Apr 16, 2007

Caulking Tips

caulk poplar

Caulking provides two beneficial purposes, to cosmetically enhance the appearance of a project by closing gaps and to provide a seal between two objects. It is important to press caulk into the gap rather than caulking over a gap. Pressing caulk into gaps helps prevent shrinkage and helps hold two surfaces together when and if expansion or contraction occurs. If caulk is applied to the surface without pressing, the caulk seal may break open more easily during expansion or contraction depending on the quality of caulk.

When to caulk

There are many ways to go about the process of when to caulk during a painting project, the correct answer depends on many things. Generally it is best to caulk most everything before you paint. In some cases there may be a need to caulk after.

Here are a few tips about caulking

  • cut the caulk tip small
  • use a paintable caulk if you plan on painting over the caulk
  • highly recommend a dripless caulk gun
  • use a bucket of clean water and a clean cotton rag
  • add 2 oz of Krud Kutter to your bucket of clean water
  • make one fair pass across the gap, careful not to apply too much caulk, make another pass if needed
  • using your finger, slowly apply enough pressure so caulk gets pressed into the gap, keep a damp finger
  • use the wet rag to clean up any overage, move on to the next area and repeat this process until enough caulk seals the gap

caulk tips

Caulking miters

Apply a small amount of caulk over the miter gap, use your finger to press the caulk into the gap. Apply another small bead next to the gap and press over the gap. Wipe area with a damp rag if necessary.

A few hours later or the next day, run a new bead of caulk over areas if needed. Cut the tip of the caulk tube small as seen above. The cut may close back up. You can reshape the hole as necessary with a razor blade or re-poke the hole.

 

What to avoid

  • wiping with paper towels or sponges
  • 100% silicone caulk, use a paintable siliconized acrylic caulk
  • avoid dried caulk accumulation of your fingers. Krud Kutter mixed in the water will help.

Store the caulk tube when not in use upside down (tip down) in a bucket of water over night or tape the tip with masking tape

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