Filling gap at ceiling for crown molding

jerry_njMay 20, 2011

I am installing a small (8' ceiling height) crown molding in a bedroom. The longest walls are about 18'.

Background: I have always used drywall compound (premixed) to fill all holes and gaps when doing interior painting. This includes nail pops, and cracks with a backing tape. I have also used the compound for various other filling jobs, like along he floor trim and door trim, including the 45 degree corners if there are any gaps.

Question is should I use a filler, such as drywall compound to fill the long gap at the ceiling and wall where the crown molding interfaces? This filler dries hard and can crack.

Or, should I use something like the exterior caulk I use outside, caulk that remains flexible and is less likely to crack on slight movement between the ceiling/wall and the crown molding.

I note too that I use drywall compound to fill nail holes in wood (e.g., crown molding) that is to be painted. Should I use wood filler?

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Interior paintable caulk---the brand I use is Alex.

That works better for any repair on a wall/trim than drywall compound(which shrinks).

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:35PM
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caulk for crown molding caulk top to ceiling
bottom to wall
the caulk will allow for expansion & contraction
of materials whereas drywall compound will not.

nail holes, I use wood filler after setting nail
into surface with nail set.

I use Alex brand caulk also, 35 to 50 year life
crystal clear goes on white and dries clear.

best of luck

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 7:57PM
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Thanks, and the the application with a caulk gun is a big plus. I still use a finger and wet rag to smooth out. I purchased some "35 year" Alex. Well I had it on hand. Outside I use something else that is an adhesive and caulk for a lot less $$ than the similar Alex.

I used drywall compound to fill the nail holes and on the joints (coped and scarf). The finished crown will be semi-gloss white.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 8:16PM
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Use caulk,I use DAP latex caulk with silicone in it, great stuff!

Here is a link that might be useful: Crown Molding

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 8:43PM
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I think the silicone added makes it an adhesive caulk. The tube I had on hand is the stuff that turns clear after it dries. I had done just one side and stopped for the day. When I came back and looked I at first thought the caulk had shrunk as the gaps were back. When the caulk was still white the gap disappeared, white (primed) crown molding and white ceiling. I will open another tube of the stuff that stays white.

I think for inside use the straight (simple) acrylic latex is sufficient.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 9:05PM
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If it is a wide gap I use compound, not to FILL the gap but to taper wall or ceiling to reduce the gap.When the gap is reduced to less than an 1/8th I caulk.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 1:00PM
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The gap I have had to deal with isn't wide. I have shifted to white caulk as the type that turns clear emphasizes the space until it is painted. It also makes the painting more demanding (masking) than if I use caulk that stays white. My ceiling is white (most common case)so the white caulk makes the gap disappear even without paint being applied.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 8:15PM
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I use backer rods for large gaps & then caulk the backer rods. again for expansion and contraction.
paint doesn't stick to silicon caulk.

best of luck

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:41AM
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"paint doesn't stick to silicon caulk. "

A good reason to NOT use it in place of painters caulk.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 1:06PM
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Alex plus,(latex w/ silicone), accepts paints just fine but shrinks, so often time a second pass is necessary. You want to make sure everything is primered before caulking as it doesn't adhere well to bare wood, drywall, etc.

I've also had good luck with dap's dynaflex 230

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 1:34PM
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good to know..I'll have to try it.
making a second pass is always a good idea if the
crack is more than 1/4" IMO

I haven't used silicone since using Lexell..
learned that lesson the hard way about it not
accepting paint. (tg it was my own house!)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:08PM
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