Painting seams in beadboard ceiling

schoolhouse_gwFebruary 4, 2014

Every winter the boards of the beadboard on my kitchen ceiling spread apart a bit and expose the unpainted seams. I know it will go back together as soon as the season changes but can I paint that exposed seam? or will the the paint hinder the shifting back in place? I'd have to prime first too, so there would be an extra layer of paint.

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Drives me crazy too. My GC told me, sotte voce, that that is why it makes more sense to use MDF (shudder).

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 12:02PM
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It's tedius but you could run a bead of caulk in each seam. I did that in my lake house. Well I didn't my DH did lol. I just directed the job. Make sure it's caulk that can be painted.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 12:51PM
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Paint will crack when the boards expand.

I too was going to suggest a flexible caulking which will expand and contract with the BB.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 1:27PM
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Get a full house humidifier. The first year we lived in our then new home our wood floors separated in the winter so we put humidifiers on each of our furnaces before the next winter. We've lived here ten winters now and they've not separated since. It also makes your home warmer therefore more comfortable for the whole family.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 2:42PM
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Embrace the proof of real wood bead board.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 3:48PM
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lol, eandhl.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 7:05PM
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Thin the paint down and paint the seams. The color will sink into the wood enough to mask them and will not be thick enough to make a difference with seasonal change. I wouldn't use a primer because that would keep the paint from "soaking" in.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:51PM
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We had a pipe burst last month and the resulting mitigation work meant that our humidity levels were dry as a bone, even for our Upper Midwest winter climate, for several weeks. I've noticed larger exposed seams in our board and batten, wood floors, and other areas. I've worked with painted woodwork in the past, and, like Jaysmom, I wouldn't use primer as part of a temporary fix. If it bothers you that much, just fill the seams with paint.

But, you know, wood floors, moulding, and other wood millwork are going to expand and contract with humidity levels. As eandhl notes, this is proof positive that you have the real deal!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:49PM
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Hi, I have a related question. We just painted our wood beam ceiling and the painter told us you couldn't caulk the seams and I think they look ugly.

It seems by the comments in this thread that **IF** we were to caulk the current seams, that with seasonal changes there might be more?

I like the idea of thinning the paint and trying to paint in to the seams.

My real question is, is my painter right in that filling the seams is a no-no? Or, was he just trying to do a quick job?

I just can't seem to get over how ugly the seams look!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 1:22AM
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Update: it's June and by now everything has gone neatly back together as it usually does, so I'll worry about it next winter. :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 10:00AM
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