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I know the caulk question comes up often here, and i know that mud and tape is the best policy, but i have a limited amount of matched paint and doing a tape job would require too much paint to cover.

I have a metal corner bead that has "moved" a millimeter enough for a hairline to form the entire length. i know i cant just mud it again i'm experienced enough to know it will crack again. If i tape it now we're talking about 6 inches wide at least of paint needed to cover. (floor to ceiling)

Can caulk put over the crack, (smoothed with finger, then wait a day) then covered in mud, hold over time? i was hoping the little bit of flexibility in the caulk would hold the hairline crack over time.

Believe me, i'm not so lazy that i don't want to tape it, i love to spackle, its totally a paint matching issue i figure i only have to paint 3 inches wide with caulk instead of 6 inches wide with tape and i only have a small amount of leftover paint to match.
 

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Drywall contractor
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As you said, it will crack again. The caulk will probably work, but I doubt for very long. The bead actually needs to be nailed back down. As you nail it, it may continue to crack further (and on the opposite side), but once it and the drywall underneath are tight to the framing again, it should be fine. If you're expecting it to last for years, not likely, but you never know...
 

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Ya give the caulk a try. Let it dry 24 hrs before touching up with the paint.
 
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