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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:09 pm 
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Hello all

Around 6 months ago we had new arcs put on upstairs which at the time, seemed absolutely fine. It was only until I went to paint them I noticed the finish wasnt great at all. Gaps around the joints (I noticed i can move the arc a little and close the gap), too many nails and splits in the wood. Really annoying seeming as this was done by a full time joiner!

As you can see from the pictures below, there are clear gaps between each frame which is quite annoying if you are a perfectionist. I have already painted one frame which I thought would "cover" the gap but clearly not!!

Could anyone advise what I can do to seal the gaps and then paint over? Also, what would you recommend fix the splits where the nails are.

The gaps are really small so struggling to see what I could use to fill them

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Any help/advice would be much appreciated


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:12 pm 
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MDF architrave...are the door linings new by anay chance, they may have moved slightly, looks like new plaster, which wouldnt have helped.

Do you know if they are glued, or just pinned?
If just pinned, i'd be inclined to put a block of scrap wood on the top one, and tap it downward slightly to align them, an extra coupl of pins through the face might help hold it.


i'd just fill the pin holes and the split, rub it down carfully, a coat of paint or two and you'd probably not see it.
I normally brush in the corners and adges with an extra coat of primer or undercoat to help seal the edges and disguise slight imperfections.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:04 pm 
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anmcg1 wrote:
I have already painted one frame which I thought would "cover" the gap but clearly not!!

Could anyone advise what I can do to seal the gaps and then paint over? Also, what would you recommend fix the splits where the nails are.

The gaps are really small so struggling to see what I could use to fill them

The "splits" where the pins are caused by the guy doing the job trying to nail through the mitre to hold it in place, presumably because he didn't glue them. Pinning through the mitre this way sometimes works in softwood (not always) but never when done so close to the outer edge - on MDF it almost invariably fails with a 16ga gun unless you are well down from the corner and going across the joint perpendicular to the mitre faces. IMHO those splits are generally not repairable in situ. On a new build we'd simply scrap the archis and put on fresh ones. If you can't do that then the architraves will have to be taken off, depinned then D3 or D4 PVA glue dribbled/rubbed into the cracks. The (faces at the) ends of the architraves can then be cramped-up under light pressure with a spring clamp or G-clamp to close the splits and the affected pieces left to set for 24 hours, wiping off any squeeze-out (there should be some) with a damp cloth before the glue sets. When the cramps are taken off the mitred faces of the architraves will need to be cleaned-up of glue squeeze out, ideally using a sharp chisel, or failing that with careful use of a sanding stick (piece of flat MDF or planed 2 x 1in planed softwood with sanding paper glued to it) so as not to dub the edges over.

The mitres should have been glue-coated before the legs were pinned. Looks like they weren't. You could try following Hitch's advice of using a hammer and a tapping block, but I'd probably pencil mark where they currently are (so that you put them back in the correct places with the correct reveals), pry them off carefully, de-pin them and then refix (head first then the legs) making sure that you align the joints correctly, and using D3 or D4 PVA glue on the mitres (unless you have access to a 2nd fix nailer in which case I'd go with Mitre Mate or similar). Of course, without a second fix nailer this will be a bit more difficult because you'll need to fix the head and legs to the casing using either very small oval nails or panel pins, and punching them under using a hammer and an appropriate nail set. Before we got nail guns that's how it was done.

The pin holes left by this process, together with any earlier pin holes, should be filled with a 2-pack wood filler or 2-pack auto body filler, taking care not to leave much excess on the surface. Those really cheap Euro stopping knives that decos use are great for filling. Once set the pin holes can be sanded off (and if needs be refilled). If there are any small holes where the filler consistently comes out, punch the nail/pin head under a bit deeper, with a larger sizes nail set and refill. The larger deeper hole will hold the filler better (anyone else reading - this doesn't work with clear-coated timbers, only paint finish)

I'll say this - once you have an opened mitre like that nothing on earth will ever fill it so that it remains invisible over time. Caulk tends to sink and fillers always crack over time (because of vibrations from the door being slammed/closed). I therefore cannot recommend any "filling solution" which will work in the longer term. If all you are doing is tarting the place up to sell it, then hit the caulk, paint it and run away - fast!

Whoever did it wasn't being very professional. If an apprentice had done that he'd have been given an tongue-lashing and told to redo it. On a price work job in, say, a block of flats, that would have been a pull and the guy doing it would have been told to redo it (at his own expense). Frankly it's a poor show from a tradesman.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:10 am 
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Just wanted to say thanks for all your advice and help. I have filled and painted the arcs now and looks 100x better,

Thanks again


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