guessing that there is just enough movement in the house to cause these cracks to pop up. And since it's a structural issue, I don't really want to just plaster over the cracks as I'm guessing they'd just show up again next time we get a heavy snow or a strong wind.

    Does anyone know of any tips or products that can give us a smooth paint-able surface, but remain flexible enough to deal with the movement in an old house?

    Thanks,
    -Rick
    rick the thing that caught my attention is that you say it took a significant amount of mud, have you ever done any body work on a car? do you remember what happened if you put the bondo on too thick? it cracks especially in cold weather. if you used premixed (bucket or boxed) mud you will have the same effect. the remedy is to use a set fast or baged mud (also called hot mud) one that you have to mix up. the reason is that it sets much harder and is less prone to cracking. then you finish it of using the premix mud because you are using it just to skim a thinner layer over the top, it being softer makes sanding much easier.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2

    Default Re: Old house, new drywall, lots of cracks

    Things I wish I knew last year

    Will the hot mud be stable enough if I just sand down the paint/primer and crack edges? Or will I need to cut/sand/pull up as much of the existing pre-mixed mud to get back to the drywall edges?

    -Rick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    980

    Default Re: Old house, new drywall, lots of cracks

    I would at least try to sand a concave into it then use the hot mud

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    1

    Default Re: Old house, new drywall, lots of cracks

    I had cracks in the joints in a cathedral ceiling in which I expanded the crack to about 3/16" to 1/4" in width. In this joint, I put in some vinyl adhesive caulking that sticks well to dry wall and plaster, expands and contracts with the house and is paintable. I then painted the ceilings white and the cracks disappeared.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,243

    Default Re: Old house, new drywall, lots of cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by msschlad View Post
    I had cracks in the joints in a cathedral ceiling in which I expanded the crack to about 3/16" to 1/4" in width. In this joint, I put in some vinyl adhesive caulking that sticks well to dry wall and plaster, expands and contracts with the house and is paintable. I then painted the ceilings white and the cracks disappeared.
    This is an excellent method, though I wouldn't recommend widening a crack, let the caulk cover it, not fill it. The added benefit of caulking these corner joints is that it allows for easy cut in of paint, whether using a single color or multiple colors. The caulk fills any irregularities in the wall/texture and provides a glossy smooth surface for the paint brush to glide down, resulting in an easy, straight cut in.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Northport, AL
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Old house, new drywall, lots of cracks

    At our church we had a sheet rock guy sc**** texture off ceiling a couple of years ago and skim coat ceiling with sheet rock compound. It is now cracking and pulling away from the ceiling at several places around the walls. The "skim coat" looks pretty thick to me. Is this still an issue of the compound not drying thoroughly? We have had drought conditions here for two years. Although the building is twenty+ years old, could this be related to foundation movement?

    Additionally, in the area of the cracking compound we've noticed some vertical cracking at the top of the walls to an HVAC vent in the wall.

    Thanks,
    Ron

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2

    Default Re: Old house, new drywall, lots of cracks

    Ron,

    I tried that several years ago in my home - the issue then was the mud didn't adhere to the painted ceiling. I would never try doing it again. The solution was to blue-board the entire ceiling and do a new plaster job the right way. It's more expensive but I feel it's the only way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Old house, new drywall, lots of cracks

    I am remodeling a 1932 old house with textured walls spanish style with texture that has been left without heat and is peeling. Lots of imperfection. Where there is mole I am replacing. The old paint and texture is down to the old brown sheet rock. Can I sc**** and sand and retexture with mud and what do I do about future peeling. We have heat now. Our tempature stays normally lows 40's high 90's. Got any ideas of how to insure against future peeling?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Old house, new drywall, lots of cracks

    Sounds like a lot of work for something that might end up failing in the end. It's a gamble if you ask me.

    I'd install new drywall (1/4 inch) over the existing work. ID it's in tough shape, the old surface isn't worth trying to fix.

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