I have plaster walls in a home that is about 50 years old. I have tried patching the plaster with both plaster of paris and drywall mud. Hairline cracks appear almost immediately.

I have probably about a dozen cracks in various places, such as the ceiling and under the windows. The cracks in the ceiling run the entire length in the living room and the master bedroom.

I know from experience not to fight the building, so I want to put in an expansion joint. But I don't like the conventional expansion beads ones because I don't like the idea of having a 1/4" gap, especially along the ceiling.

Is there a product I can use where I can cap both sides of the crack so they will be flush with each other but not as ugly looking as an expansion bead? I was thinking about using something like this, and making them flush with each other. This isn't what I am going to use, but it gives you an ideal of what I am planning.

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What does everybody think?

  • 1
    Paintable caulk? That's what was recommended for my over 100 year old house's cosmetic cracks. – keshlam Oct 4 '14 at 20:46
  • You need tape over the cracks or it will keep doing so. We had an 'L' shaped room that always broke into two squares at the ceiling, fixed by installing a decorative wooden support soffit. – Mazura Oct 4 '14 at 22:03
  • @keshlam That's an answer. – bib Oct 6 '14 at 0:42
  • Ironically, twenty years ago was the last time I attacked these cracks. I used joint compound and the cracks immediately reappeared. I scraped out the joint compound and used silicone caulk. No cracks --even 20 years later-- but the caulk has shrunk over time so I do not have a smooth surface. I was thinking of pulling out the caulk, using a router to straighten up the cracks putting some kind of a l-shape straight edge on both sides of the crack, screwing them in, use joint compound and paint. – Enzyte Bob Oct 8 '14 at 4:10
  • Continued ... If I can get these two L's against each other, I think the wall can still move and there will be a natural break there so nothing will have to crack? I can live with the walls, but the ceilings are what bother me most. – Enzyte Bob Oct 8 '14 at 4:17

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