Asked on Dec 19, 2018

How do I redo a ceiling that is showing it's age?

Fred EurieckEbbjdlLifestyles Homes


Our home is settling and our ceilings are showing the results. How can we fix the seams or make the ceilings look more appealing without spending a fortune. We are older and can't do alot of the work ourselves.

5 answers
  • Kathy Gunter Law
    on Dec 19, 2018

    I think your issue may have been the reason people started the "popcorn" ceilings. It may be possible to lightly sand the seams, add new drywall mud, then rub with a damp sponge to smooth out before painting.

    I'm not sure the cost but I've seen styrofoam panels you can staple on the ceiling.

    A lot of people are adding wood but I'm not sure what would be the cost or effort involved.

    Since you are older, you might be able to reach out to a local church or program that would help with your situation. My husband has done many repairs for older people in the community at no cost and the church supplied the material. You never know until you ask.

  • Gk
    on Dec 19, 2018

    Hello Nora! You might consider having several dry wall contractors/painters come in and give you an estimate to repair your ceilings. It will only be an estimate and it may not be as expensive as you think. Give it a try.

  • Lifestyles Homes
    on Dec 19, 2018

    Before we cover the cracks,

    If the cracks are bad enough that the drywall tape must be repaired, has this happened in the past 5 years or the last 35 years?

    Ceilings show structural problems because there’s no furniture on the ceiling.

    I’ve seen at least 8 ranch houses where the beam in the attic between the end of the hallway wall and the public areas (kitchen or living room) was not seated properly 50 years ago & has moved.

    On to the patching:

    Smooth type: dig out the cracked area after cutting out the lifted tape- go beyond the obvious area.

    Buy fiberglass drywall tape & drywall TOPPING, not regular drywall joint compound.

    Also buy sandpaper “blocks” unless you own a sanding block, as well as a P95 mask and drop clothes , blue painters tape and at least a 6” drywall “blade”. I would buy stainless steel if you don’t umnediately clean & dry your blades.

    If you have “popcorn” ceilings, one can buy that popcorn effect in a spray can, when your smooth base is finished.

    Tape the plastic drop clothes around the ceiling perimeters as the dust will fly everywhere. Cut the Fiberglass tape & press it into place. Apply a small amount of drywall “mud”, feather the edges & let dry. Sand it and apply another light coat. Light smooth coats are essential, due to working over one’s head. Repeat until perfect from all angles, day & night.

    Wipe or vacuum all of the dust off & then prime and then paint, two coats.

  • Ebbjdl
    on Dec 20, 2018

    Nora, You need to retape the sheetrock and apply spacklespackle. Then sand and paint. Aloha!

  • Fred Eurieck
    on Dec 20, 2018

    I agree with the above. Your ceiling probably has paper tape. 1 1/2” wide. Cut a line across the tape with a utility knife. Not very deep. Pull down the tape and the old mud will come down. Cover everything as this is a messy job. Retape using fiberglass mesh tape. Mud with Dust Control mud compound using 4” blade. Sand with a sanding sponge/ block the next day. Mud again using a 6” blade. Sand again. If good prime then paint. If not mud and sand again then start the paint process.

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