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Old 11-25-2019, 11:12 AM   #1
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Default Old Stained trim and freshly painted walls

I just got done painting the walls and ceiling of a couple of rooms with old stained trim and I think I goofed. Do you normally caulk the trim with stained trim? I didn't but the whole time I was "This doesn't look right or good". Is it standard practice to always caulk stained/primed corners? There are some really big gaps especially on the top where they have wrapped crown that is now loose. It just doesn't seem like painting the caulk is right either. It would look like I couldn't hold my edge.

Also there is not years of paint on them now. I'm the second painter. They didn't caulk the first time. The trim is old, real old. They had the house updated from plaster and lathe. and kept trim. The plaster and lathe had wall paper on it.

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Old 11-25-2019, 11:16 AM   #2
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Painted the walls and ceiling with old stained trim? No wonder you couldn’t hold an edge.


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Old 11-25-2019, 11:46 AM   #3
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Painted the walls and ceiling with old stained trim? No wonder you couldn’t hold an edge
Yeah there is no way they were going to have me paint this trim. I asked and they said "are you nuts". LOL. They seem to be happy. Haven't gotten paid yet it just troubles me. I don't get a lot of painted walls and old trim. Actually any stained trim period.
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:07 PM   #4
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I have been running into this a lot lately. And I, like you, am often unhappy with the results. I have thought about using a clear caulk, but this still would not look good with large gaps. What is even worse is when the stain does not have a poly on it. When I clean off paint that gets on the trim the stain often rubs off especially if I do not clean off the paint right away.

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Old 11-25-2019, 02:09 PM   #5
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Just have to use your judgment...A lot depends on the appearance of the gaps. Are they of a continuous width? Gaps of a continuous width are oft times best left alone in your situation. Should the wall wiggle a lot where the top of the base meets the wall, creating a gap of vary width, many times a bead of caulk will look better. This creates a straight line along the top of the base that can be painted. Thus letting the eye see a straight line instead of the uneven "wiggle" of the wall.

I find that gaps other than those along base are generally best left alone. Also, many times the base in older homes consists of multiple pieces to create the profile. Many times the cap moulding can be carefully popped off and reinstalled tighter to the wall, eliminating the need to caulk and leaving you with a much nicer looking job.
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:42 PM   #6
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If the stain is dark enough one could use brown caulk BEFORE painting the walls but it sounds to late for that option. (Would require tape on the newly painted wall and from a prior thread that sounds high risk.)
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Old 11-25-2019, 04:16 PM   #7
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Reminds me of a job a few years back; Painting the interior of a mid sixties ranch. New owners weren’t in yet so a fair number of different trades were in and out with only one GC there putting in a new wall to divide up a large room.

House had all old growth fir trim - pretty dinged up but still beautiful stuff - just needed to be refinished. So, we masked it all off and made sure we didn’t add to it’s neglected appearance. We planned to return in a few months to refinish it.

Floor guys show up to put down a new laminate “wood” floor so we clear out for a few days. Upon returning, we see a huge pile of torn up base in the garage. Sure enough, the floor crew had ripped it all out with pry bars. Owners were furious. Floor company owner had to foot the bill for all new stain grade trim, its staining and finishing, and the install. I suspect that job cost him three times over what he hoped to have made on it. Dumb ass.
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Old 11-25-2019, 04:18 PM   #8
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IMO, a painted straight line along the same plain as the base cap top looks better than a wiggley gap. Trying to match caulk to trim could be a long process and yield less than stellar results.
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Old 11-25-2019, 05:03 PM   #9
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For a really good job I’ll refasten the trim if necessary and flat tape the drywall to the trim, embedding the joint tape and floating the walls adjoining the trim, being careful not to bury the trim, yielding razor sharp transitions & not using caulk. It costs a lot of $$ but lasts and looks nice.
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Old 11-27-2019, 04:32 PM   #10
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Stained/natural wood isn't suppose to be caulked. That's the natural look..Unless they want to pay for the trim to be primed & painted I would just leave it..
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardgunner View Post
I just got done painting the walls and ceiling of a couple of rooms with old stained trim and I think I goofed. Do you normally caulk the trim with stained trim? I didn't but the whole time I was "This doesn't look right or good". Is it standard practice to always caulk stained/primed corners? There are some really big gaps especially on the top where they have wrapped crown that is now loose. It just doesn't seem like painting the caulk is right either. It would look like I couldn't hold my edge.

Also there is not years of paint on them now. I'm the second painter. They didn't caulk the first time. The trim is old, real old. They had the house updated from plaster and lathe. and kept trim. The plaster and lathe had wall paper on it.
never caulk stained trim.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:24 PM   #12
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IMO, a painted straight line along the same plain as the base cap top looks better than a wiggley gap. Trying to match caulk to trim could be a long process and yield less than stellar results.

The other issue I have seen with color matched caulk is the sheen won't match flat/matte paints.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Pete Martin the Painter View Post
I have been running into this a lot lately. And I, like you, am often unhappy with the results. I have thought about using a clear caulk, but this still would not look good with large gaps. What is even worse is when the stain does not have a poly on it. When I clean off paint that gets on the trim the stain often rubs off especially if I do not clean off the paint right away.

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Even when it does have lacquer/poly on it, new construction these cheap contractors are 2 coating the trim packs in the shop, then chopping them to size on the job and someone comes back to spritz a quick coat of poly on the end grain once installed. Good luck to the next painter!
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Old 12-03-2019, 05:24 PM   #14
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Even when it does have lacquer/poly on it, new construction these cheap contractors are 2 coating the trim packs in the shop, then chopping them to size on the job and someone comes back to spritz a quick coat of poly on the end grain once installed. Good luck to the next painter!


A good carpenter does not leave end grain and will always install a return end if the trim is “pre finished”


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Old 12-03-2019, 06:29 PM   #15
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A good carpenter does not leave end grain and will always install a return end if the trim is “pre finished”


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'good' carpenters are no where to be found. Talking with all the cheap builders regarding their the 10M+ homes ... "Just get it done, only has to last a year!" Same reason no one does real level 5 drywall around here.
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:25 PM   #16
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A good carpenter does not leave end grain and will always install a return end if the trim is “pre finished”


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Returns were pretty much common place on trim work on the new houses i did. But yeah, if you get into lower cost, I'd even say an average house, seldom do you see returns anymore. Especially bugs me when I see that on skirt boards and base boards on staircases.

I'm convinced many "finish carpenters" wouldn't even know what you were talking about if you mentioned returns.
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:47 PM   #17
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Returns were pretty much common place on trim work on the new houses i did. But yeah, if you get into lower cost, I'd even say an average house, seldom do you see returns anymore. Especially bugs me when I see that on skirt boards and base boards on staircases.



I'm convinced many "finish carpenters" wouldn't even know what you were talking about if you mentioned returns.


I always install returns when we install millwork. Finished or not. That’s what makes us busy this time of year.


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Old 12-04-2019, 09:42 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by cocomonkeynuts View Post
'good' carpenters are no where to be found. Talking with all the cheap builders regarding their the 10M+ homes ... "Just get it done, only has to last a year!" Same reason no one does real level 5 drywall around here.
On the last couple of new construction finishing projects, I ended up having to show the trimmers how to install casings and show the cabinet makers how to run cope and stick profiles & raise panels on a shaper cause they kept blowing out the profiles. I also had to show them how do do vertical rain screen installations and teach them how to calculate tangential and radial movement utilizing expansion coefficients and moisture contents to prevent buckling. I even had to show them something as simple as how to make and use featherboards for ripping to eliminate saw and burn marks, their rip cuts looking like they were done with a chainsaw. When showing them, it was like they’d seen fire for the first time.

I had to send back all the surfaced/dimensioned white oak for the stairway screen assemblies “three” times, the fabricator not knowing how to use a jointer and surface planer, the stair fabricator asking me if I could stop by his shop to index the cutter knives and adjust his jointer infeed/outfeed tables to minimize chatter and snipe, and show him how to joint wood. The material looked like it was surfaced by a pack of rabid beavers. The list went on, even sending back the passage doors 2 times, the door fabricators having little to no knowledge of veneers and how to do simple lay-ups. I can’t even get into the flooring which I had to finish, 25% of it being riddled with shake/toe catchers, the new flooring really needing to be torn out. Thank goodness for CA glue aka Super Glue/Krazy Glue rather than a tear out, CA being a standard for shake repair.

Knowledge seems to be getting lost with the newer workforce combined with poor supervision and lack of training. It’s no wonder why 50% of my wood finishing budgets were allocated for the initial wood prep. The worst was the trimmers caulking all the unfinished white oak with PL construction adhesive (no lie), having the PL smeared all over the wood and embedded in all the pores and having to remove every trace of the PL before bleaching it.

Level 5? What’s that? Even when level 5 was delivered by others, I’d always end up busting out my trowel and redoing it, the work looking like a poorly done level 4 that was skim coated with a snow shovel...maybe that’s why they’d call me Alchemy Redoo, always redoing the work of others.

I’ve got thousands of photos of all the screw ups...thinking a “Can you fix this?” thread would make for an entertaining read. I’m glad to finally be out of it.
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:15 AM   #19
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On the last couple of new construction finishing projects, I ended up having to show the trimmers how to install casings and show the cabinet makers how to run cope and stick profiles & raise panels on a shaper cause they kept blowing out the profiles. I also had to show them how do do vertical rain screen installations and teach them how to calculate tangential and radial movement utilizing expansion coefficients and moisture contents to prevent buckling. I even had to show them something as simple as how to make and use featherboards for ripping to eliminate saw and burn marks, their rip cuts looking like they were done with a chainsaw. When showing them, it was like they’d seen fire for the first time.

I had to send back all the surfaced/dimensioned white oak for the stairway screen assemblies “three” times, the fabricator not knowing how to use a jointer and surface planer, the stair fabricator asking me if I could stop by his shop to index the cutter knives and adjust his jointer infeed/outfeed tables to minimize chatter and snipe, and show him how to joint wood. The material looked like it was surfaced by a pack of rabid beavers. The list went on, even sending back the passage doors 2 times, the door fabricators having little to no knowledge of veneers and how to do simple lay-ups. I can’t even get into the flooring which I had to finish, 25% of it being riddled with shake/toe catchers, the new flooring really needing to be torn out. Thank goodness for CA glue aka Super Glue/Krazy Glue rather than a tear out, CA being a standard for shake repair.

Knowledge seems to be getting lost with the newer workforce combined with poor supervision and lack of training. It’s no wonder why 50% of my wood finishing budgets were allocated for the initial wood prep. The worst was the trimmers caulking all the unfinished white oak with PL construction adhesive (no lie), having the PL smeared all over the wood and embedded in all the pores and having to remove every trace of the PL before bleaching it.

Level 5? What’s that? Even when level 5 was delivered by others, I’d always end up busting out my trowel and redoing it, the work looking like a poorly done level 4 that was skim coated with a snow shovel...maybe that’s why they’d call me Alchemy Redoo, always redoing the work of others.

I’ve got thousands of photos of all the screw ups...thinking a “Can you fix this?” thread would make for an entertaining read. I’m glad to finally be out of it.
+1 for "Can you fix this?" Thread.
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:20 AM   #20
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Also needs to be a thread for: "That's not my job" Awards.


Last edited by Holland; 12-05-2019 at 07:26 AM..
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