How to Repair Loose Ceiling Molding

  • 1-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-50
What You'll Need
Clear caulk
Caulking gun
Utility knife
Step ladder
Sanding block
Wood putty
Paint or stain

Ceiling molding is installed for one of two reason. The first is to hide the part in the ceiling where it meets the wall. The other reason is for decorative purposes. Other than these two reasons, ceiling molding has no other function. Ceiling molding does add character and charm at an affordable price. It is also simple to install. Ceiling molding can become loose as the house settles. Ceiling molding can also become loose depending on the temperature inside the home as the wood expands and contracts. This motion causes nails to rub against the holes, widening them and becoming loose. Repairing loose ceiling molding is not difficult and the article below will explain how to do it.

Step 1 – Inspection

Get on a ladder and climb up so that you can view the ceiling molding easily. The issues with the ceiling molding can be very subtle so you will need to slowly slide your hand over the it. You will be able to feel where the ceiling molding is loose. Sometimes the difference is so small you will have to press down on the ceiling molding. If the molding is loose it will move closer to the wall. Sometimes it will be very easy to tell where ceiling molding is loose.

Step 2 – Nail in Place

When you are on the ladder inspecting the ceiling molding you will also need to look at the nails securing it in place. You will need to purchase nails that are slightly larger than the current ones and they also need to be somewhat longer. This will enable the ceiling molding to be nailed in place without it coming loose. Press down on the ceiling molding where it is loose and hammer a nail through it and into the wall behind the ceiling molding. Try to get the first nail as close to center as possible and then add another nail at the top and at the bottom.

Step 3 – Gaps

Gaps are always somewhat of an issue with ceiling molding. They exist at the top and bottom. Place the tube of clear caulk in the caulking gun and you remove the tip with a utility knife. Apply a line along the top and bottom of the ceiling molding and then smooth it out with a moist finger.

Step 4 – Cover and Finish

As the home settles the walls will also move. This causes the nails in the ceiling molding to come loose. After you have placed the new nails you want to make sure they will remain in the ceiling molding. Apply wood putty over each nail head and hole. Use the putty knife to spread out and feather the wood putty. Place a drop cloth or plastic sheet on the floor around the wall where you are working. Sand down the wood putty until it is flat and smooth. Paint or stain the ceiling molding to match the rest.