Hairline Cracks In Newly Skimmed Ceiling

18 Feb 2015
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United Kingdom

I'm wondering whether anyone can give me any advice. We recently (mid/late August) had all of our walls and ceilings downstairs re-skimmed. Since then, a long, straight hairline crack has appeared in the kitchen ceiling. In the dining room, 2 long hairline cracks have appeared running parallel to each other (although in the opposite direction to the kitchen ceiling crack!) and one long crack, again hairline, running in the opposite direction.

Is this likely to be shoddy workmanship by our plasterer, signs of something serious or just one of those things? It's disappointing that we have spent money on so much plastering work (lots of Artex previously!) for it to not look perfect. Obviously, if it could be something more serious, I'm even more worried!

Thanks in advance

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lucy74, good evening.

What age is the property? do you know if the ceiling is Plasterboard

Was any of the old Artex removed prior to skimming, as an aside was the Artex tested?

Hi Ken

Thanks for your reply. The property was built in the 1960s and is mid-terrace. I believe the ceilings are plasterboard.

With regards to the old Artex, it wasn't removed or tested but skimmed over.


Lucy, the ceiling was probably cracked before it was replastered. A good plasterer should ALWAYS inspect all ceilings and walls before plastering them., especially plasterboard, and especially if it has been artexed. A good inspection first will always show the cracks along the lengths of the plasterboard, and the joints across the butt end cracks. It takes no time at all to mash tape the cracks, but failure to do so results in the problem you have now.
You should ask the plasterer to come back and sort this out. You've paid good money to have the job done and he's responsible. A good tradesman wouldn't hesitate to rectify a problem, for the sake of his reputation.
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Hi, thank you for coming back to me. I will give the plasterer a call. How should I expect him to fix this? Is it a case of taping the cracks now or does the plastering that he's done need to be removed and then taped?
Hi Lucy, no, the plaster "wouldn't" need to be removed, but the joints/cracks would "definetely need to be taped". Sometimes, the whole ceiling/wall could be taped and then replastered, or the cracks themselves taped over, skimmed with a readymix plaster, and then sanded down with a 120 grit sandpaper. Get in touch with the plasterer, see what he says and take it from there.
Keep in touch with us too though Lucy, tell us what his plans are.
Thank you, very helpful. I will call him today and see what he says. Will keep you posted!

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