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Old 03-20-2011, 10:08 PM   #1
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How can I get old caulk off after removing door casing?

I removed all the casing trim from several doors in my house as I'm in the process of replacing all the casing with a different style. I have already done this in 2 other rooms in the house during previous renovations, and in both cases I had problems getting the old bead of caulk off the wall and tearing the wall board paper. I always cut the caulk before removing the casing itself, but part of the caulk always remains on the wall, and usually takes some of the latex paint and wall board paper with it when I try to get it off. Even trying to use a razor scraper makes the scraper cut into the wall board, as I guess I can't get it flat enough to not go into the wall.

Anybody have any tips for what to do? I would prefer to just install wider casing to cover any boo-boos but the casing I'm using here is the same width as the old. I have tried to repair the areas in the past with spackle compound and sanding, but the texture NEVER looks the same as the surrounding wall and always sticks out like a sore thumb, especially with an eggshell paint finish.


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Old 03-20-2011, 10:53 PM   #2
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If it is that close, and you have no room to spare, consider leaving more 'reveal' at the jamb than was originally there. Then the new caulk should cover your wall mishaps. There's no "law" on how large a reveal has to be.


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Old 03-20-2011, 11:07 PM   #3
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Sometimes the wall board tears farther than the door jamb width. I'd love to try to avoid tearing it if at all possible.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:10 PM   #4
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You are doing the right thing by scoring both sides with razor knife.
What I usually do with the caulk that remains is to slice it off with a sharp chisel
held at a low angle. Press it gently and use a lifting sort of touch while you are sliding the chisel up the wall.
You will make some gouges but if you keep most of the chisel blade under where the casing will lay you should
be able to cover with a small bead of painters caulk wiped down with a pretty damp cloth.
Take Willies advice too!
Be gentle and take your time!
Richard The Door Guy

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Old 03-21-2011, 06:52 AM   #5
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I've run into this problem many times, while replacing windows, doors, trim, etc.
Good advice from "Willie T" and "RC/DG".
Had some success using a chisel and a heat-gun (even a Hair-dryer) -
be careful with a heat-gun!
(Particularly with un-matchable wall-paper!)
Consider adding a "back-band" to the casing to cover "mishaps".
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:15 AM   #6
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I'd try a stiff 1" putty knife first. This usually takes care of the caulk in quick order. If it's really stubborn, try a window (razor blade) scraper........takes it right off.


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