All You Need to Know about Wall Cracks and Painting

Wall-Cracks-and-Painting-image

There’s nothing like a crack on your wall to ruin the aesthetic appeal of a fresh coat of paint. Luckily, our team of painters and decorators in London explain why cracks form, how to fix them and when you need to hire painting contractors. Read on to find out more.


Why wall cracks form -

Hairline cracks are thin, shallow cracks in the paint’s surface, and are mostly found around doors and windows. They form because of a variety of reasons, including

  1. Settling: New and old houses are prone to settling, which describes the slow process of structures “sinking” into the ground. If your house is newly built, wait at least one year before fixing any hairline cracks.
  2. Variation in temperature: Expansion and contraction of building materials because of temperature and humidity changes can cause the paint to crack.
  3. Low-quality paint: Sub-standard paint is prone to chipping and damage, making these paints more vulnerable to cracking.
  4. Poor paint job: Using different paints for each coat, not allowing each coat to dry or failing to prime your walls, can compromise your paint job and make hairline cracks more likely.
  5. Poor paint job: Painting before the plaster is completely dry is a sure-fire way to cause cracks in your wall.

If you’d like to avoid these issues, you can hire our London-based team of painters and decorators.

Structural cracks, as the name implies, is indicative of more serious damage. These cracks are formed because of factors that compromise the construction integrity of your home, like termite damage, removal of a load-bearing wall or a damaged foundation because of water seepage.

How to fix hairline cracks yourself -

Hairline cracks are easy to fix and rarely need hiring professional painters and decorators. To fix a hairline crack, follow these steps:

  1. Make the crack bigger. Use a scraper or screwdriver to remove any loose debris, like concrete, plaster or paint.
  2. Clean the crack. Use a vacuum or fine brush to clean away any fine particles. Follow-up with a damp cloth to ensure the crack and surrounding area is clean. Wait for the area to dry.
  3. Fill the crack with a filler or joint compound.
  4. Wait for the surface to dry. If you continue without waiting for the area to dry, another crack will form.
  5. Sand the surface so it’s smooth and even.
  6. Paint over the repaired wall.

When to hire painting contractors –

If you suspect that your wall crack is caused by structural damage, you must address these issues before fixing the aesthetic issues.

Only a structural engineer can confirm if there is structural damage in your home, but some common signs are:

  1. Cracks in the wall are jagged, large and go in different directions.
  2. The doors and windows in your home keep sticking or won’t close properly.
  3. Sagging floors and ceilings.

If a structural engineer confirms structural damage, they will advise you on next steps. Once your home is structurally sound, we recommend you hire painting and decorating professionals to make sure plaster and paint are applied correctly.

Further information:

For top tips from our central London based team of professional painters and decorators, visit: 10 Top Tips from Professional Painters