Secret Weapon for DIY-ers

So, I have this secret weapon, a secret DIY weapon if you will!  Like a karate chop to your project.  It’s caulk.  Oh wait?  You’ve heard of caulk before!?!

Well, okay, I still think that it is my secret weapon, it makes all the difference between perfect and meh…

How to Caulk Moldings | Remodelaholic

I thought it would be fun today to tell you how to caulk, or rather, how I caulk.  And I can tell you, I’ve done a LOT of caulking in my years.  In fact, in my first house I wouldn’t be surprised if I used twice my weight in caulk.  In one room alone I went through 15 tubes of caulk (the house was 100 years old, and I don’t like spider hidey holes!  I wore my nails down to nubs and my skin was RAW but the end result was worth it!

 

** I should mention that Dap has an interesting caulking instruction sheet too, but after 10 years of caulking experience, I have my own way of doing things, and it works so I am happy with it.

 

The best thing about caulk it that if you are not yet totally skilled in molding installation, for example, caulk- DONE RIGHT, can make it look like you totally know what you are doing.

 

befroe caulk  caluking makes a difference

 

When I caulk there are three “tools” that I use:

A bowl of hot water

A rag

Caulking gun

(and your hand nice and trimmed nails- meaning at lest your pointer finger need to have a short nail!)

 

Supplies:

Caulk -DAP ALEX PLUS is America’s number one selling brand of caulk. It is a superior quality, all-purpose acrylic latex caulk that can be used both indoors and out.

A DAP CAP™ in case you have left over calk, for storage.

 

IMG_3407

base moldings caulked

 

HOW TO CAULK:

Project instructions:

1.  Be sure to read the entire package to ensure you have all materials the job will require and to budget for dry times in your project. Carefully review all safety precautions on the package

 

2. Clean and dry the surface you will be caulking to ensure it is free of all dirt, dust, grease, old caulk and debris. (To remove old caulk, use DAP® Caulk Be Gone® for latex caulks or DAP® Silicone Be Gone® for silicone caulks; or a utility knife or a caulk removal tool. Once completely removed, wipe away any debris. Use a rag to wipe the joint surface with rubbing alcohol or an over-the-counter disinfecting spray, rinse thoroughly with water, and dry.)

 

3. I rarely cut off more than an 1/8 inch opening at a 45 degree angle.  Or the smallest mark on the nozzle of the caulking tube.  This just helps me to control the amount of caulk that comes out.  But you can also read the instructions of your selected product for instructions on cutting the nozzle. Some nozzles have an inner-foil lining that needs to be punctured or a removable nozzle covering an inner plastic seal that also needs to be cut.  I like the caulking guns with a nozzle trimmer, also most caulking guns have a little metal stick that will puncture the tube lining for you.

 

4.  Load the cartridge into the caulking gun. Applying steady pressure to the trigger, ensuring the nozzle is pressed closely against the surrounding surfaces so the caulk can reach the back of the joint.

 

5. Working in 3 of 4 ft. lengths, apply the caulk to the joint you are working on.  I then wet my finger and smooth the bead into the gap, removing the excess.  I know there are tools for this, but I like the control I have with me own hand.   Be sure that it looks good, and that all ridges and excess is removed or smoothed, because once dried, it is not fun to remove.  Which is why I work in small segments.

 

6. For base moldings, I have found that it is best to paint over the caulk after you are done, OR you will have dirt stick to the caulk more than the other nearby painted surfaces, and the caulk seem will be very visible.  And your moldings will appear old and dirty very quickly.

IMG_3418

caulk after

 

Do you have a project that you need some extra cash for?  How about $100?  Thanks to Dap Alex Plus for helping me with my project and offering this great giveaway to my readers!

 

WAYS to ENTER (leave a comment for each entry!)

1. What project are you working on that you could use $100 bucks for, let me know.

2. Pin or stumble your favorite Remodelaholic post!

4. Follow me on Pinterest!

3. Visit my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter.

GOOD LUCK the giveaway is open until 5/21/12.  I will announce the winner soon after!

AND THE WINNER IS!!!

This Giveaway is closed.  Thanks!

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215 Comments

  1. We just moved into our first house built in 1952. We need to do some caulking! Thanks!

  2. We’re in the middle of a master bedroom makeover and I could definitely use $100 for crown molding (and caulk!)

  3. We are getting ready to tackle a leaky shower in our bathroom. We will probably need $100 worth of caulk!

  4. Amazing what a difference it makes! Everything you do is always so clean and finished looking! Thanks for linking up!

  5. I’ve had “caulk the windows” on the “To-do” list for over a year now! Yikes!!!! It’s time….

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