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Caulk and Painting

When you take a piece of previously-stained furniture or cabinetry and paint it, caulk is super useful.

For instance, this little railing above my kitchen cabinets had a groove in it that was nigh onto impossible to paint. So, I caulked it, and then painted over the caulk (you can see the un-caulked area on the left.)

caulk on white cabinets

That was so much easier than trying to shove paint in there. I also needed to use caulk where the bottom piece of the fence part meets the cabinet frames…it didn’t fit evenly and that was evident once I painted. A little caulk took care of it very nicely, though.

This picture doesn’t show it very well, but the place where the cabinet frames and trim met got wider and wider toward the right.


Oh, and all those little spindles? I tried painting them with a regular paint brush, but that was super difficult. They’re just so very tiny. Fortunately, trying a little watercolor paintbrush occurred to me, and that did the trick very nicely.

My cabinet doors have all needed caulk too. When they were stained, the places where the panels didn’t fit quite flush worked out all right. But once white paint goes on, all those areas are super visible.

Like here:

cabinet doors before caulk

Much better after some caulk.

dap caulk for cabinets

My favorite caulk is Dap latex. We’ve tried some cheaper caulks in the past when we’ve done other projects, and it really is worth it to pay a little bit more for the Dap. The kind I’m using here dries in 15 minutes, so you can caulk and then put a coat of paint over the caulk in short order.

(And you do not want to skip painting over caulk. Unpainted caulk might look good at first, but it will darken in color over time and will be very hard to keep clean.)

The weather has been pretty perfect for painting this last week or so, and I think in a day or two, I will be very nearly done with this project.

And then we can have some fun after pictures. Yay!

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Tuesday 15th of August 2017

Have you had any problems over the years since you caulked the doors? I'm trying to finish our doors and I would prefer the caulked look, but a lot of people online are saying they are meant to be floating and should not be caulked.


Tuesday 15th of August 2017

Hmm. I haven't had a problem at all so far!

jacque elder

Saturday 22nd of February 2014

do you ever use caulk paint they say you dont have to sand or prime whats your thought on this thanks


Saturday 22nd of February 2014

I think you might be thinking of chalk paint. I haven't used that before, but I know an awful lot of people swear by it!

Kalyn Brooke | Creative Savings

Monday 12th of August 2013

I like to use DAP to caulk around our tubs and showers. It doesn't disintegrate like so many cheap caulks do!

Lisa @ Charlie The Cavalier

Tuesday 6th of August 2013

Thanks for the update!

Audrey Robles

Monday 5th of August 2013

Your cabinets are looking so good! I have some really old cabinets that are well built, so it doesn't make sense to replace them, but boy could they use some paint. I've been really hesitant to do them myself, but after keeping up with your blog posts I think I might plan to tackle this myself down the road. :)

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