DIY: How to fix cracks in the ceiling or wall

Kiona Highbridge
Kiona Highbridge | 2 min. read
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Published on March 19, 2015

The truth is, tenants can’t be blamed for everything. Sometimes cracks that appear on the ceilings and walls are from normal wear and tear. And in most cases, this means repairing it will take a little more elbow grease. Don’t worry, though—it’s still easy work for the average Joe.

Typically, a crack forms between sheetrock pieces in the wall when they shift over time. When they do shift, air bubbles get trapped, resulting in a protrusion. Contractors usually use mesh tape to connect these sheetrock pieces, but even the best work might need to be repaired after a while.

You’ll Need:

  • Large joint knife (scraper)
  • Small joint knife (scraper)
  • Square of cloth
  • Mesh drywall joint tape
  • Spackle
  • Sander

Work Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 24+ hours

  1. Scrape off any protruding paint chips with a small scraper. Come in at an angle starting from the side that’s sticking out. During the process, if you see the original mesh tape appear, stop scraping.
  2. Use a cloth and wipe away any paint dust off the newly formed hole. Then as a test, wipe your hand across the hole and see if you pick up any dust. If there’s dust on your hand, keep wiping.
  3. Cut a piece of mesh tape the length of the hole and place (adhesive side down) it over the space where you think the boards meet.
  4. Use the joint knife to scoop out a little bit of spackle from the container. Apply the spackle on top of the mesh tape.
  5. Take your large knife and smooth the spackle over the mesh tape.
  6. Do not cover all the mesh tape on your first coat of spackle. Instead, you want to apply a thin coat of spackle, let dry, and repeat.
  7. Once you’re done spackling and the mesh tape is completely covered, wait for the spackle to dry. Then take out the sander and lightly work the surface. Only stop once the surface is completely smooth. Now, you’re ready for paint!

Want more tips like these?

Download our FREE DIY Maintenance for Property Managers guide for a compilation of easy fixes accompanied by Buildium tips and step-by-step photo instructions.

Read more on Maintenance & Improvements
Kiona Highbridge

Kiona puts her fondness for white space and strong typography to use as a visual designer. She has a B.F.A. in Writing and, as such, loves discussing grammar over a good cup of coffee.

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