When I first starting fixing up my house, I had no clue what I was doing. All I knew is that I didn’t like how my house looked and all I could afford was to work on it myself. So I just figured it out as I went. Sure, I made mistakes, but that’s how I learned! And hopefully I can pass some tips and tricks on to your so you can avoid those mistakes.
I’ve been posting some really basic tutorials and my hope is that they will help someone- because I have been in those shoes.
The thing about caulk is that it can take a job from juvenile to professional. You can have big gaps and then caulk and no one will be the wiser! However, sometimes caulking can seem like such a pain after finishing up a big project. But don’t skip it! The best designs are in the details and caulking will really finish a job.
how to caulk
Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:If the video doesn’t work here, you can watch it on YouTube here. P.s. I’m trying to build that page up, so if you’d subscribe, I’d really appreciate that!
- caulk (what I always use)
- caulk gun– get this gun! It is worth the $15 splurge!!!
- caulk tool (what I have) this caulk tool is the one I love (I broke mine and haven’t replaced it)
Your goal with caulking is to fill gaps, seams, corners, and nail holes. Yesterday, I laid baseboards. Today I caulk them! Start by cutting the tip off your caulk tube. A smaller cut will let less caulk out and is better for tighter gaps. Always cut the tip off on an angle. If you have a nice caulk gun, it has a hole opening where you can slice off the top (which makes this tool worth it).
After the hole is cut, put the tube in the gun and pull the trigger to run a bead of caulk along the spot you’re trying to fill. The trigger pushes up the base of the caulk which pushes it out of the tip of the caulk tube. Once you have the caulk applied, I use my finger that has been dampened by a rag to push the caulk into the crevice.
Side note, sometimes caulk will still come out of the tip of the tube even when you’re not pushing on the trigger. If your’s does that like mine does, just hit the silver release lever at the back once you’re done laying your bead of caulk.
Try to not leave any excess caulk behind for the smoothest finish. To do that, keep getting your finger wet and wipe off any bits of caulk.
If you don’t like to use your finger, a caulk tool can be great! I personally love and recommend this one.
The thicker you apply caulk, the longer it will take to dry. For super thin areas of caulk, it’ll dry in as quick as 20 minutes. Make sure that the caulk is 100% dry before painting or you’ll ruin the finish (it’ll pull up). I still need to paint to completely finish my baseboards.
Personally, I like to paint the wall, install trim, caulk, and then paint baseboards (and the caulk on the trim). By painting the caulk, it makes it blend in more with the trim. Plus, paint will keep it cleaner (caulk that isn’t painted can get dirty and dusty quickly).
So there you go- how to get a professional finish with caulking! This old house that we live in, I swear every baseboard and piece of trim needs to be caulked. We actually buy caulk by the box right now because this we go through it so quickly. It can seem like a pain, but it goes quickly once you have the hang of it! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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