Over the years I have experimented with various products in an attempt to permanently repair cracks in ceilings. Today I share with you my secrets on “How To Repair Cracks In Ceilings” permanently.

Why Does My Ceiling Have Cracks?

There are several reasons why your ceiling may be cracking.

1) The wooden ceiling joists that plasterboard are attached to expand and contract. This movement causes cracks mostly at the location of the plasterboard joints.

2) New homes are plagued with shrinkage cracks due to the wood used in construction shrinking causing settlement cracks. Cracks in newly built houses can appear not only on the ceilings but walls to. Every house will go through a settlement phase, after a few years, the cracks once repaired should not reappear.

3) Poor construction, in most cases plasterboard sheets are secured to the ceiling joists using cheap clout nails. Unfortunately nails are not as effective at limiting the amount of movement (expansion, contraction) as Plasterboard Screws.

There are nails available called, Passivated Clout Nails which have threaded rings around the shaft. These type of nails have a similar effect to screws, increasing holding power.

How To Repair Cracks In Ceilings

The first step to successfully repairing a ceiling crack is to understand that filler alone will only temporarily repair, disguise the crack. If the crack has appeared due to movement, then it will reappear.

How then do you permanently fix cracks in ceilings? The answer, Toupret Fibacryl Flexible Repair Filler. Using a filler that naturally moves with the ceiling is the key.

Below I have detailed the steps on how to repair cracks in ceilings.

Step 1

Use either a Stanley Knife or a Painters Multi Tool to open the crack. I realise that it may seem absurd to purposely make the crack worse, but without enough width and depth, the flexible filler has nothing to adhere to. When opening the crack try to create a V, wider at the surface and narrow at the deepest point.

bahco stanley and purdy multi tool

Step 2

Take your Toupret Fibacryl Cartridge and using your stanley knife cut a 45 degree angle at the nozzle. Next insert the cartridge into a Painters Caulking Gun and squeeze the filler into the crack.

Step 3

Using a damp cloth dampen your finger and run it over the fibacryl pushing it into the crack. Leave enough room 1-2 mm for the final step (skimming).

NOTE : Wait 30 mins – 1 hour before moving onto step 4

Step 4

Take your Toupret Interior Filler and Flexible Mixing Bowl and mix up some interior filler. Using a Flex Filling Knife skim over the crack and wait until dry. Mix up more toupret filler and skim the crack again, wait until dry and move onto the last step.

I find it beneficial to work with a 6 Inch Flex Knife and 3 Inch Flex Knife. Once the filler is mixed, transfer onto the larger flex knife and use the smaller 3 inch one to work with.

After you have filled the remaining 1-2mm with toupret interior filler, remember to run your flex knife over the crack to remove any excess filler. This means that when you come to your second fill, you do not need to sand the area.

toupret filler, flexible mixing bowl, flex knife

Step 5

Sand the filler using 120 Grade Sandpaper attached to a Hand Sander until the filler is flush with the surface. The ceiling is now ready for painting, you do not need to prime or mist coat toupret interior filler as it does not flash.

how to repair cracks in ceilings

Toupret Fibacryl can be used on (Gypsum plaster, Plasterboards, Painted or Unpainted surfaces, Concrete, Cement, Breeze blocks, Bricks, Stones, Primed woods, Mortar).

Available in 350ml cartridges, 1kg, 5kg tubs, further information can be found on the product data sheet below.

Fibacryl Flexible Filler Alternative

I should mention that there is another product that can be used to fix cracks in ceiling. CT1 Multi Purpose Sealant Adhesive, bonds to: (metals, glass, wood, plasterboard, brick), does not shrink, can be painted and is also flexible.

What I love about CT1 is that it can be used for a variety of applications interior and exterior, I have used it for 1) Filling large gaps between skirting boards and walls prior to painting 2) Fixing architrave and skirting to walls 3) Repairing cracks in ceilings 4) Waterproofing PVC window frames.

how to repair cracks in ceilings

CT1 comes in a variety of colours (anthracite, beige, black, brown, grey, oak, silver, white) 

Either products will provide a permanent solution to fixing cracks in ceilings. If you do choose CT1 Adhesive instead of Toupret Fibacryl, ensure that you follow the steps above as the process to repair cracks is the same for both flexible fillers. Further information the uses for CT1 can be found on the product data sheet link below.

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This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me (Andrew Firth). For questions about this blog, please contact andrew@clearcutpainting.co.uk

Some posts contain Amazon affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when those links are clicked on and a product is purchased. There is no additional costs to you.

The compensation received will NEVER influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine.

How long does it takes to paint a room? A great question with various answers. In todays article I’m going to use a previous example of an average sized bedroom 13ft x 14ft with a small bay window.

The house was built approximately 55 years ago and all plaster work was original. Renovations prior to painting consisted of a 3 column upright radiator, wooden flooring and MDF skirting and architrave fitted.

Job consisted of restoring plaster work, removing polystyrene coving and painting both walls and ceiling with Little Greene Intelligent Matt Emulsion. Woodwork was to be finished with Little Greene Intelligent Eggshell.

Preparing Old Walls For Painting

As I mentioned earlier the house was several decades old and the plaster was in poor condition, (pitted, scraped, scuffs, gouges) with plaster patches after a rewire.

Normally you could use a Hand Sander or Pole Sander to remove any roughness from the plaster prior to painting. Unfortunately In this example, extreme measures where required.

Earlier last year I purchased a Mirka Deros Orbital Sander and Mirka Dust Extractor for the purposes of restoring plaster and removing harmful dust particles.

Mirka manufacture the best orbital sanders, without it I would have been forced to either turn down the job. Or alternatively advice that the walls and ceiling where freshly skimmed.

how long does it take to paint a room

At the very bottom of this post I have included a gallery of Before & After photos showing the condition of the room at start of the project and at the end.

Sanding Walls Before Painting

Total time sanding walls and ceiling = 12 hours

Shocked? I agree, 12 hours is a long time prepping a room before painting. Below I have detailed the process and time taken.

1) Sanded both walls and ceiling using 80 Grade Abranet Discs attached to Mirka Deros Sander
2) Filled walls and ceiling using Toupret Interior Filler
3) Continued sanding, still using 80 grade abranet disc
4) Second fill, again using Toupret Interior Filler
5) More sanding using a finer 120 Grade Abranet Disc
6) Base coated the walls with Macpherson Eclipse Matt Emulsion
7) Continue to fill once paint was dry
8) Waited 24 hours before final LIGHT sand with 120 grade abranet disc

I should mention that 12 hours did not include drying times for filler. It does however include, base coating walls and ceiling, caulking around the ceiling, skirting boards, architrave, window and edges of walls.

Painters TIP: When filling scrapes, dinges, and holes, use an LED Inspection Lamp or Daylight Work Lamp. Shine the light upwards against the wall and you will be amazed by how much light reveals. The technique is particularly effective as natural light fades.

How Long Does It Take To Paint A Room

Once the preparation process is finished your ready to start painting. As I was going to be painting using a designer paint brand (Little Greene) which is expensive. Base coating the walls and ceiling is recommended for several reasons.

1) Due to the extensive sanding process there where more than a dozen patches of exposed plaster. Not to mention the 2 kilos of Toupret Interior Filler now on the walls and ceiling. Base coating the walls and ceiling with Macpherson Eclipse Matt Emulsion helped to seal the patches of bare plaster and filler.

2) Exposed plaster must be mist coated before painting. When using an expensive brand of paint, coating the walls and ceiling first will seal the plaster, reduce paint absorption and increase paint coverage.

Order Of Painting A Room

Each painter has their preferred order when comes to painting a room. Below is how I paint a room and achieve a professional finish.

1) Paint the ceiling first, wait 2 – 4 hours then apply the second coat.

2) Woodwork is next, during the preparation process I had filled, sanded and undercoated skirting boards, window sill and architrave. I applied the first coat of Little Greene Intelligent Eggshell waited until dry (2 hours) then lightly sanded all woodwork with a 120 Grade Foam Sanding Block before applying the final coat of eggshell.

3) I waited 24 hours after painting woodwork then masked of skirting boards using Scotchblue Painter’s Masking Tape. I use the 38mm width version and let the excess hang over the skirting boards acting as a paint shield.

4) Finally I painted the walls, waited 2 – 4 hours before applying the second, finish coat of paint.

Painters TIP: Freshly applied paint goes through a curing process, it very easy to damage paint work before it has a chance to harden (cure). For this reason it is a good idea to wait at least 24 hours before moving furniture back into the room.

how long does it take to paint a room

How Long Does It Take To Paint A Room = 17.5 hours

From start to finish including all prep work, base coating walls and ceiling, final coats of eggshell and emulsion. The total amount of “Working Hours” calculated over 3 days was 17.5 hours.

Little Greene Intelligent Matt Emulsion Review

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Room

Below is a complete breakdown of materials and labour costs

  • Little Greene Intelligent Matt Emulsion 7.5 litres: £126
  • Little Greene Intelligent Eggshell 1 litre: £31
  • Toupret Interior Filler 2 kg: £15.94
  • 1/4 Roll Scotchblue Masking Tape: £2.10
  • Zinsser 123 Bullseye Primer: £5
  • 5 Litres Macpherson Eclipse Matt Emulsion: 18.99
  • 4 Abranet Sanding Discs: £3
  • Labour at 17.5 hours over 3 days: £360

Cost To Paint A Room Professionally = £563.03 

What if the room had of been re-skimmed (plastered) prior to painting, how much more would it have cost. For an average sized room 13ft x 14ft based on my location, Northern Ireland. Replastering a room would have cost between £350 – £500 including materials.

If we were to base the figure on the lower amount of £350 then add the cost of paint and labour. The total cost would have been £796 taking into account the reduction in toupret filler, abranet sanding discs and labour.

NOTE: Prices for labour have not accounted for drying times of (filler, primer, emulsion paints). As a professional painter, jobs are booked on a per day basis taking into account drying times.

I charge £120 per day, pricing this job for a customer, I estimated 3 days labour at £360 not including materials.

Obviously if you were painting the room yourself you would save money on labour costs, but would need to hire a professional orbital sander and dust extraction system.

A full list of painting tools used can be found in an earlier article, “How To Paint A Room Like A professional”.

Time To Paint A Room (gallery)

In case you’re curious the colours are Little Greene (slaked lime) and for woodwork Little Green (shirting)

Clear Cut Painting delivers professional painting services across the North Down area to include (bangor, newtownards, holywood).


This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me (Andrew Firth). For questions about this blog, please contact andrew@clearcutpainting.co.uk

Some posts contain Amazon affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when those links are clicked on and a product is purchased. There is no additional costs to you.

The compensation received will NEVER influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine.