Home>Discussions>PAINTING & FINISHING>Paint between trim and wall cracking
6 posts / 0 new
Last post
Paint between trim and wall cracking

I am a new home owner and could use some help.
I closed on my new home about two months ago. The seller had the entire house painted in neutral colors for staging. In the last couple of weeks we have started to notice cracks along the areas where the trim paint and the wall paint or the trim paint and the ceiling paint meet. These cracks were not present when we closed.
What causes this problem? I never saw this happen when I painted my apartment.
What should I do in the future when I repaint to make sure this doesn't happen again?
Thanks so much for your help!

Re: Paint between trim and wall cracking

Great pictures...BAD paint-job by the sellers and/or their painter:mad:!!!

>>> You would've been better off if they hadn't done this crappy job at all!!

Classic example of minimal/no prep:mad:.
The (quite probably!) cheap paint was just thrown on with no prep, and is already releasing/cracking from existing paint.

Welllll, I hate to say it, but...You'll have to :eek:-
* Scrape ALL flaking paint off,
* Sand ALL trims lightly, to have a good, slightly dulled surface that will hold primer. THIS IS IMPORTANT. You'll have to use a flexible sanding-sponge due to all the curved trim.
* Fill & feather-sand areas needing slight fills (think auto-body type work here!!),
* Remove all dust.
* Prime the trims with a GOOD primer. NOT a PVA primer here. If you're paying about $20/gal., it's a good primer.
* Lastly, apply a LITTLE bead of a good paintable caulk all the way around the trims. This hides the gaps at the trim/wall edge.
* Even-out the bead with a wet finger, and let caulk dry a couple hours.
* A good caulked edge makes a nice "cut-in" surface where none existed b4. There was only ragged gaps previously.

FINALLY, you're ready to prime!
* Use a top-notch brush, and apply a good/even coat. Long, smooth, even strokes...don't "dust" with the brush when applying.
* Same with the actual paint...buy the best you can afford. It's worth it!!
* For trims, I'd use a Satin or Semi-gloss sheen. TWO COATS ON TOP OF THE PRIMER.

If you want to repaint the walls too, your trim cut-in doesn't have to be as precise!! If some gets on the wall, just paint it out to a "hazy" edge with no thickness.
On the WALL however, your cut-in against the new trim paint has to be golden!! Consider using 3M's Delicate-Surface tape to tape-off trim.

Other notes:
FULL bonding of paint & primer takes weeks.
Full cure of paint-films takes a month to be considered washable.
It'll also take that long for the paints' "sheen" to even out.

Sorry man:(...this has gotta be done!

Re: Paint between trim and wall cracking

Faron has given you the bad news as to what is involved in fixing your problem. My best guess is that the "painter" used cheap caulk and paint. Further, I think he probably rushed painting over the caulk before it had thouroughly dried. Whereas caulk will dry within a couple hours, I preferred to give it overnight when possible. As Faron has stated, paint and caulk continue to cure over a prolonged period. This curing results in a shrinking. I suspect that the difference in cure times has pulled the paint and caulk apart.

Re: Paint between trim and wall cracking

One other thing, they may not have used paintable caulk in which case the caulk will have to be removed and replaced.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Paint between trim and wall cracking

older homes tend to have lead paint issues. looks like multi layered OIL paint and painters "putty" cracking underneath new cheap "laytex" overtop.

cracking and lifting with seasonal shift? cold and moisture could be "bubbling" up from the wall/moulding junctions from outdoors or wafting through cavities. may also be some movement in the walls, etc. with climatic shift.

early non-oil paints (up to the late 80s or early 90s) mercury preservatives.

before dry sanding anything suggest you have testing done if any portion of your home may have a coat of paint, sealer, primer, etc. applied before 1979 test for lead, before 90s also for mercury.

Re: Paint between trim and wall cracking

Thanks, everyone, for your replies and your helpfulness.
I was afraid that would be the answer. :(
Well, now I guess I know what my next project will be.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.