Small cracks in your drywall are normal, but they don’t look great and sometimes you just want a quick, easy fix. Caulk is a good solution for hairline cracks, and choosing the best caulk is easy. As long as a crack doesn’t indicate a bigger problem, like a structural issues or leaking, filling cracks with painter’s caulk is a viable solution for a semi-permanent fix.
It won’t fill gashes or holes, and a professional solution would involve much more time and materials, but for aesthetic reasons, a caulk like Dap Alex Plus Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone works great. It’s white, paintable, and flexible enough to expand with your walls.
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Products In This Review
What Makes a Good Caulk for Drywall Cracks?
When you choose a caulk to fix your drywall, you want to stick with latex or acrylic caulk. Silicone is often not paintable, and doesn’t adhere as well to drywall. Additionally, silicone clean up is much more involved – it takes solvents to dissolve. You’ll find acrylic and latex caulk much easier to work with.
You can find acrylic caulk in a variety of colors. If you don’t want to paint over the caulk, you can get a color match (easy if your walls are white) or find a clear finish. Some brands dry quicker than other so if you, say, need to show your house right away finding a quick drying caulk is a good idea.
Some Caulk comes in a cylinder that requires a caulk gun. Nearly every brand sells both squeeze-tube versions and caulk gun cylinders. Just make sure you know which one you’re buying.
Best Caulk For Drywall Cracks Reviews
Dap 18128 Alex Plus Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone
- All purpose acrylic latex caulk plus silicone is highly flexible, durable, and creates a long lasting waterproof seal
- Alex Plus has strong multi-surface adhesion and won't shine through or discolor paint
- Cured caulk is mold & mildew resistant
This is a well-know name brand and a perfect choice for filling small cracks in your drywall. It is white and paintable which make it very versatile. Give it at least a day to fully cure, but it should be dry to the touch and ready to paint in half an hour.
- Fast drying – paintable in 30 minutes
- Mildew resistant when cured
- Finishes White
- Easy to use – squeeze tube
DAP Alex Painter’s Acrylic Latex Caulk
- Indoor/outdoor Alex white painters caulk, 10. 1 oz. - 441230
- This is highly durable
- This is manufactured in United states
This is a basic, all-purpose caulk. You can find a ton of uses for it around the house if you don’t already have a tube. It will adhere well to drywall, and is paintable. This product is meant to be used with a caulking gun for super easy and quick application.
- Easy to use with any caulking gun
- Finishes white
- Seated in 1 hour
- Cleans up with water
- Suitable for drywall
Phenoseal Vinyl Adhesive Caulk
This caulk will work great for filling in cracks. It’s paintable, but it’s also clear when dry, so if you want an even quicker fix, you can apply, wipe and you’re done.
- Finishes clear
- Fits standard caulking gun
All of these caulks will work to at least temporarily seal up the crack in your drywall. If you just want the crack filled, and you’re not going to paint over it, then go for a clear finish. Don’t worry about the caulk hurting your drywall – even if it splits again. If you were to ever fix the crack professionally, a contractor would actually widen the crack, fill it with compound, tape it over and give it a really professional finish. Even if you fill the small/hairline crack in now with latex caulk, you can have it professionally and cleanly taken care of later. Caulk is a quick and cheap fix that can last a few years.
When you’re looking for caulk to seal up your drywall cracks, there’s not much you need to keep in mind. Latex caulk will work the best adhering to drywall. The silicone makes it more flexible, so if it is a structural problem that’s causing the crack, the Plus silicone is the way to go. Make sure your caulk is paintable, so you can cover it up, or clear if you’re doing a really quick job.
Your caulk may say ‘seated in a day’ or ‘paintable in an hour’ but that doesn’t mean the caulk is completely set up. Latex caulks take over a week to completely cure.
Spending more money on caulk probably will not make a big difference. By repairing your drywall crack with caulk, you’re going for a temporary, and very cheap fix. Keep some inexpensive caulk on hand to fill in cracks until you move, or hire someone to come in and do a professional job on them. Most latex caulks will work.
Is caulk a permanent fix for cracks?
No. Depending on the cause of your cracks, caulk will hold temporarily, even several years. For a permanent fix, the cause of the cracking will have to be determined, and the crack will have to be filled with joint compound, mudded over and painted for a true fix.
Can I use silicone caulk?
Yes, but it’s not ideal. Most silicone caulks can not be painted over, and they will not adhere to drywall as well as latex/acryllic caulk. You might be tempted to use silicone because it’s more flexible, but latex should do the job while being flexible enough to move with the drywall.
Is it normal to get hairline cracks in drywall?
It depends. Hairline cracks over door snad windows are normal, and due to settling. Long, thin cracks are usually the result of bad taping – the tape doesn’t have enough mud and is peeling up. Thin cracks in houses that have sat empty, or rooms that aren’t climate controlled are due to drastic weather changes making the walls expand and contract. Wide cracks, or jagged cracks could indicate a structural problem – the foundation is sinking or there is termite damage. Brown stains around cracks indicate a leak.
Related: Why does drywall crack?
Can I use a drywall repair kit on hairline cracks?
Yes. The kits come with little tools and a small amount of compound for small holes and cracks. It’s more work than caulk, and if it’s an expansion crack, it will just crack again. Caulk give it some flexibility and room to move and contract.
Will paint cover hairline cracks?
For both drywall and plaster, you can paint over small cracks, but whether it last a few hours or a whole year is hard to say. It might crack before the paint dries. It’s so easy to get some cheap caulk, you might as well step up your repair game a small bit.