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Old 10-01-2008, 04:03 PM   #1
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


Hello everyone,

I just finished hanging drywall on the walls in my family room after taking down old ugly wooden paneling. Turns out back in the late 60's they hadn't yet invented straight edges, and that must be why the ceiling turned out to be concave in some places, convex in others.

So, essentially I ended up with gaps between my top panels and the ceiling of minimum 1/4 inch to maximum of 2 inches. So what would be the best way to cover them? I was thinking about just covering them with crown molding and escaping easy but there is no crown molding in any other room in the house, so I think it'll be weird. So, should I just waste half a bucket of mud (hope I'm exaggerating) and just completely fill in those gaps before I even start taping? What else can I do, maybe I should get inside corner bead, or would I need to fill in those gaps even if I did get the inside corner bead?

Thanks in advance for all your advice!

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Old 10-01-2008, 04:20 PM   #2
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


1960's They probably used 3/8" drywall. which would of bowed up between the ceiling joists. you could try the mud but for a DIY it could be challenging. Best bet remove and replace with 5/8"

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Old 10-01-2008, 04:30 PM   #3
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


2" is kinda wide to slather it full of mud...it can be done...but not recommended.

I would cut the offending area out and put pieces back in that would meet up closer. Personally, I'd would rather have a seam to deal with than the 2" of mud. Either way, use the setting type compound not the pre-mixed stuff...it will crack and take for ever to dry.
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:48 PM   #4
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


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1960's They probably used 3/8" drywall. which would of bowed up between the ceiling joists. you could try the mud but for a DIY it could be challenging. Best bet remove and replace with 5/8"
Umm.. yeah, NO way.

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2" is kinda wide to slather it full of mud...it can be done...but not recommended.

I would cut the offending area out and put pieces back in that would meet up closer. Personally, I'd would rather have a seam to deal with than the 2" of mud. Either way, use the setting type compound not the pre-mixed stuff...it will crack and take for ever to dry.
Well in the place with the 2" gap I was thinking of screwing in a small piece of scrap drywall and taping it... -- actually, it's the only place that's that big, and it's shaped like a wedge, butting up against a corner. So, I think that one will be okay to cut a small piece and fit it in there. But for the rest, I guess I will try to mud over. Setting compound, you say?

Last edited by genEus; 10-01-2008 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 10-01-2008, 05:11 PM   #5
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


plugging with a scrap will work...YEARS ago, I help a guy in a similar situation...and he slathered the mud in...and I bet it took 2 weeks for it to dry...it was always gray until it dried and full of cracks. He started putting more on and he must of pushed too hard. The dry "plug" fell into the wall, talk about a re-do. We did as you say.

Yes setting mud is actually the preferred mud to use for the tape coat...stronger, harder and large places set not dry, like concrete. I prefer paper tape...others like fiberglass...but use what works for you.
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Old 10-01-2008, 05:51 PM   #6
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


The crown moulding idea would solve this, as would cutting in a patch.
If you cut in the patch, I'd suggest taping it of course, but would use a wide knife to build up the mud and feather it out lower than you normally would to better conceal the joint.

On future jobs, it is always best to hang the top sheet first, as tight to the ceiling as possible. If the ceiling isn't level, scribe it to fit tight but remain reasonably horizontal. The bottom sheet goes on 2nd, and any gap that you have will be covered by the baseboard.

For me, on this, paper tape is a no-brainer.
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Old 10-01-2008, 05:54 PM   #7
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


Also, be sure that your patch pieces are securely fastened to studs, even if you have to cut a few inches off the top sheet. If they start or stop without being fastened to wood, you're guaranteed it will crack.
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Old 10-01-2008, 05:59 PM   #8
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


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On future jobs, it is always best to hang the top sheet first, as tight to the ceiling as possible. If the ceiling isn't level, scribe it to fit tight but remain reasonably horizontal. The bottom sheet goes on 2nd, and any gap that you have will be covered by the baseboard.

For me, on this, paper tape is a no-brainer.
I did hang the top sheet first but I didn't realize how big of a deal filling in those gaps could be, at that time it seemed that contouring the wall to fit the irregularities in the ceiling was way too difficult to undertake... but now I'm not sure if I would feel the same way.

I wonder if I can get away with some tasteful crown molding to avoid this hassle...
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:58 PM   #9
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


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I did hang the top sheet first but I didn't realize how big of a deal filling in those gaps could be, at that time it seemed that contouring the wall to fit the irregularities in the ceiling was way too difficult to undertake... but now I'm not sure if I would feel the same way.

I wonder if I can get away with some tasteful crown molding to avoid this hassle...
Keep in mind that crown molding accentuates uneven walls. I have seen some real ugly crown molding that was used to cover up walls like you have.
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:51 PM   #10
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


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Keep in mind that crown molding accentuates uneven walls. I have seen some real ugly crown molding that was used to cover up walls like you have.
i just can't win can I? heh
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:37 PM   #11
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


There is no way you can put crown on a ceiling with 2" droops between joists.

If you don't want to fix the ceiling then why worry about the ceiling/wall joint? Ugly is ugly whether it's just the ceiling or the joint too!
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:57 PM   #12
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


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i just can't win can I? heh
Well there is a way to win but it involves explosives, bull dozers and lots of dump trucks.

Seriously there are ways to do this but it would be time consuming and cost more money.

My suggestion. Just put on some filler like parts of sheet rock and either screw it or glue it to the studs that are showing. Then use the mesh rather than the tape and cover the smaller holes. Then mud over it with a light coat. After it's dry repeat the process over and over till it is relatively smooth.

As you already stated your house has settled and caused some walls to come out of square. You are not going to be able to fix this unless you do some major construction.

Let it go and make it look as good as you can with what you have.
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:14 PM   #13
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


All right, I'm finally going to find some time to do this, been way too busy with other things to finish this room. Now, another question... So I've already got the 90 min. Durabond setting compound to fill in any and all holes. However, one problem I see is that in a couple places where the ceiling meets the wall and where there is a gap, there is nothing behind the wall. I think the previous owners cut out the horizontal stud that goes the entire length of the room at the top in two places, in order to fit in some HVAC ducts. So, how the heck would I even try to fill that in if the mud would have nothing backing it?

Anyone have ideas?

Thanks much!
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:46 PM   #14
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


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Originally Posted by genEus View Post
All right, I'm finally going to find some time to do this, been way too busy with other things to finish this room. Now, another question... So I've already got the 90 min. Durabond setting compound to fill in any and all holes. However, one problem I see is that in a couple places where the ceiling meets the wall and where there is a gap, there is nothing behind the wall. I think the previous owners cut out the horizontal stud that goes the entire length of the room at the top in two places, in order to fit in some HVAC ducts. So, how the heck would I even try to fill that in if the mud would have nothing backing it?

Anyone have ideas?


Thanks much!
Is there duct work in there?
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:51 PM   #15
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Mudding over gap between wall and ceiling


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Is there duct work in there?
well, no, because apparently he either planned to put it in but didn't or he moved it to a different spot, because in a couple of places there IS ductwork behind the gaps... But I'm not sure if that is good because it's a solid backing or bad, because it will be hot in the winter and cold in the summer.

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