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milbry18 12-02-2010 05:50 AM

Puttying Crown joints and trim nail holes
I have alot of nail hoes from a brad nailer in my crown molding and window and door casings that need to be puttied and then painted. Also the 45 deg corners on the crown and windows and doors.

the trim is that styrofoam style light finish trim from Lowes. Any ideas best product to use on this, and least amount of sanding finishing?

Thanks in advance!

ironhat 12-02-2010 10:56 AM

Quick drying spakling compound. Test it on a scrap to be sure that there's no funky reaction - better yet, take the scrap piece with you and do the test while in store. It's not like you will be using half a can. I recommend the fast drying spakle solely for the color change indicating dryness. Secondly, I fill the holes initially with a finger tip to get the bulk filled. But then, I use a putty knife to smooth off the remaining spakle, leaving just enough to sand smooth. That sounds like a lot of steps but you can wring it out as you see fit. Oh yea, leave the miters alone. Patching them up will only make it more noticeable. Leave it as it is and you can say the house settled. ;-)

handyguys 12-02-2010 11:28 AM

I'll second the lightweight spackle recommendation. I haven't tried the stuff that changes colors but it should be fine too. For nail holes you could possibly get good enough that you can fill and smooth with your finger and not even have to sand!

For the corners do not use the spackle. Use "painters caulk". Dont use silicone caulk. Painters caulk is a cheaper caulk but its designed for such applications. It takes paint well, dries fast and cleans up easily. Hopefully you don't have huge gaps. The painters caulk can also be used at the junction between the wall and crown and the crown to ceiling. When you do that it really makes it look nice. Once everything is dry you can paint away.

havasu 12-02-2010 11:44 AM

I would also use painter's caulk. Since the top and bottoms of the crown molding usually have to be caulked for a clean look, I just dab my finger in the excess caulk and dab the nail holes and corners to cover the cracks. Once it dries, I give it a light coat of paint and it looks seamless. Remember, saliva on fingertips can really aid in providing a smooth finish with the caulk while wiping the excess.

handyguys 12-02-2010 11:50 AM


Originally Posted by havasu (Post 51732)
I just dab my finger in the excess caulk and dab the nail holes and corners to cover the cracks.

I do that sometimes too. The downside to that approach is the painters caulk cannot be sanded so you need to do it right the first time. At least with the lightweight spackle you can sand if you mess up.

spraygunn 12-02-2010 12:57 PM

Hey milbry,

Nearly 50 years ago my father showed me how to fill a nail hole. It sounds simple but there is a technique to tit. I’m a firm believer that nail holes are to be filled using “Painter’s Putty”. They make it for just that reason. If you take a small wad of putty that fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, using your fingers, push the putty into the hole using your thumb, then using a semi stiff putty knife slide the putty knife between the putty and the wood. You achieve two functions by doing this...1) You are filling the hole all the way to the bottom and 2) if you cut the putty off with the putty knife while it’s still under pressure from you thumb the putty will have a small crown on top which when the putty cures will shrink to level of the substrate. Since putty is more dense than spackle it is less likely to crack or pop out. Think about it why do they make “Painter’s Putty and why do they call it a putty knife? In my opinion, spackle is used to fill imperfections in walls not for filling nail holes.

At the point where the crown molding meets the wall and ceiling and the corners, I would suggest a high quality NON silicone caulk, preferably a 55 year latex caulk. Keep a wet rag with you when caulking. The secret to a good caulking job is to keep your fingers clean of any residual caulk. If the cracks are on the larger size you might have to caulk it again the following day due to shrinkage, and it will shrink.

Best of Luck,

Hand Painted by Steve

milbry18 12-03-2010 05:41 AM

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

I have a bucket of Sheetrock Green lid on hand I guess that would not be considered fast drying compound?>

Steve when you say painters putty do you mean like wood putty or is this something different?

handyguys 12-03-2010 06:37 AM

Yeah, I'm not talking about joint compound. I'm talking about this... Dap 12141 Fast'N Final Spackling Interior and Exterior, 1-Pint: Home Improvement

Spraygun is talking about this Dap 12242 All-Purpose Painter's Putty Interior/Exterior, 1-Pint: Home Improvement

This is the painters caulk I usually get Dap 18065 ALEX Acrylic Latex Painters Caulk - White 10.1-oz Cartridge (18670): Home Improvement

spraygunn 12-03-2010 07:14 AM

Morning milbry,

Don't get the Dap putty, I've had past problems with it. Find Crawfords, much better.


Hand Painted by Steve

joecaption 01-09-2011 12:34 PM

Painters caulk will not hold up on crown seams. Use the 50 year Alex Ultra paintable caulking so you do not have to go back every year and redo it.
I apply it and then ASAP just wipe over it with a damp sponge for a perfect finish.

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