Thursday, 14 July 2011

Cracks in the VJs

It's been a dry winter in Brisbane which is not a bad thing considering the major floods earlier this year.

The dry weather means the timber tongue and groove/vertical join (VJ) walls are opening up. Even the freshly painted VJs from the sunroom are splitting ever so slightly.

Cracks in the VJ walls
A lot of renovators fill the gaps between each VJ before painting them. We are probably in the minority as we don't, unless it is a very substantial gap. For that we use a flexible filler.

It is such an overwhelming job to gap each vertical join in the wall, from floor the ceiling. We took the view that the walls are going to shrink and swell over time, and life is too short to worry about the occasional crack between joins in the wall. A few days of rain often fixes it.

The cracks remind us that we live in an old house with real timber walls; authenticity doesn't have to be perfect.


  1. Hi lovely

    well we are in for rain (apparently) over the next few days -so maybe you will have another photo to show us next week.

    I can only imagine the job of filling in each crack with filler as a similarity to the song >

    "99 bottles of beer on the wall - 99 bottles of beer"...
    you know the rest :)
    What a job!

    have a great Friday :)


  2. I agree, a bit of 'character' in a house. (well that's my excuse anyway). Life is way too short to go around looking for cracks to fill! x

  3. I have to say that as much as I love character, we didn't fill the cracks in our bedroom when we painted it, and did with the living room. And I have to say I prefer the look of the living room (and it makes it easier to paint). Happily, despite the dry weather in Townsville the last few weeks, I've only seen one crack open up. But isn't it great having real timber walls; they are strong enough to hang art, don't break when something hits the wall, and add so much character!

  4. I was worried about gaps on my vj walls... I should go bunnings and get some flexible filler! Thanks for the good information!

  5. My husband filled most of the gaps but we still have some cracking up..especially round the window sills after a while. Such is life!

  6. This is exactly what I love about your blog. You show us the 'real stuff' about renovating an old Queenslander.

    Have a fab weeked.Pam x

  7. I have been talking to many friends experiencing the same problem at the moment...gotta love vj's! I do know however that you have done the right thing by not gapping as eventually the gapping cracks too and is very difficult to get out. In fact, those people in heritage listed homes are forbidden from using gap sealer at all as it is so bad for the timber and the longevity of the home.

  8. Oooh, ours is doing the same as it does every winter AND it was the culprit for my mirror smashing to the floor. I use the grooves for all nails to hang anything in the house that has a VJ wall. This winter it's separated more that usual and that's why the nail loosened. I was looking at it the other night and it all made sense. No spooky forces as you thought ... just the bloody cold, dry weather.x

  9. Hi bis mod - long time no comment. I have been lurking but too lazy to comment! Love the progress on your place. The sunroom looks great and I love the bookshelves - need some of those at our place. I hear ya about the cracks - we have them everywhere - but we are like you guys - we just wait for the weather to change. they will disappear next week! happy renovating. ps - love the pineapple cooking adventure too! karen

  10. A previous owner filled the gaps in our lounge/hall/bathroom and every winter the fireplace dries out the air a bit more and we get cracks showing.Like you guys we only fill big gaps and the ceiling to stop the dirt falling down.I'll happily live with the cracks for life with VJs.

  11. Hey feels like I am totally out of the loop with blogging will scroll down and catch up. Thanks for your lovely comments about Lotte. I just have to say hello to new commenter the fab Karen....go Karen, so excited you left a comment was only thinking of you the other day and lastly please give a big hug followed by a punch, just kidding, to everyone's favorite builder Mr Rooney ....and if you see Mrs Rooney jr do the same....sending love their way xxx kath ps I reckon mr Rooney would be so fab as a builder on the block ... Can't you just see it?ha

  12. Call me anal but I am a bit of a gap filler around here. And we too get plenty of them. ;-)

  13. We gap filled our last house including the ceilings- yep complete insanity. Betsy we have not been as precious with and I think she's ok with it! Perhaps next time a rain inviting post would be better NOT before a weekend though. We will probably be at ikea - our wet weather weekend backup plan! melx

  14. Thanks for your comments everyone - it is interesting what others do with their VJs, isn't it?
    Karen, welcome back to commenting...I'm a lurker too on some blogs, so I completely understand. Glad to know you're still out there!! xx

  15. I am way behind in reading your posts Anita! Looks like you have all been painting and cooking up a storm this week! Good on you. I love the look of the Trinidad eggs. I think that is going to be a Sunday Night supper at our place soon.

    Best wishes and happy weekend,

  16. I still have the calluses on my index finger from shoving No More Gaps in the VJs in our house at Nundah back in the early '90's. Bet they've all opened up by now too.

    Jennifer xx


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