My contractor told me it's much cleaner to use caulking instead of mud/tape on my new ceiling.

He's not talking about the corners. He's talking about where the seam of the drywall sheets meet. I've never heard of this method. Is this acceptable?

  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Caulking a corner instead of taping with joint compound?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 17:10
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    There's not enough information here to answer. We'd need to know the details of the technique and the product. I'd be genuinely surprised if the idea is to just squeeze a tube into the joint. I want to know more.
    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 18:43
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    And the proposed duplicate is rather a different situation.
    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 18:43
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    I gave an answer but curious to what he proposed for the screws/nails? Caulk? I have never in my life seen this so I would ask him to provide pictures of some of his work. It has to be something to see a bunch of shiny dots all over the ceiling.
    – DMoore
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 20:05
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    @RockPaperLz-MaskitorCasket In the 1990’s I did commercial wallcovering and saw it. I can’t find anything like it on the web now.
    – Kris
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 2:37

2 Answers 2


No no no no and NO. You need to fire this guy immediately. Anyone who even brings this up is beyond reproach as far as incompetency in this area.

  1. Caulk is expensive.
  2. Caulk cannot be smoothed to seamlessly fade into drywall. Even if you took days/months to flatten caulk it would still have seams and ridges.
  3. Caulk will not look the same when painted as drywall. That is the whole point of using mud/joint compound... when you paint it, it looks the same as drywall.
  4. What is he supposing for any nicks or scratches? More caulk?
  5. Caulk will dry out over time and harden and loosen.

However... I have started using caulk for ceiling cracks that keep appearing. It is a good binder for seasonal contraction - but I tape and put joint compound over the caulk!

Edit: I have a small room in my basement to finish in 2-3 months... Thinking about giving the caulk a go. I don't mind the caulking but to get the pictures right I would need to put on a little primer and paint and those steps are a PITA to do over again... I will try to do a couple feet of a seam like this.

  • +1 for the bringing up the right situation where you might use caulk, and the clear NO
    – P2000
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 20:12
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    Beyond reproach is exactly the opposite of what you meant to say.
    – Kris
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 2:48
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    @Kris He's saying the person's incompetency is beyond reproach, which is correct as long as incompetency is his goal lol. Agree bad phrasing though.
    – K H
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 4:21
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    Or he's so bad that reproaching him just won't change anything.
    – jaskij
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 16:02
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    @DMoore you can get all bent out of shape about it for some reason if that makes you happy, but the fact is that's simply not how that expression is used.
    – Alex M
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 21:01

I would stick with the tried and true taped and mud joints. You can't sand calk to make it smooth. Sounds like a mess to me. Kris is right, no way will it work on tapered edges.

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