HERE'S A CAULKING
TIP OR TWO FOR YOU
If your doing some home improvements you'll probably need a caulking tip or two to help fill cracks, seams and gaps around bathroom showers, tubs, tile, casing, window frames and other types of trim or woodwork.
When I refer to trim on this page I'm talking about the molding around doors and windows, baseboards, chair rail, crown molding etc. By reading the information below you should hopefully find a few caulking tips for the projects that your going to caulk in your home. Before beginning your caulking project, check with your local home improvement center for information regarding the type of caulking and tools that you will need for the kind of job your doing.
CAULKING TUBE & GUN
Cut the end of the caulking tip at a slight angle. Keep the hole small enough for a finishing nail to fit in. Having a small hole in the caulking tube will give you more control over the caulk itself. If your going to buy caulking that will be painted over, purchase a tube of quality latex paint-able caulking. Any other kind of caulking other than that which says it can be painted over should not be used along with your painting jobs.
Caulking guns differ from electric to manual, drip less to non drip less. A good caulking tip to keep in mind is, if your not use to applying caulk to tubs, showers, and wood work etc. the drip less caulking gun is your best choice. If your doing a small amount of caulking, then you will not need a caulking gun. Just buy a squeezable tube of caulking, or if you don’t mind spending a little more money, purchase one of the new kind of lever action caulking containers.
Sometimes the caulk coming out of the end of a tubes caulking tip, doesn’t stick very well to the areas your caulking, it's usually due to applying a cheaper kind of caulking, or the tub of caulk you purchased, has been sitting in the store shelf for a while. The only fix for dry caulking, is to keep using the caulk until you get to the wetter stuff. In some cases the caulking should be thrown away and a new tube of a different brand name needs to be purchased.
If you have larger cracks to fill, then weave the end of the tubes caulking tip back and forth over the crack. Pretend that your sewing two pieces of fabric together, (ones that are butted up to each other) with a needle and thread. Or another example would be, to make a bunch of little bridges from one side of the crack, to the other side, with the caulk that’s coming out of the end of the caulking tip. While doing that, make sure the little caulking bridges are touching each other. Smooth the caulk out with your finger, re smooth until all the excess caulking is removed. Each time you smooth, wipe the caulk from your finger onto a damp rag. After smoothing there may still be a crack, let your first bit of caulk dry, then do another line. Keep filling the crack , smoothing and letting it dry, do so until the crack is no longer there.
CAULKING TIP FOR FRAMES & TRIM
When I caulk a new window, door frame or trim, I do the entire object or section I’m working on, even if there are no cracks to fill. The reason for this, for me anyways, is consistency. If I do an entire section of trim or all of a frame, it's easier for me to know where I started, and where I finished. Also, all of the cracks and seams I end up caulking, will tend to look the same. If on the other hand, I'm painting trim or frames that have been painted before, I only caulk the cracks themselves.
Start from the top. Squeeze the tube or trigger of the gun very lightly until caulk comes from the caulking tip. Run the angled caulking tip of the tube, flat with the surface/s your caulking. Starting at one corner draw the caulk tube in a strait line towards the next corner, be sure to stay in the crevice or crack of the object/s that your applying the caulk to. Also, while caulking your intended project, be sure to keep gentle pressure on the tube or caulking gun trigger.
If your caulking a frame, work from inside to outside. As an example, with the caulking tip against the woods surface/s, caulk one side of a doors stop, then work your way out to the trim around the door. Once that's done, do the other side of the doors stop, working your way out to the trim again. With windows, start at the glass (if needed), caulk all the way around, then work your way out. Baseboards and other trim like chair rail, and crown molding can all be caulked in this same fashion.
Using a damp rag, run your finger across the wet caulking to make it smooth and at the same time to remove excess caulking. Use the damp rag to wipe the caulking tip and the caulk from your finger/s. Keep going until all the crevices and cracks that you could see when you started, are now all covered with caulking.
CAULKING TUBS, SHOWERS & TILES
Use the information found on this page to caulk your bath tub, shower or counter top tiles. The process is the same whether your caulking wood, showers stalls, tiles or tubs. What needs to be kept in mind for all the caulk projects that your doing is to be sure the the tip the tube your using is as small as you can cut it and still be able to squeeze the caulk out. Applying a few thin coats of caulk (letting them dry between coats) then re applying works much better than squeezing on one big messy blob. This is especially true if your using silicone (very sticky) which is the recommended type of product to apply around areas that may be in contact with water.
NAIL HOLES & WOOD ANGLE CUTS
I use colored putty to fill nail holes and gaps in 45 degree cuts such as trim around doors and windows, and with other angle cuts that may have been made. Putty can also be used for angles, or areas that may be more difficult to fill with the tubes caulking tip. Especially where intricate trim has a lot of bumps and grooves, crown molding for example. I also find caulking nail holes and angled cuts to slow, and tedious, putty on the other hand does a much better job of filling the gaps.
CAULKING TIP PAGE SUMMARY
What your trying to do with caulking is fill any cracks and gaps that you can see between the wood trim and a walls surface. Another reason for caulking is to prevent water from getting into an area where it's not suppose to. Drywall behind tubs and showers would be and example of a surface that needs to be protected from moisture
A good caulking tip, for one to keep in mind, is to prime the object your going to caulk first, (if needed) so that the gaps and cracks will be more pronounced (black gap, white primer). Doing so will make the job of caulking that much easier. I also use a putty or utility knife to help smooth our areas that may be difficult to get into. The reason I don’t use a caulk smoothing tool (found at home improvement stores) is because when I have used them in the past I had not find them very useful.
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