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Frame sealant as caulk substitute

Hi folks
For a short time now I have been using exterior grade overpaintable frame sealant instead of standard decorators caulk. It is close to 4 times the price but my reasoning is that being an exterior grade sealant it should out perform caulk. It seems pretty good to over paint in short time, about one hour on average but longer on bigger gaps. I don’t appear to get problems with crazing other than one occasion when in hot weather Dulux Diamond SatinWood crazed, but this was a one off.
It will be a while before I can fully varify the longevity of it. But any thoughts on my reasoning does it sound good to you?


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Which type of sealant and caulk are you using Ciaran?

Its ever build exterior frame sealant.
And Everbuild 125 caulk which to be fair is pretty good as it happens. I have noticed it craze on occasion.

If it works then fine. Cracking of paint over caulk is a massive problem that manufacturers don’t seem to be able to sort out.

Dulux Diamond Satinwood is awful for cracking over caulk. It will even crack if the caulk has been sealed and that sealer hasn’t itself cracked. Very bizarre.

Try Den Braven Anti-Crack caulk from Decorating Direct though. I’ve been using it for a few months now and haven’t had any problems with paint cracking yet.

Thanks I will look it up.

Just to fire this one up, I ordered some Soudal caulk from UK Sealants, but they sent me Everbuild 125 instead. I was a bit annoyed until I found this thread. Wondering if Zen still uses the 125 and still rates it?

I wanted the Soudal because I have a customer whose caulk on the stair stringer has cracked and he wants it sorting. Just above the stringer, where the caulk has come away, I can see small patches of bare plaster. This suggests to me that there’s maybe an adhesion problem? (Apart from caulk on stringers being a nightmare anyway).

I’m thinking, as it’s affected pretty much the whole stringer here and there, to neatly cut it all out above and below the boundary, put some HB primer sealer on any bare plaster, and recaulk. I’m painting the HSL anyway, and cust has asked me to reprint stringer too (in Crown Breathe Easy Satin, never used it but they have in their woodwork and it looks fine).

Have I got my thinking right on this repair?

ive been using soundal caulk i get it from B&Q for £1.56 for 380ml, ive got to say its the best caulk ive used, easy to spread, give it a hour and it wont crack when painted over,

two pics here ddc caulk v soundal both left at most 2 hours in a built in wardrobe, then i spot primed it with dulux trade diamond matt.

That’s interesting. Have to say I usually use DDC blue caulk myself. Last time I used it,I let it go off for an hour or two, then spotted it in with some Dulux Diamond Eggshell (the old quick-drying acrylic stuff) and it was fine. But I have had times when it’s crazed on me with this approach. Maybe when the caulk line is thicker? Actually, now I think it was using Dulux Diamond Satinwood on top of it, which someone else said could be a problem.

Will try B&Q for caulk in future over UK Sealants.

David, yes, you need to cut out what has failed. You shouldnt have any caulk going on the wall as such, that is where you see crazing occur. Crack sealant for cracks! This is one of my better articles on why caulk crazes, Alan Iles in Cornwall picks up on the “builders finger” effect.

Cant argue with Adams findings obviously, just to point out that Soudal from B&Q in my understanding is a different formula to what is available for UK Sealants. Of all the companies to give a second chance to if they sent you the wrong product, UK Sealants is it. Their range is astonishing and they know a bit more than B&Q if you were to have a problem.

Little rant, product price is only part of the equation for “good kit”. Availability, and tech support and customer service if you have a problem are as important.

I might give them a ring in that case, and ask them why they didn’t send me what I ordered.

I did cut out all the old caulk. It hadn’t crazed as such, just cracked and split in places because it was on a stringer. As the paint near the boundary came off easily, I cut a margin nearly 1cm all the way down, hit it with HB primer sealer, then Toupret filler to level and backfill a little. Then my 125. Did take some pics, I’ll put them up later.

A before and after. Be back to this customer in a few months to see how the repair holds out!

Thanks for sharing that . Look forward to the update

Hi David
I am continuing to work with the everbuild external frame sealant and have notgone back to the 125. If I get bare plaster at the juncture of the crack to be caulked ihave been using zinsser guardz to seal it; drys really quickly and gives a great surface to apply to.
its good to hear of some alternatives imight give some a try.


Hi Zen,
That’s interesting. If you reckon the external stuff is better than the 125 I might give it a go when I run out of the 11 tubes I received! How much are you paying for it then? I see it’s currently on Amazon for £1.09 a tube. I’ve not used Zinsser Guardz yet. I bought a bulk load of HB Primer Sealer and I always carry it diluted in a 2 pint plastic milk bottle with a sticker that says “not milk!” (for any of my customer’s kids that can read ;). Seriously though, I do always tuck it away… I guess the Zinsser is pretty much the same kind of thing.

On the subject of sealer, I did use the HB stuff on a bare plaster wall before hanging lining paper. Now, a very good decorator did tell me I needn’t (and even shouldn’t) have bothered. But it didn’t cause me any problems, and I figure it can’t hurt to have a surface less porous when I’m about to hang lining paper on it. What do you think?

After the lining paper, I did then hang some nice paper that was “third drop”. Never used that before, and I still don’t really understand how it works. It looked okay, but with hindsight I could have done a better job because the pattern was a little offset on the paper so didn’t really end up square to the wall. I stared at it for ages afterwards, but still couldn’t work out what I should have done…

I have got some,sikaflex 291 marine sealant,i am going to give this a try on my next job i do,see if it works better than caulk,i will let you all know,as for a filler i recommend people trying the marine filler by plastic padding dries in 10minutes,easily shaped,i have used this stuff on wood many times and had great results,sorry for changing the subject love promoting good products.

How much is the marine filler and where do you buy it Darlic?

David i think 5.99,but check online or any boating shop,or eBay,its made by plastic padding very good product,better than most fillers i have tried let everyone no what you think,happy decorating.

Been using den braven caulk ,noticed today some crazing ,never had a problem before with it.

Been using den braven for ages with crown extreme never had a problem ,then used it with mathys then it crazed.

Mathys Paracem 31% solids by volume, apply 140 microns per coat
Crown Extreme 35% solids, apply 71 microns per coat

For each coat, there is twice as much Mathys paint as Crown Extreme drying out on top of caulk. Also there is a bit more solids content in the Crown Extreme, less filler.

I’m no scientist, but always worth a quick re-read of this article where Keith a scientist at Newlife Paints explains a lot about caulk and crazing paint.