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Help with old wood plank ceiling

We are remodeling a 150-200 year old farmhouse that has 10 inch wood planks on the ceiling in the dining room. Dirt and dust falls down from in between the cracks. Is there anything we can do to fill these cracks that will be permanent and not crack (like caulking probably would)? We are wanting to keep the ceiling, but may have to sheetrock over it if we can't come up with a good solution. We don't want dirt and dust falling down into our plates while eating dinner!

Re: Help with old wood plank ceiling

With anything that you put in the cracks, you'll have to take into consideration the expansion and shrinkage that's possible in a 10" wide plank. It'll happen with the seasonal changes.

Based on that, you need something that will not be rigid, like drywall mud or rock hard putty. You want something that gives...like caulk. It's going to crack to some degree but it'll still be better than anything else. Get a good quality.

In HD the other day, I was looking at commercial caulking that comes in buckets. You might look around in that area to get something heavier than tub and tile caulk.

Good Luck.

Re: Help with old wood plank ceiling

One option, the same thing I did for a similar problem, is to seal the boards from the attic/top side. You will have to remove the insulation, which may best be accomplished by sealing between one set of rafters at a time. Simply lay the insulation to the side, seal the boards. Re-install insulation, then proceed to the next set of rafters. Be sure to use a flexible caulk. I used a eurathane based caulk, shermax, from sherwin williams.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Help with old wood plank ceiling

in the old days they used to stretch a canvas material sort of like the material they used to make sails with over the ceiling that they glued to the wood with hide glue and tacked it up then they skimmed it with lime plaster which hardended like a rock. they did the same with planked walls. check with your local historical society or museum.

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