Caulking is important for many different projects you undertake in your home. It can fill in gaps when you apply molding, and it can seal surfaces and prevent moisture and drafts from coming into the home. It is important to know how to caulk properly for the best results.
Categories of Caulk
There are two main types of caulk, which include adhesives and sealants. The adhesives are used to bond two surfaces together, while sealants are used to seal cracks, joints, gaps, and other places. They help to make the paint job look better, and they come in latex. It is important to use a quality caulk because it will be more durable and look better when you finish. You can also get an acrylic latex caulk with silicone, which is often used for interior painting, including baseboards, doors and window casings, and crown moldings. The silicone makes it more flexible, so it will last longer.
Supplies You Need
When you are getting ready to caulk, you need the following supplies:
- Caulking gun
- Tubes of caulk
- Wet rag and bucket
- Paper towels
Steps to Caulking
When you are ready to caulk, start by opening your tube of caulk and loading it into the gun. Once you stick it in, the caulking gun often has a trigger you can squeeze to cut the end off of the caulk. Cut the end as close to the tip as possible, and keep it on an angle. This will give you better control over the caulk as you apply it.
Next, you will apply the caulk. Make sure that any debris has been removed before you start, and clean the area. You can use a prepaint cleaner that is water-based. The key is to remember that the caulk won’t stick to the surface if it is dirty.
Hold the caulking gun at a 45-degree angle, and aim the hole of the tube at the area you are filling. Keep the pressure even as you slowly move along the joint. You can use your finger to smooth it out and press it into the crack. You can get your finger wet so that the caulk doesn’t stick to it. Use your paper towels to wipe away any extra product. If you find that you have a lot of extra, try using less as you continue caulking.
When Should You Caulk?
People often caulk after priming but before painting a surface. It is important because it helps to integrate the molding and casing to the walls, and it seals your home. It prevents water from entering around the windows, and it keeps insects out as well.
Anytime you paint, you should check to see if you need to caulk. If you are painting the interior, look at the molding, baseboards, and casings around the windows and door. If there is any space, caulk can fill it.
You should usually use a primer before you caulk. Most caulk can be painted over, and the room will look better if you caulk after priming but before painting.
Marc Poulos began his real estate and financial services career, but he soon realized that his true passion was beautifying homes. He started working with various small craftsman shops before serving an apprenticeship with the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Chicago. His commitment to excellence won him Top Apprentice from Washburne trade school in Chicago – the country’s premier school of its kind.