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Painting Again: What should I use to fill cracks?

  1. Nov 2, 2011 #1
    It's time to do some more interior painting. Yay! :rolleyes: I typically use joint compound to fill in any small holes/cracks in the walls themselves. I am thinking I want to fill in some other cracks or spaces where the trim meets the wall (or rather, where it does not meet the wall) and where the frame of my door meets the wall (see photos below). Any thoughts on this? Just use the joint compound? Or is a caulking of sorts more appropriate?

    Gap where wall and trim interface:
    photo-2.jpg

    Crack at door frame/wall:
    photo1-3.jpg
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2011 #2

    Chi Meson

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    Big cracks, use joint compound. Some of those should be taped, or the compound will crack eventually. For the seams where the molding meets the wall, use
    http://www.northlandconstruction.com/products/3074/orig/Alex%20Plus%2003-1054.jpg
    Make sure it is clear, with silicone. It shrinks less and is less likely to crack when dry.

    If you use the white Alex Plus, you might need to put on a second bead after the first one cracks.
     
  4. Nov 2, 2011 #3
    I can't say much without looking at the actual wall. However, the first photo makes it look like spackle alone will not do. In the second photo, I think that there is already some material in the crack that you should probably remove. Then spackle carefully and neatly. I just finished a job like that myself.
     
  5. Nov 2, 2011 #4
    Hi Chi :smile: Thanks! Also, I am not familiar with "taping." Is that the lattice patterned tape I sometimes see? And do you mean that you see cracks in my pictures that you think should be taped? I am not a good judge of what size cracks need what kinds of treatments.
     
  6. Nov 2, 2011 #5

    Chi Meson

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    If I were trying to do a professional job, I would take a knife and cut out the stuff (old paint, old filler) that is in that crack next to the door; sand it; vacuum out the dust; put a layer of mud (compound); let that dry for a day or two; then that lattice tape you saw, then another layer; flatten with a wide knife; let dry a day; third layer; wider knife; sand, prime, paint.

    Even thinking about that makes me not want to paint again.

    Simpler method: I'd still want to cut out anything junky and raised up from that crack, then fill it with that clear Alex Plus. The white Alex is a buck cheaper, but the clear has never failed me. The crack will eventually reappear, especially if there is seasonal shifting/expansion. But if you just put joint compound into it, or cheap caulking, it will only look good for a week.
     
  7. Nov 3, 2011 #6

    brewnog

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    Fill the lot with caulk. If it cracks/sinks, caulk it again. Quick, easy, cheap, and you don't have to worry about doing a really neat job because you'll be doing it again some time soon anyway.
     
  8. Nov 3, 2011 #7

    FlexGunship

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    Caulk is a great idea around any heating element since the materials in that area will expand and contract. I used the same stuff from my windows to line the baseboard heaters in my condo. The paint itself has since cracked after heating and cooling cycles, but the caulk is in good shape.

    I have a hard time recommending tape. I have very high angles ceilings in my bathroom and the top at the peak is pealing from the steam rising. When I finally get up there to fix it, I'll be using caulk again.
     
  9. Nov 3, 2011 #8

    brewnog

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    At uni (before the days of wireless), we drilled holes through all the breeze block walls to install a network. At the end of the year, we pulled the network out, filled the holes with chewing gum, waited a day, and Tipp-Ex'd over the top. Worked a treat; you can even recreate the dimpled breeze block texture.
     
  10. Nov 4, 2011 #9
  11. Nov 5, 2011 #10
    I was going to suggest toothpaste. (just kidding...)
     
  12. Nov 5, 2011 #11

    OmCheeto

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    I prefer the paper tape. I found it incredibly difficult to hide the lattice pattern unless I used tons of mud. I replaced all the sheetrock in my house and found the lattice type tape only appropriate to use where two sheets come together, as they are beveled significantly enough to totally hide the tape with mud.

    And once you figure out how easy the paper tape is to use, you'll have it flying off the roll.
    Mud, tape, mud, dry for a day, sand, paint.

    Though, from the size of your cracks, I would recommend listening to others:

    http://www.northlandconstruction.com/products/3074/orig/Alex%20Plus%2003-1054.jpg

    ps. my sister uses toothpaste for pin holes.
     
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