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Old 11-09-2015, 11:06 PM   #1
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Recomendations for caulking/spackling trim..???


Hi Guys...

Need your advice and recomendations in regard to filling our trim joints.

Mike and I are just finishing his old 1950 SoCal home and installed crown...ok / satisfactory job considering 1) there is not a flat or square ceiling or wall (despite extensive shimming/shaving and 5/8 rock) and 2) coming from Colorado mountain country, we had very limited experience with crown.

Installed primed MDF. The MDF was local and assumed to be seasoned to the climate.

The joints were scarf joints and tight when installed and well tacked.. we thought.

We filled and sanded with a sandable DAP spackle.

2 months later we have joint separation.

The ceiling is low, and I'm reluctant to use a caulk, as being unsandabel to level, I believe that will show poorly.

I'm thinking of trying a MH Ready Patch... but I'd sure appreciate some of you finish pro's recomendation as to product and technique as how best to fill and finish this.

And should we have glued these joints, or what should we have done originally. (I haven't had this issue with trim in Colorado)

TIA
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Old 11-09-2015, 11:35 PM   #2
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Spackle was the wrong thing to use, it does not flex or expand and contract.
It should have been caulked.
Spackle's for filling small nail holes.
Yes it should have been glued.
Only need enough caulk to fill the gap, not all over the crown or wall.
A simple wipe down with a damp sponge will smooth it out and remove the excess.

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Old 11-09-2015, 11:56 PM   #3
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Yes Joe..... I guess i did not expect that contraction / shrinkage / and kind of worry that I will get subsequent expansion with climate changes... resulting in caulk bulging.

(But I do think that is about my best bet at this stage... just try to wipe it flat... guess I was just hopeing for any sandable/ expandable product... but I sure don't know of that miracal product)

Thanks....
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:31 AM   #4
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JMAY.... Do you have any special advice/tricks as best product/technique to finish this...???

TIA

Best
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:02 PM   #5
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Crackshot may be an option, MTN. I won't speak on behalf of JMays, but, I think he has recommended it in the past for situations like this. I've not used it for scarf joints or any wood for that matter, but, it might be worth a look see.
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:38 PM   #6
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Thanks Gymshoe....

I'm going to give it a try...

Trying to fill/level DAP Alex plus with a damp sponge is pretty difficult... no matter how lightly I wipe it.

I've never had this problem before (refering to Colorado work).

It's kind of strange... I understand the climate is different here (not as dry as Co but also not with extreem temperature variation...

This is Mikes 60 year old home part and I don't suspect it is framing shrinkage which is ...well 60 years dry... and I see no evidedence of settlement or anything like that.

And I am not having an issue with the base moulding... which is primed finger joint...

AND I always thought MDF was more stable than FJ wood....

Basically... I don't understand what is causing the separation and contraction.. (actually, I have not seen any expansion and closing of it yet... so it may be a one time thing.)

Best and thanks for the CrackShot idea... gonna try it tomorrow.
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:16 AM   #7
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I would also want to keep the caulk repair level, but after thinking about this a more is it really that important? Meaning unless there is a visible crack to catch the eye would it likely be noticed by anyone?

Is the issue that too much of the Alex Plus is being wiped away when trying to smooth it? I think it would perform better if the crack were wider. You may not care for this approach (which I have not tried), but I would think you could put on a relatively thick bead of caulk and then using a plastic putty knife cut to the same profile as the molding feather out the spreading of caulk so that it thick enough over the top of the crack to hold up (or try multiple passes with your wet finger).
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:06 PM   #8
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I don't really have an answer, except that whether MDF or wood, I would always acclimate the materials by leaving them in the actual house for 48 hours or preferrably a week before installing.

I had this same problem when installing some wood picture rail throughout an entire condo building's hallways. It was actually raining the day we delivered the trim. They insisted that the stuff be installed ASAP, that day actually. I didn't want to, but I said I'm not responsible for separations. It did, withing a few days, of course.

I don't think gluing will help in this situation. In mine, the painter caulked the gap and as far as I know they've been OK with it since then. Vinyl Spackle doesn't flex as much as caulk, but then again you can sand it to flatness.
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Old 11-11-2015, 06:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustNeverSleeps View Post
I would also want to keep the caulk repair level, but after thinking about this a more is it really that important? Meaning unless there is a visible crack to catch the eye would it likely be noticed by anyone?

Is the issue that too much of the Alex Plus is being wiped away when trying to smooth it? I think it would perform better if the crack were wider. You may not care for this approach (which I have not tried), but I would think you could put on a relatively thick bead of caulk and then using a plastic putty knife cut to the same profile as the molding feather out the spreading of caulk so that it thick enough over the top of the crack to hold up (or try multiple passes with your wet finger).
Rustnever... Thanks.... Yes..These original "beach cottges" have a 1:12 slope and low ceiling....The cracks are surprizingly visable/irratateing.

And yes... with the crown relatively intricate profile, to wipe the excess caulk off the profile.. I'm eventually wipeing it out of the crack... if it was something like "clamshell", I would be able to level it much better.

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Old 11-11-2015, 07:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnc View Post
I don't really have an answer, except that whether MDF or wood, I would always acclimate the materials by leaving them in the actual house for 48 hours or preferrably a week before installing.

I had this same problem when installing some wood picture rail throughout an entire condo building's hallways. It was actually raining the day we delivered the trim. They insisted that the stuff be installed ASAP, that day actually. I didn't want to, but I said I'm not responsible for separations. It did, withing a few days, of course.

I don't think gluing will help in this situation. In mine, the painter caulked the gap and as far as I know they've been OK with it since then. Vinyl Spackle doesn't flex as much as caulk, but then again you can sand it to flatness.
Jeffnc... Thanks...Ya got me thinking.....

I've assumed sort of that we were seasoned... it was from a local yard... and Mike kept it in the garage... which generally in SoCal is about the same as keeping it in the house... (I actually was not here to know the climatic condition when he installed most of it.)

But maybe it wasn't seasoned.... the garage slab is two years cured... but maybe conditions are different out there.

Maybe it was a one time shrinkage/contraction... so if I don't discover anything different or new... I'm going back to a sandable spackle type product (Crackshot .MH Ready Patch, maybe Durams water putty) and see if those solve a one time issue...)

Thanks

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Old 11-12-2015, 12:14 AM   #11
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Regarding previous visible comment, I meant if a caulking repair could be applied a little too thickly such that it was not perfectly level, a little higher than the surrounding profile but no longer had a visible crack. Seems like that would be a big improvement. Still I understand no one wants to see extra caulk gobbed around the crack which would likely occur since the profile is complex.

Hope you will have success with Crackshot Spackling or Durham's Water Putty. I suspect the spackling paste will do the trick.
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
Jeffnc... Thanks...Ya got me thinking.....

I've assumed sort of that we were seasoned... it was from a local yard... and Mike kept it in the garage... which generally in SoCal is about the same as keeping it in the house... (I actually was not here to know the climatic condition when he installed most of it.)

But maybe it wasn't seasoned.... the garage slab is two years cured... but maybe conditions are different out there.

Maybe it was a one time shrinkage/contraction... so if I don't discover anything different or new... I'm going back to a sandable spackle type product (Crackshot .MH Ready Patch, maybe Durams water putty) and see if those solve a one time issue...)

Thanks

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I would NEVER even try that stuff. It will dry too hard and fall out eventually.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:34 PM   #13
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I would NEVER even try that stuff. It will dry too hard and fall out eventually.
I'm not sure Durams will work... yes it dries very hard (but will sand) but one of its interesting properties is that it expands slightly in drying (which in this case of the crack in trim might be an advantage verse something that tends to shrink) Another advantage is I can mix it to the exact consistancy I want for forcing into the crack.

But yes.... used in the wrong place... it will fall out.

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Old 11-12-2015, 06:54 PM   #14
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In that sense it's good, but I think you'd want something with more flex in it, since those boards might still expand/contract a little.
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:52 PM   #15
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Hear Ya Jeff...

I guess I do not have enough evidence to know if it was a one time contraction shrinkage or an ongoing expansion/contraction with the climate.

Guess time will tell me...

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