Your house built in the 1970s would likely have gypsum sheet interior wall surfaces (aka, drywall). Drywall sheets are 4′ wide and are horizontally joined by taping with a cement compound to bridge the joint.

When cracks show themselves as predictably as you’ve described, that’s most likely taping at the drywall seam that has failed. The tape joint needs to be redone or else they reappear shortly after each painting.

This drywall repair is best done by an experience4d painter or drywall taper. The tape and drywall mud needs to be cut and gouged off the wall which is a fairly dusty process. The new drywall tape needs to be bedded into the joint compound as close to the paper surface as possible for the taping to resist cracking. Then there are two or three more coats of mud to apply, light sanding, priming with paint and top coated with the paint color of choice.

Recurring short drywall cracks on inside wall surfaces are seldom a structural problem. Recurring ceiling cracks can be cause for more concern. Structural movement in walls is typically most evident in the poured concrete foundation.

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