Lots of Bad Joke Potential

This morning Noel finished up the last bits of sanding of the epoxy wood repair stuff, so it was time to start caulking around the cracks. But first! Let's look at how the room looked when Noel finished the sanding. You can't see much of his work, because the wide shots are terrible for capturing that, but look at how nice the wood looks.

After sanding in the Accordion Room

Where you see white patches that is the epoxy. It sands very nicely, and with any luck it won't be totally ugly obvious when we finish painting.

We got this stuff, with a bunch of other kits for wood repair, from West Marine, which is a boating supply shop near here. Apparently people who own wood boats spend a lot of time repairing them.

Epoxy wood repair

When Noel cleared out, I moved in with the caulk gun. For some reason, I have gotten really good at caulking, even though I've done a minimal amount of it (a couple of tubs and then whatever I've done here). Anyway, let me show you how caulk can clean up a room ready to be painted.

Here we have one of the corners of the room before caulking. See that prominent crack along the woodwork? You just can't get plaster or drywall mud to fill that nicely. And trying to let the paint cover that is crazy.

Before caulking

The same corner, after caulking. Instead of a large crack there's a nice smooth caulked surface, tooled with my finger so it's not machine-perfect, but it will look good painted.

After caulking

I learned about the importance of caulking from a book about professional paint jobs. In hindsight, it's an incredibly easy way to make a room a lot more paintable.

Today I got about halfway done, though there are some larger gaps I need to go back to. Technically, I could go back and caulk more two hours after the first pass, but I've had a busy weekend. Tomorrow, the ceiling and a second pass.

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posted by ayse on 03/09/08


Oh! That's a brilliant idea. We were just looking at a spot under the sofit in the kitchen where the cabinet moulding is pulling away from the sofit. I think I may have to go grab the caulking gun.

Be sure to use paintable latex caulk (cleans up better than silicone, and also does not repel paint). As you tool the edge, wipe up excess caulk with a damp sponge to keep it from making a huge mess (comes off nice when it's still wet, not so nice when it's had time to set up).

Latex caulk is definitely your friend: the Magic Eraser of gaps! The labor-saving trick is to figure out just the right amount to squeeze into your bead so that you have enough to smooth over but aren't having to remove a lot.

I like to keep a bowl of water next to me. It's easier to run the bead smoothly when your finger is wet, and each time I run my finger over the bead for about a foot or foot and a half, then rinse off the resulting gob on my finger by rubbing finger against thumb in the bowl. It keeps the offloading caulk under control and I don't have to do any cleanup with a sponge; each section is clean and done as my finger comes off it.

A folded-up paper towel is also good to keep handy to dab excess water off your fingers. You don't want to be dripping.

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