How to Learn to Caulk

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    • 1). Determine which type of caulk you need for your project. Read the labels on the caulk to choose one that suits your needs. Caulk is often labeled by purpose as well as content. Considerations are: caulk that is available in more than one color, that is suitable for a specific surface (porous or non-porous), whether you plan to paint over it and if the caulk will be exposed to extreme temperature variations.

    • 2). Choose a caulking gun. Caulking guns come in two basic types, one that uses a button to release the plunger and expel the caulk and a gun that has a bent plunger rod that you turn to expel the caulk. Caulk that comes in a squeeze tube, does not require a gun.

    • 3). Remove all caulk. Use a utility knife or razor blade to scrape away old caulk. Wash away any remaining residue with a damp rag. Dry completely with a dry rag or paper towels.

    • 4). Lay strips of painter's tape on either side of the area you are caulking. This makes it easier to apply the caulk in a straight line and to keep it in place.

    • 5). Fill your caulking gun with caulk or uncap the squeeze bottle of caulk. Hold the gun or bottle at a 45-degree angle from the joint and apply steady pressure to either the caulking gun's button, plunger or to the squeeze bottle as you squeeze out the caulk. Move the caulk gun or bottle toward you and pull the caulk along the seam as you squeeze it out at a controlled, even pace, or move the gun away from you and push the caulk along the seam while squeezing it out;either method works. But, when you caulk in a cramped space like under a sink, choose the method that gives you the most flexibility for squeezing the caulk out evenly. Continue until all seams are filled.

    • 6). Push a damp rag or paper towel into the caulked joint. Drag it along the joint to shape the caulk. Remove the painter's tape. Smooth the caulk again with another damp rag or paper towel. Allow the caulk to dry.

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