Trimwork - Caulking

Samantha111July 30, 2011

So do you caulk around trimwork, windows and doors? My painter did this. I think I actually like the look of uncaulked where the natural seams between things are visible. Is that maybe what we see in old homes or buildings? It looks very clean but I'm not sure this is what I'm used to looking at.

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Yes, it is normal for trim to be caulked.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 10:11AM
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But Samantha, you are right, it's not historical. Before latex sealants, painters only had oil-based putties. So it was just paint that filled most cracks.
Today most people like things to look hermetically sealed/seamless, when for years is wasn't the case, unless your woodwork was spectacularly good, you accepted an occasional seam.
On home exteriors, most failures from rot are caused by over-caulking of things, not under-caulking; so less is definitely more.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 2:39PM
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Interesting. I think the seamless trim does lose some dimension. I probably won't notice it after a while but it looks unnatural to me for it to morph into the wall. It has kind of a molded look. It's white on white right now so I'm sure it will not be so obvious with a bit of contrast in color.

They also painted the hand plastered ceiling losing some of the fine detail of the hand finish and natural look of the plaster.

I guess we're all used to different things. The imperfection and hand tooled workmanship is why I love the old places

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 9:38PM
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"The imperfection and hand tooled workmanship is why I love the old places"

That's why it's sad when painters prep, sand, caulk, fill and then SPRAY original trim work in older period historical homes rather than replicate by using a brush! Reputable renovating contractors insist on the finishers replicating back to the original as close as possible, but it comes at a price.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 11:50AM
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I love the brushwork too. I don't want my finishes to look sprayed or for all the brushwork to flow together for a smooth slick surface. I'm going to be doing some cabinet painting and would like to use a brush. This place is, unfortunately, not old. So slick and clean modern materials and methods are the norm so don't look out of place. I have to reach a happy medium around here for that reason. Otherwise it wouldn't relate to the house well. It's relatively new construction and materials. But I do love the old more and for the touch of the craftsman's hand to be seen not covered. It just feels very personal, human and real or natural.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 1:04PM
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Sorry, looking at what I wrote, I shouldn't say unfortunately my home isn't old. It just isn't very special. At all. There are lots of great things about the new and it can obviously be beautiful too when well done. I just love the old places and ways and am weary of cheap mass produced things and all the plastic I have to choose from right now!

Thanks for your help and input.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 8:52AM
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