One of the great features of our new (but very old) house is the original crown molding in the living room. We love the character and charm, but settling had caused some significant gaps around the molding. Fortunately this has been one of the easiest fixes we've tackled in the house - the problem was solved with a tube of caulk and an evening on a ladder!
See how the crown is separated from the ceiling? I mean, I know it's an old home, but this was making it look really old.
And in some places, like around the fireplace, there was a gap both above and below the crown. It looked sloppy and honestly kind of dirty. Not exactly the vibe we were going for.
So we bought a tube of molding caulk. The flexible/crack-proof promises have me hoping it will hold up long-term. But most importantly, it's a paintable caulk. I've make the mistake of using regular caulk on other projects and I'll tell you now, there is no. way. to paint that stuff. Make sure your caulk is paintable. K?
One of the secrets I've learned the hard way that when you cut the tip off the tube, you should start with the smallest hole you can manage. You can always cut it larger if you want to. I worked around the molding a few feet at a time (as far as I could reach without moving the ladder) and ran a small bead of caulk across the gap, then used my fingertip to spread it evenly and remove any excess. Keep a paper towel handy to wipe your finger. Repeat with the bottom side of the molding. Scoot your ladder and repeat.
Look at that difference. It almost looks brand new, and most importantly it doesn't feel dingy or dirty anymore!
The last step is touching up paint. I may be an unusually messy Caulker (apparently that's actually a word?) but you'll probably need to do at least a little touch up along the bottom edge once the caulk is dry. You can see in the pic above just how messy my final product was. We always keep leftover paint from our rooms to use for touch-up projects like this. Just run around the bottom edge with an angled paintbrush and you'll be good to go! Since this color came with the house we didn't have any extra paint to use, but we were planning to repaint the whole room anyway. It took a few weeks to actually get around to painting (more on that later) but this is how it's looking now:
As you can see, we're still in that magical wonderland of barren yet cluttered that you can only enter when you're moving. Especially with plenty of small children to delay the unpacking for months. But there's light at the end of that funky tunnel because I think we're almost done! No, seriously this time.
What's your favorite way to bring character into your home? Are you working with an older home or something newer?