Caulking is very important to do before you paint for a number of reasons. When you paint the exterior of your home, caulk can seal the joints to prevent moisture and rain from coming through into the home. On the interior, caulk helps to make smooth transitions between joints or wood. The key is to make sure that you caulk correctly so it does the job that you intend it to do.
Materials and Supplies You Will Need
To caulk properly, you will need a good caulking gun. You will want to find one with a dripless design as well as a high thrust ratio so that you won’t have to squeeze too hard. You should also have a cotton rag and a bucket of water as well as a roll of paper towels and a caulk finishing tool.
You need caulk and you should make sure that you get caulk designed for the job you plan to do. If you are caulking indoors, you should use acrylic latex caulk plus silicone for the best sealant. Outdoor caulk should specify that it is intended for use outdoors.
Prepare to Caulk
The first step that you will take is to open your caulk tube and place it in the caulk gun. Your gun might have a cutter on the side by the trigger to cut open the tube of caulk; either way, you should cut the tip at a 45-degree angle because it will be easier to use effectively. You should make small cuts until you have the hole opening the size that you want it to be.
If the area you plan to caulk has old caulking in that is cracking or pulling away, you should take a tool and remove it first. You want to have a clean area free of debris before you begin. If you are caulking a new area, it should be ready with little preparation.
Apply the Caulking
Hold the caulk gun at a 45-degree angle and aim the hole towards the joint. Make sure that you apply it with even pressure as you go. You should only use enough caulk to cover the new joint. If you use too much, you will just need to wipe it away later. Follow the joint until you have completed this line.
Now you can use your finger or your caulk finishing tool to smooth out the strip of caulk. You should press it into the joint firmly so that it leaves a smooth finish. You can wet your finger or the tool first to prevent the caulk from sticking to it. Use your paper towels to wipe your fingers or the tool when you finish, then take your damp rag and clean away any extra caulk that is left behind.
Your joint should be smooth and look seamless when you finish. If you have a lot of extra caulk all over the place, you can use less when you move to the next joint. The key is to make sure that there aren’t any cracks or gaps left behind. Be sure that the area looks smooth and tidy.