Cracks in a traditional ceiling

Is there any reason why cracks in a traditional (early 1900's) ceiling can't be treated, at least cosmetically for the medium term, by using the tape which joins together modern plasterboard sheets, skimmed over and then painted with something reasonably gunky?
--
Roland Perry

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On 23/09/2018 13:47, Roland Perry wrote:

Skimming over existing paint can be hit and miss. Usual technique is to apply PVA and skim whilst still slightly tacky. It is unreliable and can fall or flake off.
The way I have seen with your issue is to widen the crack and apply caulk, and then repaint. Caulking will be more flexible than a thin layer of (skimmed) plaster.
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Wouldn't it help to apply some plasterboard tape over the widened crack?
I suppose the issue is: what does one fill the crack above such tape with.
Maybe a modern flexible adhesive at ?5 a tube, rather than caulk at ?1?
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Roland Perry

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On 23/09/18 13:47, Roland Perry wrote:

No, but in fact plyfilla and sanding my be all you need it its just shrinkage
Or do that then put lining paper over and paint..
lining paper or even brown parcel paper is remarkably strong
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On Sunday, 23 September 2018 14:00:03 UTC+1, Roland Perry wrote:

You can, but it's making the job unnecessarily large. Just wipe some filler on with a finger, job done.
Don't gauge the crack out, it's a foolish practice.
NT
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Depends very much how much movement there is and in which directions. Some Victorian houses seem to move a heck of a lot! Brian
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Yes. Hence you needing a flexible filler. But even that won't cope with a lot of movement. But then neither would brand new plaster.
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*On the other hand, you have different fingers*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 23/09/2018 15:12, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

+1
And if it moves then, IMLE with late 19th lath and plaster ceilings here and in neighbours' houses, opening up the cracks on is one for the bold and courageous. OTOH papering a ceiling is a _lot_ easier than it used to be using Wallrock Fibreliner or the like which is very forgiving of being pulled, pushed, wrapped around a head, left soaking while you have a brew...
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On Sunday, 23 September 2018 15:22:33 UTC+1, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Flexible fillers have nowhere near the necessary amount of flexibility to prevent recracking. Either the ceiling's going to move more or it's not: if it does, it will crack regardless of what you do.
NT
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12:07:43 on Sun, 23 Sep 2018, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com remarked:

Do you mean it would crack somewhere else, or that the joint constructed of flexible filler would open up?
My idea was to use non-flexible filler but to bind the edges together with fibreglass reinforcing tape. The plaster would first have to be slightly ground away to make the final result flush, of course.
Currently the cracks aren't actually opened up, but the filler from a previous decoration attempt (could be 10+ yrs ago, but I don't know) is proud of the surface and looks bad.
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Roland Perry

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On Monday, 24 September 2018 07:23:23 UTC+1, Roland Perry wrote:

either, if the ceiling decides to move more.

lots of people have that idea. It's a waste of time.

Yes, so many people do that. Wiping it in with a finger means nothing is left proud, no problems down the line.
NT
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01:07:23 on Mon, 24 Sep 2018, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com remarked:

What's the undesirable consequence - tearing of the reinforcing tape, or a crack somewhere else.

Would you suggest we simply sanded the proudness down, and repainted?
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Roland Perry

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On Monday, 24 September 2018 10:04:29 UTC+1, Roland Perry wrote:

1. as I explained if the ceiling wants to crack it will. Plasterboard is not strong enough in tension to resist the wishes of moving woodwork or masonry. 2. it's a waste of time 3. it makes a mess of the finish, which then needs correcting

if you can do that, great. A lot of people seem to decide they can't. Bear in mind that paper is not sandable to any practical extent, so it can only work if the ceiling is already skimmed, which they usually are.
NT
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On Mon, 24 Sep 2018 02:26:18 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If the house dates from the 1900's then the ceiling, unless it has been replaced in the recent past, is not going to be plasterboard (invented about 1916 and not common until the 50's) but lath and plaster.
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On Monday, 24 September 2018 10:42:49 UTC+1, Peter Parry wrote:

Most such ceilings have been ripped out & plasterboarded by now. Either way the same applies.
NT
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02:26:18 on Mon, 24 Sep 2018, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com remarked:

It's not plasterboard - lathe and plaster.

When did I suggest sanding of paper?

Do people often skim lathe and plaster ceilings? Genuine question, I have no data.
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Roland Perry

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On Monday, 24 September 2018 11:04:32 UTC+1, Roland Perry wrote:

same applies

when did anyone claim you did?

they have done. They're often in too bad a shape for that though.
They're laths, lathes are too heavy
NT
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On Mon, 24 Sep 2018 07:41:01 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Not really, lath and plaster uses lime plaster which is soft and accommodates some movement. Gypsum plasters and plasterboards are much more rigid so mixing both types is a recipe for failure.
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On Monday, 24 September 2018 17:24:22 UTC+1, Peter Parry wrote:

Lime in brickwork accomodates movement by microcracking then healing by growing crystals across the gaps. I don't know whether L&P ceilings do likewise. Either way by the time it has visibly cracked it's immaterial.
NT
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13:14:46 on Mon, 24 Sep 2018, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com remarked:

By the time it's visibly cracked, any process for accommodating movement has been over-stretched.
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Roland Perry

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