Caulking Painted Cabinets: When?

      Finishers discuss the sequence of priming, caulking, and painting cabinets. August 27, 2012

I need to caulk just a few points. Do you caulk after the first coat of primer or bare wood? I have one scribe where the wall was beyond my reach looking at a 1/16 gap in some places. Also, I have crown to the ceiling - do you caulk the minor seam where it meets the cabs?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor F:
I caulk, spot prime, and then paint. I try to keep it as minimal as possible because the brushed touch up always has a slightly different sheen than the rest of the finish.

From contributor B:
After 2/3 coats of sanding sealer, before the final coat. That way that wet rags used to clean up the caulk won't raise the grain. Oh yeah, I always caulk the crown where it meets the upper cabinet.

From contributor A:
Prime everything. Fill any defects and nail holes with Muralo spackle. Caulk any gaps with a decent acrylic like Alex Plus. The primer will make all the defects visible. Without it you are shooting blind.

From contributor J:
I caulk and fill before I spray the first coat of primer. Then I spray the first coat of primer, fill any further defects that I may have missed, sand, and do a second coat of primer and continue from there.

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