hair line cracks on ceilings

22 Jan 2010
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United Kingdom
About 2 years ago i had the whole house skimmed/replastered. Its all been painted and looked great but this winter i have noticed in a few of the rooms hairline cracks that have appeared on the ceilings.
I have used polyfiller hairline crack filler and crack free ceiling paint on one crack and it has come back.
Is there a way to permantely get rid of these cracks? I don't really want to use tape as this will stick out on a flat ceiling.
Any advice/tips would be much appreciated.
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its all down to movement as was new plaster.

you need a flexible filler polycell do various products for hair line cracks.

cracks could also be appearing because of traffic above. IE walking, kids playing stomping etc,

you can get flexible which can be rubbed down or if your a dab hand use a flexible caulk, though both will normally shrink, so allow to dry the put a coat of paint on, then fill any more if needed, depends on your standards.

cut the crack lines lightly with a thin blade before hand to give a better area to adhere to. and wear goggles as plaster in the eyes isn't fun.

i have seen hairlines open up in new plaster in the summer which in turn have been filled and as soon as the suns gone down the house as settled and the hair line cracks exploded.
Tape then fill. If you don't they will just keep coming back.
tape then fill what? if im taping over the crack what do i need to fill?
Wont the tape show up on a flat ceiling or wall once its painted?
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Taping and filling is probably the only way to solve the problem but, as you say, it will stand out if you apply it directly onto the existing surface.

As long as there is no movement in the boards (assuming the cracks are in board joints), you could scrape back the plaster to a depth wide enough to accept scrim and then EasiFill over the top. It's a brave thing to do if you have an otherwise perfect ceiling but the EasiFill can be sanded beautifully to feather the joints in and make them unnoticeable. Any movement in the boards should be rectified first though or the problem may well re-occur.

If the cracks are just due to settlement (usually very fine and running in various directions) you should widen then slightly with a Stanley blade before filling with a good quality filler (I like Dulux Trade fillers but Toupret, Tetrion and Red Devil are also excellent ). Widening the cracks will give the filler a better area to adhere to whereas trying to fill the tiny cracks directly with fine surface filler will just cause it to sit on the surface, allowing the cracks to re-open in time.

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