Drywall Seams Showing in Ceiling? Here’s How To Conceal Them

When it comes to designing, renovating, or simply polishing up your home, it is obvious that the first aspect to take into consideration is safety.

While you want to make sure that important elements such as walls are high-quality, durable, and properly designed, it is only natural that you want to factor in the aesthetic aspect, as well.

In this guide, we will focus on the most effective, durable, and aesthetically-pleasing method of hiding drywall seams that are showing in the ceiling.

And the best part is that this is a DIY, beginner-friendly project!

Why are drywall seams showing in the ceiling?

Before we get into the best solutions for your drywall seam problem, it is important to go over some of the most frequent reasons why these drywall ceiling cracks are showing.

In addition to clashing with your interior design and being visually unappealing, drywall seams in the ceiling could also indicate a bigger underlying issue that should be looked into.

1. Settling house

In case you’re seeing drywall seams, it could be that your house has begun settling, which is something that can happen with older houses over the years.

As a consequence of this process, the house may shift unevenly, causing the drywall seams to become more pronounced in a certain area.

It is also possible for these drywall seams to transform into drywall cracks, which can be extremely worrying.

2. Mesh tape

It could be that mesh tape was used for the installation of your drywall construction instead of the paper drywall tape.

The problem with mesh drywall tape is that it is more flexible and less durable than paper tape, which means that it will stretch over time, causing the ceiling cracks to become far more noticeable.

Paper drywall tape, on the other hand, appears to be sturdier and less prone to stretching, which is why it is considered a better choice to avoid ceiling cracks.

3. Improper drywall installation

Finally, if your drywall seams are showing in the ceiling and have become more and more pronounced over the years, there’s a possibility that the mistake was made in the drywall installation process itself.

One of the most common mistakes in the drywall installation process is that the settling compound layers haven’t been properly applied to the seams, or they simply haven’t been sanded down for a smoother finish.

How to fix drywall seams showing in the ceiling

As you can tell, the majority of factors affecting the drywall seams and their depth are beyond your control, so the best you can do is conceal them using durable methods.

Depending on the nature of the problem and the depth of the cracks, a different approach might be necessary.

However, the method described in our detailed guide is extremely reliable, as it factors in both the aesthetic and the safety aspects of this issue.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into the best guide to covering up the drywall seams showing in the ceiling.

Step 1: Add more setting compound

The setting compound is basically material used to secure the drywall seams, and it is quite thick and durable, which means that it will definitely be able to fill up the cracks.

As we’ve mentioned, one of the main issues causing these visible ceiling cracks is that the setting compound wasn’t properly applied or sanded down.

You can easily fix this by applying an extra coat of the setting compound (about 8-inch thick) directly to the gaps.

If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, you can always hire a professional to ensure it is applied properly and evenly.

However, you may wonder what type of joint compound, also known as the drywall mud, should be used for this step to get the best results. We always recommend choosing a higher-quality product, especially if you’re not satisfied with the material used in the drywall installation which leads to cracks in your ceiling.

An all-purpose compound is the safest choice and the easiest to work with, both during the drywall installation and in the reparation of the drywall seams.

However, if you’re working in a high-humidity area, or you simply need to complete the job in a day, it is necessary to use the quick-setting compound, as the all-purpose one takes longer to settle. 

A topping compound, on the other hand, is the compound you will use to seal everything in place and ensure that the finished look is polished and smooth from all sides. 

There is also a taping compound, which is basically the foundation for your drywall tape. It helps the tape adhere to the wall and last longer.

Step 2: Apply drywall tape

Since the role of the drywall tape in the drywall installation process is to secure the compound for a smooth, seamless finish, you can now also use it to reinforce and conceal the seam.

An important fact about this method is that it will also add more security and durability to the seams, in addition to concealing the cracks, which is extremely beneficial.

Once again, both mesh and paper drywall tape are generally used for this method but keep in mind that the paper tape is considered to be more durable.

What’s more, paper drywall tape includes a crease in the middle that allows you to position it properly and fold it straightly without any creases. 

Step 3: Sand down the seam

Once you’ve applied both the setting compound and the drywall tape, it is necessary to let them settle.

The next step in hiding drywall imperfections would be to sand down the rough edges of the compound material, making sure that it looks smooth and polished.

You can use 150-grit sanding paper to go over the surface and lightly sand the seams you fixed. You may also need a sanding sponge to get a perfect finish.

Step 4: Paint over the seam

The next step in concealing your drywall seams is to paint over them and cover any spots and imperfections you’ve missed so far.

Painting over the smoothed-out, fixed seam will also give you the flawless finish you’ve been looking for. This is also a great opportunity to give the room a fresh, new look.

While it is best to consult with a professional when it comes to choosing the best type of paint, we recommend going with matte paint and a dark color.

This combination will not only conceal the imperfections but also prevent the light reflection from highlighting any textures.

Before applying any paint, we recommend using a primer, preferably polyvinyl acetate (PVA). This primer is the best base for paint when it comes to drywall surfaces, and it will ensure that your paint job doesn’t turn out flaky and uneven.

Another important role of the primer is to help the compound set and prevent it from shrinking before you apply the paint on top. 

Step 5: Add wall décor

Finally, adding wall décor on top of the concealed drywall seams can help you achieve an even more seamless result. 

This method is also a great alternative to filling the wall cracks if you’re unable to do it yourself. Wall décor such as tapestry and wallpapers can hide the cracks, but keep in mind that this is only a temporary solution if you don’t reinforce the drywall seams.

On the other hand, applying wallpaper on top of the concealed, smooth drywall seams will be much easier, and it is a beautiful finishing touch, especially if you’d like to skip the wall painting part.

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