I’ve recently noticed that the crown molding in my home has a gap at the top where it was caulked. It hasn’t done this before.
After crown molding is installed, it is caulked at the top and bottom, to hide the gap. Occasionally, this may need to be recaulked. The changes in temperatures will cause the caulk to expand and contract, especially if this area is along an outside wall. In addition, if the caulk has been there for a number of years, it just may be time to recaulk the area.
In some cases, if the gaps are minor, the caulking can just be touched up, or applied over the old caulk, without having to remove any of the caulk. This makes the job much easier. In applying new caulk, it is best to use a caulk with silicone, as it will stretch somewhat, helping withstand the temperature variations. If your current caulk is white, you may not need to touch the area up with paint after the caulk is applied. However, if the crown molding is a different color and the caulk was painted, you’ll need to make sure that you use a paintable silicone caulk.
If you have to remove the old caulk, begin by laying a drop cloth on the floor, then use a razor knife to cut the old caulk out. Be careful not to cut into the drywall or the crown molding itself. Once the caulking is out, you’re ready to add new caulk. If you haven’t caulked before, a word of caution: apply a minimal amount of caulk when you begin. Applying too much caulk (cutting too much off the caulk tube nozzle) will create a mess and will cause more work at the end, along with the job not looking professional. After the caulk is applied, run your finger along the joint to smooth it out. Although this may not be clean and fun, this finishing touch is what makes the job look good.
Let the caulk dry, and if needed, you’re ready to paint the caulk. If you’re not great at painting such a small line, consider using an artist’s brush. It can make things much easier and neater.
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