The ceiling in my living room has a crack where two of the pieces of drywall meet. How should I go about repairing it? -Louise

Hi Louise,

Cracks in a drywall ceiling are caused by wood movement in the framing due to shrinkage of improperly dried lumber or seasonal changes in temperature and humidity.

The common approach is to fill the crack with spackling then paint over it, but this is at best a temporary fix, since the crack will usually come back as the seasons change.

A better solution is to apply drywall compound and tape over the crack to keep it from telegraphing through. Here’s how to go about it:

    1. Start by roughing up the painted surface with sandpaper, then wipe it down with a damp rag to remove any dust.
    1. If the drywall isn’t firmly attached, drive drywall screws into the framing on both sides of the crack.
    1. Next, apply a thin coat of drywall joint compound to the crack, using a 4”- 5” wide drywall knife, and embed a strip of paper drywall tape in the wet compound to bridge the crack.
    1. When dry, apply several additional coats of joint compound with a 10”- 12” wide drywall knife, feathering them out over a 12”-18” wide area.
    1. Lightly sand or sponge the dried drywall compound smooth and clean the surface with a damp rag.
  1. Finally, prime the area with a drywall primer, and repaint the ceiling.

Watch our video on How to Repair a Ceiling Crack to find out more.

Good luck with your project,


Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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