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I'm looking to re-paint a room and have noticed there are areas around the woodwork (i.e. woodwork around the doors) that seem to be peeling away from where the woodwork meets the wall. I imagine if I just paint over them then this will be noticeable in the end.

I'm very new to home DIY and haven't come across anything like this. What would be the best way to treat this so that the crack/peeling away isn't noticeable? I'll be painting both the woodwork and the wall. Is it reasonable to just cut it away with a utility knife and then spackle over?

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Is it reasonable to just cut it away with a utility knife and then spackle over?

Yes, except for instead of spackle most painters would use a paintable water-cleanup caulking. You simply lay a thin bead of caulk along the crack, smooth it with a damp sponge or rag, then paint over it.

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  • Thanks for the reply. With regards to the caulk, should I be priming over this or is it fine to direclty paint over it once it has dried? With regards to setting it, I was looking to get the convex plastic caulk smoothers that some DIY stores sell - I assume the damp sponge or rag will do the trick just nicely?
    – user483934
    May 31 at 22:20
  • Yes, finger followed by damp sponge works great for me. Priming won't hurt anything but paint sticks well to regular latex caulk. May 31 at 22:30
  • "painter's caulk" (eg.alex+) is made to be painted.
    – dandavis
    Jun 1 at 14:42
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Another pic showing the overall door trim profile might help but the close up is valuable. From the little section of the wall that I see, if it were my house I would razor knife the white paint at the point where the trim meets the wall. If it falls away.... good. If it doesn't, maybe the next step may clear it off. Which is to remove the raised line of wall paint that will still be seen through the new coat of paint and it will get in the way of a new line of caulk which will be done in the way of prepping.

To remove the raised line of paint is to wrap a 1/4 or 1/6 sheet of 100 grit sandpaper around a block of wood and sand the inside corner where the knife cut was made. This will flatten the paint line of wall paint and perhaps clear the left over trim paint chips that did not fall out at the time of cutting it out.

After all the lines are flattened, and the inside corner is clean of loose debris, you can prime it if you like to get an idea how it will look after it is finish painted, and to give a base to caulk the inside corner, that will fill the joint between the wall and the wood trim.

Here is a tip for caulking- I always have a 5 gallon bucket filled halfway with water and a round corner sponge, like tile setters use when gluing or caulking. Any mistakes or excessive caulk or glue can be readily cleaned up with the sponge that is well rung out. Using a smaller bucket filled will have water everywhere when the sponge is squeezed, at least for me there was, so half way for me it is, that way I keep the sponge well below the top of the bucket and squeeze away, no water flying everywhere....

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  • Thanks for the very detailed response here, I'll definitely bear the sandpaper trick in mind - I also bought some nice sanding sponges so can have a chance to utilise them. With regards to caulking, thanks for those tips - what would you recommend to set the caulk? Would the caulk need primed before it gets painted?
    – user483934
    May 31 at 22:20

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