Removing silicone caulk from paint and counter surface


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Old 02-22-13, 08:49 PM
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Removing silicone caulk from paint and counter surface

So when we painted our kitchen, there was a bit of a problem around the backsplash by the sink. I wasn't aware at the time, because the calk was clear, and there was such a small amount of it, so when painting the backsplash, the paint didn't adhere to the caulk, leaving a very uneven eyesore of a line where the wall meets the backsplash. See the picture below:
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So now I'm trying to fix it by removing the old caulk and repainting, then reapplying new caulk after painting. Now, when I say "old" caulk, it's really not that old. The house was built in 2007, and it was very clean and neat. I feel bad even trying to remove it. But there's no getting around that the paint looks terrible right now. If you're asking why we painted over a 6 year old paint job, well, the whole house was white, and needed a splash of color. Anyway, after trying to remove some of the caulk using a razor blade and scraper, it's not coming off very well, and I know that if I try to reapply silicone caulk over old caulk, it won't adhere well either. So I know I need to get rid of it all before reapplying.

Anyway, I know there are substances that will remove silicone caulk, or dry it out or something, but I need to make sure it's safe for the wall and the countertop. It's a solid surface, corian like countertop. I've read that I could use oven cleaner mixed with water as a way, but again, not sure if it's ok to use on the counter. The same with purpose built silicone caulk removers. Would either of those be a good solution? I know the razor blade and scraper have got to be the hard way. Any suggestions for the best way to remove this caulk safely?
 
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Old 02-22-13, 09:41 PM
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I've never used any of those caulk-removing solutions, so I can't give advice there, but I have removed caulk in the past with ease using a caulk remover tool that I purchased at HD for less than $10.

I would suggest trying that first. It's pretty simple: Workforce 3-in-1 Caulk Tool CT31HD at The Home Depot

What kind of caulk was it specifically if you know? It should say on the label whether it's paintable as most are. But I would caulk first and then paint over it, not the other way around, but that's only my preference.

Also, you could leave the caulk on and take a razor knife and make a straight cut down it being careful not to apply too much pressure to clean up that rough edge, and then repaint.
 
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Old 02-22-13, 09:53 PM
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That tool might be worth a try, I'll look into it. I have no idea what kind of caulk was used, as it was used by the builder when building the home, however, judging from the look and feel of it, I'm guess it is your average silicone based caulk. But I can tell you with 100% surety that it is NOT paintable. If it were, I wouldn't have the problem I have now. And as I said in my post, my plan is just as you said, remove the old caulk, then paint, then apply new caulk over the paint, which is how it should be done all the time anyway. As for your last paragraph, that's what I have tried so far. But it is proving very difficult, even with a razor knife to remove all the bits of caulk. That's why I was looking for a solvent or something of that sort. I just think the caulk is too new to be removed like this. It hasn't started breaking down yet. Thanks for the reply.
 
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Old 02-23-13, 06:17 AM
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If the caulk is in good shape - there is no need to remove it! I'd apply a coat or two of a pigmented shellac like Zinnser's BIN over the silicone caulk. It dries quickly and will adhere to most anything. Once the BIN is dry you can successfully apply your red paint over it.
 
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Old 02-23-13, 08:27 AM
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That's a good idea marksr, I'll give that a try. Certainly much better than ripping out perfectly good caulk.
 
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Old 02-26-13, 12:25 PM
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If the BIN doesn't work...

Try using XIM . It's pretty strong stuff in terms of smell and will bond to anything. I ran into the same problem with silicone based caulk used to seal some windows when I was renovating my first floor, and even BIN wouldn't bond. XIM Bonder 400 White (or Clear or Tintable) will bond to just about anything. Be prepared to pay the price though, as a gallon can run you upwards of $60 and a pint of it will cost you somewhere around $22-25.
 
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Old 02-26-13, 12:36 PM
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Wow I'm not going to need a gallon or even a pint. A small tube would suffice. But I'll look into that too. Its probably not going to be till this weekend.
 
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Old 02-26-13, 02:09 PM
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If I remember correctly I paid about $12 for the last quart of BIN I bought. I doubt it comes in pints although I think it might come in an aerosol can - not sure the cover up would be worth going that way.

I've never had BIN fail to stick to silicone caulking [not that I recommend painting silicone, but stuff happens] although occasionally it will take a 2nd coat to cover it good enough where latex paint will adhere well.
 
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Old 02-26-13, 03:21 PM
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Ok thanks. It'll definitely be worth the price to at least test it in a small area. If the results are good, I'll go with it. If not, then maybe I'll re-think re-caulking.
 
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Old 02-26-13, 03:45 PM
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Acetone does a real job on getting the relatively pure silicone softened and ready for removal. Roll a paper towel into a tight, narrow tube and place it over the caulk bead and saturate it with a little acetone, sit back and let it work for while (several hours) with a little repeat application to make up for the application. Then go to it with removal tool or just a narrow scraper on an angle. If make take a second try to get the gap real clean. then you can use a printable silicone if you want to paint over it.

Dick
 
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Old 02-26-13, 04:43 PM
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Thanks, if it comes to re caulking, I'll probably paint before putting the new caulk on. But good to know about the acetone.
 
 

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