LESLIE: Pat in Delaware needs some help fixing a ceiling. Tell us about the problem.
PAT: Yes, I have a 60-year-old two-story colonial and I’ve maintained it over the years but the cracks in the ceiling have me concerned. And I was wondering do I have to get a plasterer and pay the exorbitant fees or can do it at home; fix it myself?
TOM: Well, you can fix it yourself.
LESLIE: Yeah, are the cracks that you’re seeing, are they where the molding meets the ceiling or are they smack in the middle? Does it seem like it’s on a seam?
PAT: They’re in the middle.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. What you need to do is you need to cover it up with the perforated drywall tape, like Tom mentioned; and that’s the kind that looks almost like a gauze but it’s sticky all around.
LESLIE: And then you would put that …
PAT: I’ve used that before but I find it gets sticky and cakey. Then am I supposed to hand-sand it before I paint it?
LESLIE: What you’re supposed to do is apply the joint compound in several different layers.
TOM: Thin layers.
LESLIE: You know, thin layers; so put a layer over it, let it dry really well, then sand it. Then you want to put another layer over it, let it dry really well and sand it. And you want to keep getting wider and wider and wider and sand it out so that it really almost feathers away and you don’t even notice it.
TOM: Pat, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.