Having cracks in the corners of doors and windows is inevitable, especially as a house continues to settle. Various temperature changes, along with regular wear and tear, will expose these cracks even more. The best thing to do is repair a drywall crack as soon as possible, before it gets larger and becomes a bigger issue.
Minor can often be repaired in a few days, whether the walls are made of plaster or drywall. Here is a quick three step process that will ensure your cracks are dealt with as soon as they appear:
Step 1: Cut
When faced with a drywall crack, the first step in the repair process requires cutting the wall to remove any loose material. Take a cutter and make a v-notch crack through the entire crack's length. Make sure the cut is at least 1/8 inch deep (1/4 inch at most). Protect any nearby woodwork with masking tape so that loose materials do not damage the wood.
Step 2: Embed
After the crack has been created, you can begin to add paper tape to the area in question. In order to prevent air bubbles being trapped under the tape, ensure that it is sufficiently moistened with water. After you have wet the paper tape, lay it over the crack and squeeze any excess compounds or air with a blade.
If necessary, apply another layer or two of compound and feather it off until everything looks as even as possible. Now let the tape dry for at least a day before you begin the next step.
Step 3: Apply
After your initial work has dried out, apply a second or third layer of compound to the area. Smooth the compound out as much as possible, because you do not want this area of the wall to protrude unnecessarily.
Let these layers dry, and then smooth them out as much as you can with sandpaper. After that is done, and the area is as smooth and dry as it is going to get, begin painting over the area. You may want to paint the surroundings a little bit too, just to make sure everything is as even as possible.
This is one of the easiest DIY repairs that you will encounter in the home, especially if the above steps are followed clearly. Make sure you use paper tape instead of fiberglass tape. It is stronger and will do a much better job, even if it is slightly more expensive.
If the cracks you encounter are more than 1/4 inch deep, you may have to use a quick setting crack filler to get the afflicted area to the same level as the rest of the wall.