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Filling fine cracks in internal walls/ceilings - have tried but they reappear! the walls have been skimmed by previous owner and are just settling cracks.

Thanks to everone who answered - a lot of useful info there which I will follow.

Just to clarify - The house was built in 1930ish. The fine cracks are not all over the walls and appear in certain places assumably for certain reasons. (surveyor did write this could happen in his report)
ie New small internal wall put up - crack appeared where it joins existing wall.
When putting up curtain poles cracks appeared along the line of drill holes (plaster applied too thinly?)
Other key areas - on some walls above doors
Also the clown that laid my loft flooring banged nails into the chipboard in loft causing damage to one of the ceilings - cracks outlining ceiling plasterboard - needs replastering?
The only worrying crack for me is there is one coming down diagonally on an outside wall corner only very fine though and again has been reskimmed.

Thanks again

11 Answers from MyBuilder Painters & Decorators

Best Answer

Hi Tom,
if i am assuming correctly that it is an old property you have,sounds like to me that the re-skimming has been done on the original plaster which is ok to a certain extent if the original stuff is pretty sound & solid but unfortunately you will always run the risk of developing cracks with a re-skim on old,original plaster.
If you are filling cracks and they keep reappearing,then it looks like the backing plaster is in a really poor,unstable condition & should never have been re-skimmed onto.
The ammount of times i've been to a job where customers have had a 'plasterer' to re-skim a room out & cracks have appeared everywhere because they have given them bad advice is shocking.
Only solution really to eleminate this problem is go back to the brick and start again with a complete re-plaster as no matter how many times you fill the cracks,they will keep on coming back and over time will get worse i'm afraid!
Hope this helps,
(p.s. if it's a new type property & it's all boarded out,then i'm flummuxed! ;)


Answered 20th Feb 2011

Hello Tom, Other decorators have suggested to open them up & re-fill, i would agree, but 1st you could try a fine filler in a tube from polycell, i think B&Q sell it,
white tube with yellow cap, ask assistant at B & Q its worked for me before.


Answered 19th Feb 2011

Im surprised no one has mentioned lining paper.
Line the walls with lining paper and paint them and problem solved.
It is a much cheaper cleaner solution than stripping them back to brick.
The crack at new to old wall junction is probably a lack of tieing the two wall together. Appropriate tieing together would stop that.

Quite often internal brick walls were built on top of a timber floor, the weight of the brick wall on a timber floor makes the floor sag over time causing cracks in plaster.

If cracks tear through the lining paper it would be worth doing some investigating to find the problem


Answered 21st Feb 2011

Hi Tom

The best thing to do is to cut the crack deeper and wider into a v shape then re-fill with a good filler like gyproc easy fill.
If the cracks persist then have a specialist look at the state of your structure ie wall ties and roof strut condition as roof spread can cause numerous cracks in the first floor level of your property and twisted or coroded wall ties can do the same on all levels.


Answered 19th Feb 2011

...or , you can also clear them out and try to use caulk as its more flexible. it will not solve the problem( wich i think is walls setteling) but if the cracks are fine, it will mask them up. i'd sugest to smoth caulk with damp cloth, leave for few hours before painting, otherwise you'll pull it out with roller. try that, it'll work guaranteed,


Answered 22nd Feb 2011

you will NEVER get rid of them cracks unless you scrim it first. if its a reskim over old plaster how old is the old plaster because it could be blown so when you reskim over the top it will move therefore crack. if its on plasterboard. it will crack if the boards are not secured properly or not enough surpports or no skrim being used.. roy


Answered 19th Feb 2011

you must open the cracks out first


Answered 19th Feb 2011

they are very fine hairline cracks all over the walls? the reason it cracked is most likey due to it drying out to fast on application and temperature fluctuations contracting/expanding. take it frm me the crack will be . the best thing to do is to fill in large cracks after raking out, then line the walls with a medium grade lining paper. the crack will most likey reappear if you just fill in.


Answered 19th Feb 2011

I would scrape the crack out and then I would reccomend using toupret fibrecyl fill so it is under the surface of the crack then leave to dry over night and then use a fine surface filler twice over the top and lightly sand to feather it in to the wall.
This is the only way you will actually stop the cracks from coming back.


Answered 5th Jan 2019

make cracks in the plaster appear but can be remedied without any problem 1) deepen and widen the crack 2.3mm 2) clean after very good dust by giving a hand of PVA and let it dry 3) put on the area cracks mesh Tape 4) Level with filler if it is inside, two hands or even 3, 5) Allow to dry very well after sanding and painting👍👍👍👍


Answered 3rd Jan 2019

Your problem lies most likely with the existing plaster that’s underneath the new skimmed plaster , my advice to you is to take it straight down to brickwork and replaster it all again otherwise no matter how many times you fill them cracks they will just keep coming back


Answered 3rd Dec 2021

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