Prime Before Or After Caulking?

 
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
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Prime Before Or After Caulking?


Just wanted to see what most professional painters thought about this. I prefer to prime first and then caulk, as it makes the gaps stand out a little more, and also makes inconsistencies in my caulk easier to spot and deal with.

In the past, when I caulked before priming, it seemed like the wood absorbed the moisture from the caulk, causing the caulk to dry more quickly and requiring more caulk to prevent cracking. Having to put more caulking in those corners lead to details being lost in the woodwork.

Has anyone noticed more cracking or shrinking on bare wood than on primed or am I just an incompetent caulker?
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:22 PM   #2
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


The Great Sadowl says prime then caulk. I just had this conversation with him 2 weeks ago.

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Old 12-01-2010, 06:29 PM   #3
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


I have my painter prime and paint all trim before I install.
From there its just a matter of fixing my gaps, nail holes, caulk and cut in
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:35 PM   #4
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


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I have my painter prime and paint all trim before I install.
From there its just a matter of fixing my gaps, nail holes, caulk and cut in
I'm usually the same way. I like to prime and paint before my trim goes up, and then after I fill my nail holes I paint one coat along the face of the trim and over any caulked joints. I also want to try that color match caulk that you can mix your paint in with and see what that looks like when all's said and done. Seems like it would allow me to not have to cut in my trim or tape it and still leave a nice line. That's all theory though :P
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:38 PM   #5
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


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The Great Sadowl says prime then caulk. I just had this conversation with him 2 weeks ago.
If that conversation was on a forum, do you have a link?
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:41 PM   #6
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


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If that conversation was on a forum, do you have a link?
Sorry, it was on a job site. He was asked to caulk some stop moldings that were installed. He said he would do it, but it had to be primed first for the caulk to properly adhere.

I trust his opinion, he is The Great Sadowl, after all.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:44 PM   #7
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


I like putting trim up raw and then having it finished in place.
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I don't normally talk to people like I talk to you, however you have the little immature schoolgirl mentality so this is new to me.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:45 PM   #8
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


Then he caulks, primes, checks everything and then paints.
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Thanks for that tidbit of information Darcy.
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I don't normally talk to people like I talk to you, however you have the little immature schoolgirl mentality so this is new to me.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:45 PM   #9
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


LOL he said raw
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:48 PM   #10
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


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LOL he said raw
Raw Wood
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:57 PM   #11
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


I'd believe him. My boss has had me caulking on our current job, and it's driving me crazy. When I put enough caulk on the wood to keep it from cracking, he tells me I'm using too much and the detail is lost. I use less and the stuff cracks. RAA!

Edit: By the way, I like my wood medium well.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:00 PM   #12
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


The normal way is to prime and then caulk but I have caulked before priming without consequence
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:07 PM   #13
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


I prime all painted woodwork all sides before it is installed. That way it's easier to do a fine sanding before it goes up. I just find it faster, and it gets back primed.

Yes, prime then fill. Even nail holes.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:57 PM   #14
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


Prime first will prevent the wood from absorbing the moisture in the caulk.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:20 PM   #15
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


on the big jobs where the painters take care of the filling, fill and caulk everything before priming, then touch up anything before color goes on teh wall..

ive seen guys spray first then fill, but they run into the issue of the primer semi filling holes and such which leaves void which cant be properly filled,,

personally i like the idea of filling nail holes and touching up and bad joints first, then spray and come back and caulk.

ive seen some painters caulk after the color goes on the wall, but this leads to discoloration of both the paint and the caulk which looks like S$%^
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:05 PM   #16
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


I'm not a professional painter. I did work with one for about 6 months.

My two painters I use are extremely high end. They both do flawless work.

So, if you fill before priming, then the wood absorbs the moisture from the filler. This is very noticible on stain grade work. For paint grade, you want the primer to seal the tops of the nails. No potential bleed through.

The accepted proceedure is to prime first. Or with stain grade work you stain and first coat of sealer, then you fill, custom matching your fillers to the colour needed. You should not be able to see where there were any nail holes.

Trust me, I've done lots of high end work, and these two painting contractors know their stuff.

And damm those painter guys are expensive.

And I've seen the poor results if not done properly.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:19 PM   #17
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


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I'm not a professional painter. I did work with one for about 6 months.

My two painters I use are extremely high end. They both do flawless work.

So, if you fill before priming, then the wood absorbs the moisture from the filler. This is very noticible on stain grade work. For paint grade, you want the primer to seal the tops of the nails. No potential bleed through.

The accepted proceedure is to prime first. Or with stain grade work you stain and first coat of sealer, then you fill, custom matching your fillers to the colour needed. You should not be able to see where there were any nail holes.

Trust me, I've done lots of high end work, and these two painting contractors know their stuff.

And damm those painter guys are expensive.

And I've seen the poor results if not done properly.
Yeah, with stain grade work, I've always stained first, then used custom color oil-based putty, then sealed everything.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:28 PM   #18
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


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Yeah, with stain grade work, I've always stained first, then used custom color oil-based putty, then sealed everything.
We stain, then a coat of sanding sealer, or a cut down coat of the finish product, then fill. If you fill after the stain you can still get bleeding and some smearing of the filler into the adjoining wood pores.

Typically the painters make up four balls of coloured putty, with slight variations in colour. Then they go over the trim, two balls in each hand and apply the appropriate colour to each nail hole.

A good example would be on oak where you have strong differences in colour due to the strong grain in oak. When we are installing oak , we are carefull as to nail placement to help out the painter a bit.

Like I said, I don't want to see one nail. (boy I'm fussy )
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:04 PM   #19
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


I was taught to overfill nail holes first, sand all trim smooth, vac off and caulk, followed by a primer.

The advantages were:

After sanding, the trim is smooth for caulking and it's easier on your finger.

The caulk fills the gaps, not primer that isn't flexible.

Nail filler will flash if it isn't primed, it keeps soaking up paint.

You're painting directly over primer and the topcoat bonds better.

Almost all the paint grade trim we used came pre-primed!

This isn't the only way, but what worked best for us.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:33 PM   #20
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Re: Prime Before Or After Caulking?


Our goto method is to install the trim.

Prime with Zissner "Cover Stain"

Fill nail heads and chaulk voids.

Wait 2 days.

Then paint.

We find if you paint to soon after chaulking you will get spider web cracks in the finish. When you chaulk remember to have equal to or greater the width of the seam in depth of installation.


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