Looking for ceiling fix ideas

wyndwalkrSeptember 23, 2009

The drywall ceiling in the great room of our 4 year old cottage was not finished properly. The indentations at the drywall joints were not coated as many times as they should have been and cracks have appeared. No one else to blame--this was DIY. I want to disguise this problem on the cheap and we have been talking about covering these straight-line cracks with 1 X 4 boards and painting to match the ceiling. Would appear like the exposure of the bottom of ceiling beams. Trouble is, we have been talking about it for 4 years now. This is our retirement home and health problems have crept up on us. We are looking for some idea even easier. Would love to put up faux (foam) "boards". Light as a feather and adhesive installed and already white. All I can find in pre-made foam is very carved/decorative crown or cornice moldings, etc. or box beams that are too large. No just plain flat strips. Very pricey, too. Any (frugal, DIY) ideas to disguise these cracks? Oh, I should point out, that it is not just the cracks, or we might try caulk, but the drywall edge depressions show, too. One thing I will NOT do is: sand, refill with joint compound, re-spray-texture, and repaint 3 coats. Repeat, NOT! Other ideas, no matter how odd, welcomed with open mind. This is not a fancy McMansion--this is a small, simple, semi-rustic country cottage.

Thanks! ( No fair telling me to leave the cracks if simple and semi-rustic is our style!!) :-D

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mepop

STOP!!!!!

The materials to fix the problem is probrably a gallon or two of drywall mud and a few gallons of primer and paint. All you need is a drywall finisher to do it right, and your done.

You went on the cheap once and didnt like the outcome. What your are describing sounds on the cheap and will likely look far worse as you will attract the eyes to a band-aid over a band-aid. DON'T DO IT!!!!!

Sorry it's not the answer you wanted but doing it right the first time is always the cheapest!!! Doing it right the second time will again be inexpensive compared to fixing what you're proposing.

Look on Craigs List for a handyman in the services section. You could probrably pay one a $100.00 or less to fix it. Good Luck,

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 8:22PM
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wyndwalkr

Repeat NOT!!!

Note I said re-mud, re-spray and re-paint 3 coats was not going to be done. (The idea that a "handyman" would do all this for $100 is...well...you must be joking, right? Oh, I see you said "Good Luck". That must be what is meant by tongue-in-cheek?)

Hiring the ceiling redone in the standard, expected way is what the McMansion people would do. I want a more creative choice.

Some more research has found others like me looking for the same thing, most just for the look, rather than to cover cracks, but I still haven't found any details with photos of finished projects. Often it comes under shabby chic or cottage-look interior decorating.

I'm going to keep looking.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 3:48PM
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dave777_2009

Great!

So, you didn't do the job correctly the first time, (possibly left out the drywall tape, and just mudded it); and now you want people to tell you how to fix it - without fixing it...

I see. Since you seem to want a mess -

Please use dynamite. This will quickly and effectively remove the cracked portion, and create a rustic, ragged hole. If dynamite is probably not locally available - you can always obtain some M80's fairly easily.

Otherwise - you could always completely remove all drywall, and put up some sort of other wall covering. Maybe retro 70's wall panel..

OR you could always go the extreme bad route, and do what mepop suggested; and fix it correctly. Like he said - probably not much money. But don't even look into that possibility - after all - you want it to look something different...

How to do drywall info is readily available. My lovely wife is now a virtual expert at finishing... I put it up - she covers my mistakes... Myron Ferguson wrote an excellent book...

But since your not listening...

I vote dynamite, or hot gluing rough rocks all over it - for that 'creative look' that you require... Go for it!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 7:00PM
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rockmanor

I don't know if this idea will be too difficult given your comment about health problems. I'm not close to retirement age yet, but have already developed several medical issues that make certain DIY jobs that I used to do nearly impossible. Anyway, there are lining papers meant to be used beneath wallpaper to prep walls in bad condition. Such a lining paper could be pasted to your ceiling and then painted over, assuming you prefer a fairly smooth surface. If you'd like some texture, there are moderate to heavily textured wallpapers that can be painted or left plain white which hide a multitude of problems. Ask your wallpaper dealer for Anaglypta and Lincrusta papers (I think that's correct.) Some of these papers resemble pressed tin ceilings (but without the weight) and are very pretty.

I understand about not being able to hire a good handyman for a reasonable price. It's impossible to do around here, even though the unemployment rate has tripled in the last two years.

Hope you find a workable solution.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 5:49PM
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hendricus

Try looking for foam baseboard molding. I used that to box around a tub surround where I had to remove the drywall.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 3:01PM
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mboston_gw

Not sure if this is similiar to a problem we had but we used a primer and added some texture material to it so that it took away the smooth finish of the ceiling and hid the stains we had and the area where nail pops had come through. Of course we painted over the primer and it looks fine. There are three levels of texture one fine, medium, and thick. Got the stuff at Lowes.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 7:53PM
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graywings123

I believe that your fix is going to look worse than the cracks. It is not going to look like exposed ceiling beams - it is going to look like what it is - boards on the ceiling.

And any wallpaper job is going to be just as hard - no, even harder - than nailing boards into the ceiling.

If I were in your position, I would leave it alone.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 10:14AM
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sweeby

I think this post is simply premature --

The Home Disaster will be AFTER the fix, not before...

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 1:54PM
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wyndwalkr

Dave, I will guess you hadn't a clue what I meant by drywall edge depressions and leave it at that.

Thanks to the person mentioning the ceiling paper with paper underlayment. Hubby and I were discussing just that very thing, and the pressed tin look, as well.

And the person suggesting the foam baseboard: that is the sort of thing I was looking for but any foam baseboard I had found so far was not the same side to side. It would have a square edge on one side and a curved or carved edge on the other. Thank you for the thoughtful suggestion.

To the other help (less) responders who cannot apparently see outside of their box at all, best wishes to you and your 'properly' finished houses. No one will ever embarrass you by calling you creative. Aren't you glad? You want fries with that?

Another project where I wanted a decorative post, I went to a local lumberyard (not Big Box) and discovered appearance grade cedar. It is for outside decks, but I loved it (and it's relatively light weight) so the ceiling problem has been fixed with appearance grade cedar 1X4's, precise angle cut with compound miter saw and glued where they join one another. Put up with adhesive and air finish nailer. I liked the post we did so much, stained the color of our floors, that I stained the cedar boards rather than paint them the ceiling color. Do they look like beams? No. They look like I wanted my ceiling trimmed in stained cedar. I like it. Goes well with my wood floors which are FACE NAILED PINE BOARDS, stained fairly dark. Everyone thought I was nuts to want that floor, too, but I had seen it done twice on HGTV and now I get compliments on the floor all the time, especially when I tell them the living room, dining room and master bedroom IN TOTAL cost me $600 (and a lot of sweat equity). A lot has changed in 4 years and I don't think I could spend all those hours sitting on the floor now, pounding nails, and on my knees wiping on stain and 3 coats poly. But I am glad my floors are not conventional or (eek!) laminate.

Unprofessional? Unconventional? You betcha. Mortgage free though.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 7:40PM
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paul21

Sounds like you fixed the problem before I joined, but I wanted to add a comment. My brother-in-law and I own a hunting/fishing camp 3 hours from home. One of the issues we had with it was that it was very "rustic" i.e. no insulation in the ceiling, in fact the ceiling was the roofing boards. In the late spring and early fall, no problems, mild temps. However during deer season and when Salmon season was open we had either -10 C or + 20C. We wanted a cheap fix that wouldn't need a lot of upkeep. We ended up insulating with fiberglass batts and boarding over with beaverboard ( the stuff bulletin boards are made of ) . One coat of latex white and we were home free, except for the seams, and screw heads. We covered these with strips of 1X3 pine . Clean, maintenance free, and has lasted almost 20 years now, without a problem. Other's have come , seen and adapted it to their own particular usage, camp, cottage or retirement home. Good to see that there's still a little ingenuity alive and well in the world.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 8:37PM
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