A crack in the wall? That shouldn’t be there at all!
My house is almost 65 years old and in this one room it has done a lot of settling through the years. Fortunately for the house, we are very fine caretakers and since we are updating the bedroom because of (but not for, that’s a different post!) our upcoming addition to the family I decided to tackle these cracks so as to have a nice, clean, updated room for our little girl.
So, cracks. What an eye sore. But since there were 5 cracks over the door ways and windows and one huge, long crack across the ceiling, they had to be confronted. I watched some YouTube videos and decided that this guys method was the best of choice for our house. It looked at though some previous owners had tried to tape and mud, and tape and mud and tape and mud . . . . . . . . . . and the cracks persisted.
Preparing the crack.
At first I was a little apprehensive about cutting into the walls with a razor blade but I decided that things couldn’t look any worse than they were already so I sliced away! Using a super sweet hot pink box knife my husband gifted me years back (for harvesting okra!) I probably cut 1 inch on either side of the crack, on both sides, from ceiling to doorway, or in some cases window to floor. I also found it helpful to cut right down the middle of the crack as to loosen things up even more.
Next I took my spackle knife and ran the edge underneath the razor blade cuts and started to peel back years of paint. Cream paint, raspberry paint, that 60’s turquoise, back to cream and then finally some kind of avocado color. I’m 7 months pregnant so I wore the respirator my husband bought for me, like a good girl! After that I wiped the dust off with a microfiber cloth and I was ready for the next step. Sealing the crack.
Sealing the crack.
This is the part that I think will be game changer over the years. Zinssers BIN primer. This stuff is a whole lot different from the KILZ I already have in the garage. It is a shellac based paint. It’s thin and reminded me of an adhesive more than a paint. Be careful with it, it is super thin and runny, but my goal wasn’t priming a surface or coverage it was sealing. I applied two coats of this primer and let it dry completely, overnight.
The next step is to take your all-purpose dry wall joint compound and mix it with a hardening agent. I used this plaster of paris dry mix because I had it in the craft room. It has come in handy on many occasions, including my girlfriends bachelorette party pinata!! Let’s just say, it’s hard to crack!
I didn’t use any accuracy when mixing these two, but for an example I might have used a ratio of; 3 cups joint compound to 3 Tablespoons plaster of paris to 1.5 Tablespoons water. I mixed everything up in a mud pan, similar to this one. Then, I tried my hand at mastering drywall. Turns out, I’m a pretty good drywall-er. I have a 6″, large putty knife and I used a light, flat hand. The first layer of joint compound was my practice round. I let it dry overnight, and it seemed to soak up into the crack as it dried. But I planned on applying two layers of joint compound anyway. I sanded the first layer down with my pole sander, wiped off the dust with my microfiber cloth and applied a second layer. Again trying to get a thin, flat layer, just filling in the gap. I found that I could perfect the ‘even-ness’ with sanding but I still wouldn’t suggest a thick layer. After another night of drying, I sanded again, wiped off the dust and got out of that respirator!
After the joint compound was fully dried I applied a layer of regular wall paint to prep for the final paint color application.
Applying the joint compound can be tricky. I think I got lucky as I have done lots of spackling around the house, painting and other DIY’s and crafts. You might want to watch some YouTube video’s or practice on something else before you tackle your walls.
The end result.
I am delighted with the results of my first drywall job and the loss of the cracks in my walls and ceiling! I think I made a great color choice, and I think it’s important to have the right paint finish as well. I chose an eggshell over a satin so that the light wouldn’t reflect as many imperfections. The cracks weren’t the only eye sores in my walls. These walls have seen many a boy band poster, maybe a few kitten and puppy posters too! And I have a rough, plaster like texture going on. But now my walls look soft and even, and I couldn’t be happier. Even my 4-year-old is satisfied and impressed! And she doesn’t even have all the hot pink in her room yet. Just the closet! But like I said, that’s another post!
Stay tuned for the final reveal of the bedroom makeover! These perfect wall are just the beginning!