caulking tips?


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Old 05-16-07, 04:32 PM
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caulking tips?

i am getting ready to re-caulk the wood trim (where it meets the brick) on our garage. the old caulk has separated from the trim.

does anyone have tips on getting that nice clean line of caulk? do you smooth it with a tool or just a finger? don't smooth it at all?

my caulk jobs aren't too sloppy, but i'd like any tips if you have them.

thanks
 
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Old 05-16-07, 05:20 PM
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Of course you will need to clean out all the old caulk with a razor knife. Now, there are many ways to apply caulking, all of them right, but some work better. Our paint gurus will chime in here shortly, so here goes a nail driver's view point.
After cleaning the joints, I apply caulking quite sparingly, making sure the tip is small and getting enough into the crack. Push the caulk gun, don't pull it. It seems odd, but it works better. I usually don't follow the caulk with my finger, but with a wet sponge, keeping it rinsed out really good. This will help wipe the excess from the surrounding area and keep it in its own track.
 
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Old 05-16-07, 05:49 PM
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I also like to use a damp sponge but not when caulking along brick. A little moisture will help but it so easy to get the caulk to bleed unto the brick

I very seldom wipe caulk against brick but instead rely on applying it neatly and smoothly. I don't know if there is any substitute for experience and plenty of practice. For me there isn't much difference between pulling or pushing a bead of caulk - I usually go whichever way is more convienent.

If you have trouble running a nice straight bead, tape might help [besure to remove before the caulk dries] but you would still have the joints to contend with.

Depending on what you have to work with, using a clear latex silicone caulk will seal the gap and you don't have to worry so much about applying it nice and neat. It goes on milky but dries clear.
 
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Old 05-16-07, 08:53 PM
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See? Told ya he would have a better idea. Good point on the wicking of the caulk into the brick.
 
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Old 05-17-07, 12:35 PM
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I had very good luck with a technique I got from my Family Handyman magazine. Just put tape on either side of the joint to protect the areas you do not want caulk in. Lay the bead of caulk down and smooth it with a finger, then take the tape off as soon as you are done.

I recently re-caulked the front of my tub and the line came out like a lazer using this technique
 
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Old 05-21-07, 04:45 PM
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Caulking isn't that complicated, but it is a technique that takes some practice. A couple suggestions I would offer to a newbie:

-Buy a good caulking gun. The cheap-o guns are garbage and it's hard to run a nice bead with them. I'm referring mainly to the old style guns that have notches on the push rod. Better guns often will give you more pressure with each squeeze of the handle. A good caulking gun will run $15-20.

-Cut the nozzle of the caulking gun at an angle- perhaps 15 degrees or so. For most exterior jobs, the hole should be almost the size of a pencil eraser. Many types of caulking instruct that the size of the bead run needs to be triangular and of a specific minimum size, or the caulking may fail. There has to be a minimum surface area for the caulking to perform as advertised.

-Keep the nozzle clean as you caulk. You do this by holding the gun at the correct angle as you caulk, so as to tool the caulk with the nozzle as it is being extruded, but not so as not to be dragging the nozzle THROUGH the caulk. If the nozzle is getting messy around the tip, STOP, wipe the nozzle off with a rag, and then continue.

Having many rags along with either water or paint thinner (depending on the caulking being used) is essential when doing a lot of caulking.
 
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Old 05-21-07, 07:23 PM
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thanks for the tips everyone, the project came out to my satisfaction :thu:
 
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Old 07-25-07, 08:26 AM
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I usually just don't cut to big of hole in the tube and take your time. After I run a bead I usually gently run my finger along the bead also.

As for outdoor caulking, I really like the polyurethane caulk. It is not water soluable so you have to use mineral spirits or the like to clean up but I don't think you can beat it for lasting on the outside.

Just my opinion though.
 
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Old 03-24-09, 05:53 PM
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Kitchen and Bath Re-Caulking

I recently re-applied caulking in my kitchen and bathroom.
I'm learning as I go with making repairs myself here and there.

I didn't use a caulking gun, I used the squeezable tubes. In the end they worked good. The main point with them is to ensure you use a constant pressure to not end up with extra blobs or missing areas of caulking. I don't know if using the gun style would help with maintaining better pressure.

For cutting the tip, I recommend cutting it smaller than you think you may need and testing the bead on newspaper to ensure it is a good size. I followed the guidelines on the tube and ended up cutting it too big.

Thinking it would be easy I just went at it, and my kitchen looks like a mess. The top of my shower looks better, after learning to use constant pressure, thankfully no one can see it.

I picked up on a tip at Lowes to use masking tape on both sides of where you want the caulking, caulk it, then remove the tape while it's still wet. It worked great - highly recommended! My bathroom sink looks professional and I'm proud of it!
 
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Old 03-24-09, 06:56 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Yeah, the main problem with the tubes is the ability to maintain constant pressure, and thusly a consistent bead as you would have with a caulking gun. You can also use those caulk thingys they sell on TV that help with the caulk bead. I just prefer a moist sponge, cleaned after each wipe. Takes all the excess off the main part and wipes your adjacent material clean.
 
 

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