I'm installing painted MDF crown molding, and I wasnt sure which method for covering nail holes is technically correct. Is using caulk considered a shortcut? Or is filling in the holes with wood putty and then painting only for the super perfectionist with too much time on their hands? I already filled in some of the holes with caulk, and I can't really see them when standing on the floor. My only concern is that it will reflect light differently since the paint is semi-gloss.


2 Answers 2


The key criteria for me is the size of the holes. If you used brads, then I have no problem with using caulk, especially on baseboards. The only possible downside is if you leave a fingerprint in it. You have to have eagle eyes to pick out a small hole like that.

With crown molding though, I'd plan on a lightweight spackle. Mostly because of the cost and effort you already put in installing it, might as well finish it nicely. Vinyl spackle works great, but again if the holes are small, just about anything made by DAP works fine. If you find yourself with a large hole, bondo (auto filler) does amazing things. Or you can use painter's putty, glazing, just about anything can be made to look really good. Sand and touch-up as needed.

  • 3
    lightweight Spackle is the best, and you can use a damp cloth to smooth it over after 15 mins and paint in half an hour. Caulk tend to be a bit messy on small nail holes, but works. Commented Nov 12, 2011 at 22:39
  • Awesome, I've already got some DAP Fast-n-Final lying around somewhere in my garage.
    – Doresoom
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 15:26

Alexa dap caulk in a squeeze tube! It's sandable, printable And super easy to work with. The squeeze tube gives a lot more control as opposed to a caulking gun.

  • This. I usually use Alex 2 with a caulk gun, but have used the squeeze tube stuff before as well.
    – Zach
    Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 17:58
  • I'm usually not doing enough at one time to warrant cracking a tube. The squeeze is resealable, and I have more control over the flow. But yeah, if it's a big job, the caulking gun is less tiring. Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 18:00
  • I stick a nail in the top of mine and back the plunger from the gun out to release the pressure. I'm sure there are better ways, I know some tubes come with lids made for them. A screw or a nail has always worked ok for me, but sometimes I have to clean the nozzle out some with a wire after removing the nail.
    – Zach
    Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 18:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.