Fixing the Split

by Rachel Blackburn in ,

The previous owner of our house loved to hang things from the wood beam ceiling.  I never met her, but I know this by the sheer number of hooks and nails Michael and I have pulled out of the ceiling.  

So it shouldn't have surprised me that she tried to hang something in the board that wraps around the fireplace, but I guess it did.

Looking at the wood that wraps the fireplace, it's easy to see that it's a 1x8, not a full beam.  A nail near the edge of the wood would not be a good idea, because you run the risk of splitting the wood.  

But that's what she did.  Right into the edge of probably the most noticeable piece of wood ceiling in the house.  It split.

No worries, she hung another nail above it.

As Michael was going along staining the ceiling (I offered to help but was basically told this was his baby), he was thinking of a simple way to fix the crack so it wouldn't be noticeable once it was stained.  He was inspired by the nail in the board and figured out a creative way to use it in the repair.  It came out great, so we thought we'd share the solution!


- How to fix a cracked ceiling board -


Wood glue

Plastic pipette (we got ours on

Nail (if you don't already have on in the beam)


Wood filler



1. If you don't already have a nail in the board, hammer one in above the crack.  Give it a good inch or two between the nail and the crack so you don't crack it further.

2. Cut off the tip of the pipette with scissors

3. Fill the pipette with wood glue

4. Squeeze the glue into the crack.

5. Hook the clamp to the nail and the base of the board, squeezing the crack together.

6. Allow to dry for at least a couple of hours, or overnight.

7. Remove the clamp and nail.

8. Fill in the crack and nail hole with the wood filler and let it dry.  Try to get as little on the board as possible, because sanding it will change the way the stain absorbs and the repair will be more noticeable.

9. Stain the board

10. Sit back and enjoy your fresh, crisp ceiling, and ignore the mess below.  Yes, that is a baby gate in the fireplace.