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I live in a 1930s house with a small, open porch (as in no external door) in front of my main UPVC front door. Not long ago, the original lath and plaster ceiling in the hallway fell down quite spectacularly. We've had the ceiling replaced with a modern 9mm plasterboard (screwed to the joists this time!), skimmed with a thin layer of multifinish plaster

Unfortunately, the original hallway ceiling extended out over the timber structure that comprises the front door frame and surrounding glazing in to the open porch (the top piece you can see in the photo looks like upside-down skirting), and the thickness of the new ceiling is less than that of the old ceiling - as such we have a varying gap of between 6-9mm that spans the width of the hallway above the front door. As you can imagine, this has a resulted in a not insignificant draft.

My first thought was something as simple as caulk or silicone sealant to fill the gap, however the gap is quite awkward in the corners, so will likely look pretty shoddy if it works at all.

My second thought was expanding foam, but I don't see how I could get close to good finish, and the nozzle won't go in the gap at its narrowest.

My third (and probably best so far) thought was to cut and corner some timber beading of some kind (perhaps with expanding foam in the gap first) and caulk around that.

Is beading the right way to go or is there something else I should consider?

This may only need to be a temporary solution as we are considering replacing the front door and surrounding glazing when funds allow.

Related: Which material to use for filling those gaps?

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Quarter round molding, mitered for the inside and outside corners, caulked all around, and painted to match the existing ceiling will make it unnoticeable. –  getterdun Nov 14 '13 at 23:48

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I think your third idea will work and look the best.

First fill the void with expanding foam, allow the foam to cure, then cut it off flush with the face of the existing door trim.

Then cover the area with whatever molding/trim you find most aesthetically pleasing. You may wish to miter or cope the corners to get a more finished appearance.

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The third idea is best. Be careful when you use the foam, I have used a lot in tight spots, it will squirt back out of a tight space real fast if you are not easy on the trigger. If you have not used it before it would be good to test a shot before you apply it in the gap. I would also have some paint thinner handy with a clean rag for any drops that may occur on a finished surface, if the foam is polyurethane based. Do not try to clean what is expanding out of the gap. it is wise not to touch anything for an hour in that spot. Masking tape would be good too –  Jack Nov 15 '13 at 4:22

I have used bondo successfully for several such repairs, with a foam backing. You can get minwax wood filler but bondo will work just as well. You can paint to match after applying.

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