How to Caulk Crown Molding

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Caulking Crown Molding.
Caulking Crown Molding. (Image: ExtremeHowTo.com)

Learning how to caulk crown molding is a necessary skill for anyone who has this beautiful architectural feature in their home. Expansion gaps between the molding and the wall/ceiling are fairly common as a result of the natural heating and cooling process that takes place during each new season. Also, caulking the crown molding is a necessary step if it has just been installed and you intend to paint it.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Caulking gun
  • Trim caulk
  • Small scissors
  • Damp cotton rag

Insert the trim caulk into your caulking gun. Any caulk that contains silicone and acrylic will work fine. Make sure it's made for use on trim and it's paintable. These caulks are flexible and have good adhesion.

Use a small pair of scissors or knife to cut the top off the caulk at a 45-degree angle. Try to make the opening about 1/4-inch diameter, as this allows you to have more control over the amount of caulk that comes out.

Position the ladder near the wall you will be working on. Carefully climb the ladder until you can comfortably and easily reach the crown molding with your hands and caulking gun.

Use the gun to squirt caulk into any gaps that seem apparent, keeping in mind gaps usually form above and below the molding, as well as in the joints in the inside corners of the room where two pieces of crown molding join. Only use enough caulk to fill in the gap.

Glide the rag over the caulk, applying gentle pressure. This ensures you are pushing the caulk as far into the gaps as you possibly can, and it allows you to spread it into a thin, even layer. If you don't mind getting a little caulk on your fingers, you can also run your finger across the gap to evenly distribute the caulk.

Allow the caulk to dry for 30 minutes before you begin painting the crown molding or the walls.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you intend to pain the crown molding, use a glazing compound to fill in any nail holes before you apply the paint.
  • If the wall and crown molding are already painted, you can spread a small amount of Windex on the area you will be caulking. After applying the caulk, run your finger over the area. The Windex enables the caulk to only be present in the gap and not on the painted surfaces.
  • Never wait more than a couple of minutes before using your damp towel to wipe up any excess caulk. If it dries, you will be forced to sand the area to give the appearance of a smooth, clean surface.

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