Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How To: Use a Caulk Gun

The crown moulding in the kitchen is finally complete! It was the only room on the main floor that didn't come with crown moulding so I like how it ties in to the rest of the house. It also just makes the room feel more finished and put together. I love it!
It didn't start out that way though....

When my husband first put it up, I hated it! The gaps at the top and bottom from where the walls weren't exactly square looked absolutely horrible. Not to mention the corners where the cuts were just a bit off. I started to wonder whether or not the crown moulding was such a good idea after all.
As it turns out it just needed some caulk to finish it off. So I learned what I think is one of the most important skills to have when doing home improvements: how to use a caulk gun.
Besides being handy when the caulk in the shower starts to crack, you can also use caulk on all kinds of moulding (baseboards, door frames, and of course crown moulding), around the kitchen sink, windows, etc.
Before starting this project I had no idea how to use a caulk gun but luckily I had my handy husband around to show me how. Of course I tried to get HIM to caulk the moulding since he already knew how to do it (I also tried to convince him that it was a "boy job") but he just wouldn't go for it. He learned to use a caulk gun when he was a roofer and on those jobs the caulk just has to seal, it doesn't have to be pretty. He claimed that I would be better at making it look good even though I really think he was pulling a Ray Barone by pretending to be bad at it just to get out of doing the work. ;)
Anyway, if you have one teeny tiny job, you can find caulk in a squeeze tube, but if you have a large or multiple projects, it is cheaper and easier to use a caulk gun.
If you are like I was and haven't the faintest idea what to do with a caulk gun, here is a little tutorial for ya:
To open the tube, place the tip in the hole labeled "spout cutter" at an angle and squeeze the handle to cut.

Just place the tube in the gun and you are ready to go!

Squeeze the handle until caulk starts coming out. I usually apply the caulk in 1 or 2 foot lengths so that it doesn't start drying before I get a chance to smooth it all out.

When you have applied your small patch of caulk, press the little silver lever to release the pressure. Otherwise caulk will continue to spill out even after you stop pulling the trigger.

Now just smooth it out and make it look pretty! You can use your finger if you want or use this handy dandy caulk finisher. It also comes with a tool for scraping out old caulk. It makes things SO much easier!
While I'm on this picture I have to note that it is extremely difficult to take a picture with your left hand. Trying to get this shot took several tries and was pretty comical.
Anywho...once I get the caulk looking all pretty and let it dry for a couple of hours, I like to paint over it to make the lines look nice and clean. It's crazy what a difference a $2 gun and a couple of tubes of $2 caulk can make! Check out the before and after again:

Now THIS is what I was hoping for!
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lisbonlioness said...

One word- NEAT! It's a million times better than what you started off with, and you sure have some mad gunslinging skills!

Mikalah said...

Wow, it's really amazing what a difference that makes! I always wondered how people get trim to look so seamless. Now I know! I think I need to try this out sometime.

Keith said...

Caulk, the painter's duck tape!! Don't leave home without it... (wait that's American Express)

You keep up all this professional work and I might have to buy you a 5 in one and some white over-alls.

A. I wouldn't be surprized if you already have a five in one.


B. Something tells me if I let you join the professional ranks you'd make black the new white. :)