How to Fix Hairline Cracks in Drywall

Written by glenda taylor Google
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How to Fix Hairline Cracks in Drywall
A 6-inch taping knife will smooth out joint compound. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Drywall, made from pressed particles of gypsum, can crack. Frequent causes of cracking include seasonal changes in moisture and temperature. Hairline cracks are the simplest of all drywall repairs, and you don't need a contractor to fix them. With a couple of basic drywall tools and supplies, you can repair the cracks quickly. After repainting your wall or touching-up your existing paint, no one will know where the cracks were.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2-inch putty knife
  • 6-inch drywall taping knife
  • Drywall compound
  • Drywall sanding pad

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  1. 1

    Use premixed joint compound or mix up a small amount of joint compound, following the directions on the drywall compound sack. Since you're only repairing hairline cracks, you'll need only a little compound.

  2. 2

    Sand the wall over the crack lightly with the drywall sander to remove any bits of debris or crumbling drywall.

  3. 3

    Scoop up a small amount of drywall compound, just enough to fill the crack, and smooth it over the crack with a 2-inch putty knife.

  4. 4

    Press the compound into the crack with the putty knife and remove excess compound from the wall surface by wiping it off with the knife blade.

  5. 5

    Sand the crack once the compound dries completely.

  6. 6

    Add a second application of drywall compound over the crack with a 6-inch drywall-taping knife. Use only enough compound to coat the crack. The wider knife spreads the wet compound over a larger area of the wall and reduces uneven areas.

  7. 7

    Sand the wall again and run your fingers over the area where the crack was to make sure the surface is free from rough spots before you repaint the spot.

Tips and warnings

  • Wipe down the wall with a tack cloth to remove lingering bits of drywall dust that can mar a painted finish.
  • You don't need drywall tape when you're fixing hairline cracks.
  • Don't fix hairline cracks with silicone caulking, which is hard to sand and can mar the finish of a painted wall.
  • Wear protective eye wear and a respirator mask when sanding drywall compound.

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