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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We currently are renovating a 75 year old house. Some trim is new and the rest of the trim (crown, baseboards, doors, etc) are all being stripped and re-painted. We've run into the issue of ALL the joints cracking already. Even along the top of the baseboards against the wall are cracking. We had thought possibly the wood should sit longer after being stripped to dry out properly, but we've already let it sit for months. We live in FL... humid and hot in summer... and right now cold and dry. We've really noticed the problem a lot lately... all over the house where work has been completed. So now we're not sure... is it the wood shifting or caulk?

We're caulking and then priming/painting. Should we reverse that? Prime, then caulk?

Also, we were using Alex Plus (JUNK) and then switched to Benjamin Moore trim caulk. Anything better out there we should try?

We'd really appreciate your help/advise on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm thinking that the season is definitely contributing to the problem. I've noticed shrinking in just the past few cold weeks we've had. But I was hoping that the new Ben. Moore caulk I switched to would help that problem with the cracks in seams. All the caulk is new in the house... Every piece of wood has been taken down, stripped and put back up to be painted, etc. So, I'm really trying to fix the problem... we're about halfway done with the house and I'd like to NOT continue this problem.

Should I switch caulk again? Or wait to paint in summer? Or wait longer after stripping? Although the wood has been drying out for months after stripping...
 

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Depending on budget:

Towertech is my favorite

White lighting isn't bad for the money

Polyseamseal is good but I mostly use that outside

After that anything with a Urethane in it should stretch better.

I think Alex is the whole problem though if you use any of these instead it should be fine. I would even prefer SW850 over that stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great, thank you for referring me to some other caulks that you think might work better. I definitely think that the Alex has been a huge contribution to the problem.... it was junk and one tube I opened came spilling out like water. Threw the whole batch away. I'm going to sit still and see how the Ben. Moore does... but I'm thinking it still might not be that great.

RCPainting: I'm in N. FL and it's been a cold winter for us so far. I'm keeping the heat at about 70 during the day and about 66 at night. It's really dry right now too. Any day that warms up to 75 or higher outside... it gets somewhat humid (really bad in summer)... and I can even tell the doors start swelling immediately. They stick when closing, etc. Just in the last few weeks I have seen recessed panels on some cabinets doors shifting and the caulk is completely pulling and cracking wide open. It's a mess.

My main issue, is that we've stripped all the wood in this house down to bare wood with Peel Away and Smart Strip paint stripper. If I don't get this problem figured out... the place will continue to be a waste of time. The cracks look terrible and I'd hate for the paint to start peeling again.

I've also seen people say it's best to prime first before caulking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Also, with the priming and then caulking... Would it be better to prime, then one layer of oil base paint, THEN caulk? Or would that be a mistake?
 

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pheno tastes yukky:mad:
Do you find your self with a lot of caulk in your mouth?:blink:





I will add something usefull. I have found big stretch to stretch very well, but have found it is harder to finish it off than other caulks. If you can get use to it it will stretch much further than you will need.
 

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Funny.

I know what caulk tastes like too, but I don't remember why.


Ditto on the Big Stretch. I was introduced to it by a handyman several years ago.
A company rep signed up here on CT last Summer, but I don't recall his name, or if I've seen him around since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK, my last question. The caulk that has already cracked throughout the house. What is the correct way to fix it? Dig out as much old caulk as possible? Or just put a new bead over it?
 

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Great thread here. I've always had these questions about caulking.

I have always primed then caulked. Easier to clean up as well. I also had no clue all these other caulks even existed!

How much time do you have left at this job? You could do a few test areas of putting a new bead on and see how it goes.
 

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I agree with prime first. I recently put a thread up about the same problem with caulk lines cracking after a week due to not priming first. I had caulked the first few rooms in a house last money without priming with the horrible 25 year ALEX as per my boss's request. He basically paid me to caulk it twice due to all the cracks that kept showing up. I switched to Dynaflex 230 caulk and primed first on the next few rooms. I had zero cracks. The extra money he spent on caulk was much less than what it cost to pay me for another day of caulking.
 
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