Have a question about home repair or maintenance? Send a brief note to Home Remedies, Your Place, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60611, or e-mail. Be sure to include cs 1.6 bot patch your name, address and daytime phone number. Drywall mud Paper drywall mending tape or fabric crack tape. Tips If ceiling cracks are numerous or recurred quickly after previous painting, using a primer under the top coat may prolong the quality of your paint job. Things You Will Need. Protective eyewear Drop cloth 1-inch putty knife 3-inch putty knife 100-grit sandpaper 200-grit sandpaper Damp cloths or hand vacuum cleaner. Flat-blade screwdriver or painter's 5-in-1 tool. Spackling compound or other plaster-repair compound. Introduction Remove Old Drywall Patches and Tape. Make sure your workspace is covered with a drop cloth. Remove any old drywall tape or patches with the scrapper. To remove drywall tape, use the 5-in-1 tool to get underneath the lip of the tape and begin. Cover the crack with a thin layer of patching compound or drywall mud, applying it with the 3-inch putty knife and spreading it at least an inch from the crack in all directions. Press the paper or fabric tape gently into the wet patching compound. We've tried room deodorizers but they just cover up the odor. How can we eliminate it? Mary Rutkowski Arlington Heights A. You could start by cleaning the air ducts, said Troy Stanley, of Chicago Heating and Air Conditioning. Patch ceiling cracks thoroughly to produce a seamless surface for fresh paint. Patching ceiling cracks is an essential step in prepping a room for fresh painting. Usually a sign of normal settling, shallow cracks seldom indicate problems. Step 3 Apply Drywall Tape and Mud. Apply a single strip of drywall tape to the crack. Then, apply the first layer of joint compound making sure to push the mud through the mesh of the tape and into the crack. Today, there are fabricated joists that are made longer to hold up the entire 25-foot span of ceiling. The patching should solve the problem, Oriatti said. "If it the crack came back, I'd be surprised he said. A second, broader path of compound addresses this problem. Let dry thoroughly. Sand again with 200-grit paper. Vacuum or wipe away all sanding residue. Repairing Drywall Ceiling Cracks Scrape flaking paint and any other loose material from around cracks with the 1-inch putty knife. Thats not a bad supply list. My grocery list puts it to shame and is far more expensive (and thats without buying Dogfish Head IPA beer). Lets get started and eliminate your cracked drywall. Instructions: Step 1: Apply Fiberglass Mesh Tape to Your Drywall Crack. Step 5 Sand and Paint. Sand down the area if needed; prime and paint the area.