You must immediately fix cracks, leaks, or mistakenly drilled holes in your ceiling. Ceiling issues are an eyesore and can cause underlying issues when left unchecked.

When your home is exposed to the elements, the damage to your roof might extend to your ceilings. It’s best to call experienced local roofing contractors to avoid further issues.

But minor issues like patching cracks on your ceiling are something you can do yourself. You just need the right materials and a quick step-by-step guide. We’re here to help!

Materials Needed for Patching a Ceiling

Ceiling patches are relatively easy with suitable materials and prep work. So, before starting this repair project, prepare the following:

  • Safety goggles and a dusk mask.
  • Utility knife or drywall saw.
  • Drywall patch piece
  • Furring board strips
  • Spackle compound (mud)
  • Drill driver
  • Drywall screws
  • Mesh Tape
  • Taping Knife
  • Hand sander

Step-by-step Guide to Ceiling Patching

The procedures for most patching repairs are the same. Follow these steps, and you’ll be ready to have a wholly patched ceiling.

Prep Work

We need to take the proper steps before starting our patchwork. First and foremost—safety. Put your goggles and masks on to protect your eyes, mouth, and nose from falling debris and dust.

Next, use your drywall saw to remove loose debris around the crack or hole in the ceiling. Scrape away loose paint as well. Measure the gap and outline a square around it.

In most cases, the square should be around 2 inches bigger than the hole. Cut along the outline you made using your drywall saw. You can start at the center of the hole toward the edges.

Afterward, cut two furring board strips to support the drywall patch piece. The strips should be longer than the hole you made. It’s time to start patching with the materials and prep work ready.

Step 1: Install the Furring Boards

Place the furring board strips into the hole in your ceiling at each end. You’d want a couple of inches overlapping on both ends of the hole—that’s where we want to screw it in place.

Screw it firmly so the patch sits flush. Hold the gaps firmly and ensure no gaps between the boards and the ceiling when screwing the strips. If your strips move, your patch will crack.

Try to give the installed furring strip a feel to see if they’re secure. Once you’ve installed the furring boards, it’s time to install the drywall patch.

Step 2: Install Drywall Patch

Insert your drywall patch into the hole and screw it against the furring boards. Don’t screw it too close to the edge. If you’re having trouble securing the patch, ask someone to hold it. After securing everything, we can start with spackling and sanding our patch.

Step 3: Apply Compound (First Coat)

Use mesh tape to cover the edges of your patch. Mesh tapes are great because they’re thin yet strong and help the patch sit flatter on your ceiling.

After applying the tape, use a 6-inch taping knife to spread the drywall compound or mud across where the seams are and the entire perimeter of the patch.

There are tons of compound products you can buy for ceiling patches. To streamline the repairs, you can use a pre-mixed all-purpose drywall compound.

With the first coat done, it’s best practice to recoat the patch twice or thrice. It’s also advisable to do so even if the first patch already looks promising.

Step 4: Apply the Second or Third Coat

Once the compound has dried, use a sponge to taper the seams with the compound using a sponge. Next, use your taping knife to scrape out bits and pieces that are sticking out.

Use 120-grit sandpaper to smoothen out your patch. Use a hand sander to make the sanding process more convenient. Next, we apply the second coat of mud.

Tape the patch’s edges so the rest of the ceiling gets protected when applying the second coat. You don’t need to put as much mud as you did during the first coating.

Repeat the sanding process when the second coat is drying to help blend and smoothen the coat with the rest of the ceiling. If necessary, repeat the coating process.

Step 5: Apply Drywall Primer

Applying primers is essential as it helps even out paint absorption with the surrounding ceiling. If we skip this part, there could be flashing around our patch.

Flashing occurs when two areas of a surface are applied with paint differently. Make sure to get quality primers before applying the topcoat.

Primer seals fresh drywall mud and provides extra bonding for the paint. The patch can soak up paint unevenly without the primer and sticks out like a sore thumb.

Ceiling Repairs You Can’t DIY

Anybody can handle minor cracks or issues. But, there will be cases where the issues get too big, and you’d need professional help. If you have these issues, calling licensed and experienced contractors is best.

Cracks or Leaks from Water Damage

Leaks might seem small at a glance. But sometimes, there could be underlying issues that are out of sight. You could get moisture issues, structural damage, molds, and electrical problems.

If the ceiling is underneath the piping, there could be damage to the piping. In some cases, damage could stem from a leaky roof.

Some of the most prominent tell-tell signs of water damage include water stains on the ceiling, condensation, cracks, and leaks. Get a quote from your local contractors if you can’t pinpoint the issue or want to ensure no underlying issues.

Sagging Ceilings

Sagging occurs when moisture accumulates over time in a specific area and hangs lower from the rest. Call a contractor ASAP when your ceiling is sagging.

Sagging ceilings pose risks to your family. The worst-case scenario is if the ceiling collapses and causes further damage.

Key Takeaways

You can fix minor ceiling patches with the proper prep work and materials. Before starting repairs or patching on your ceiling, consider the following:

  • Always ensure safety by using goggles and dust masks.
  • Coat the patch with drywall compound or mud two or three times.
  • Use drywall primers to prevent flashing.
  • Call the right contractors if you’re unsure of what to do.
  • Call contractors immediately if significant issues like a sagging ceiling are visible.

For all your ceiling and roofing concerns, look no further than Fahey Roofing. Get a free quote today!