The plaster ceiling in our second-floor bathroom is a maze of hairline cracks and crazing. The former owners had painted the ceiling with a thick sponge-textured paint to mask the problem, but now the cracks appear to have propagated through the paint.
There's no water leak problem. It looks as though someone may have stepped between the rafters in the attic long ago but caught themselves before falling all the way through the ceiling.
Are there any paint-on membrane products that could in turn be painted with a latex wall paint?
Best thing I've come accross is fiberglass screening. Skim coat the ceiling and embed the screening into it. Put a coat or two on top and lightly sand. I use 36" wide screening and overlap about an inch.
Use a fiberglass mesh system called Nu-wall. Available from http://www.spec-chem.com/nuwal/. It is a wallpaper system designed to repair cracked plaster. And you will not need to be skilled at skimming walls. It was very easy.
I will keep the screening and skim-coat as a fall-back position, since I haven't done it before. The Nu-Wall looks like it might be a little easier in some respects, since I do know my way around a paint roller.