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Basic Caulking Tips & Tricks – How to

So today on Repairs101 I’ve got some basic tips and tricks for applying caulking for tub and tile or windows around your home or boat.

You know, besides windows and cold-frames, kitchen and bathrooms, a boat has skylights, portholes, hatches, instruments, as well as thru-hulls, transducers, knot meters and even more that all need to be sealed water tight for obvious reasons.


You’ll need a cleaner of some kind and some paint thinner. Some rags and whatever scrapers you have made of steel and plastic.

You’ll also need a caulking gun and the right sealant for the job you’re going to do. Alright now the first thing I’ll talk about is the worst thing – having to work around someone’s toilet. So grab a couple of garbage bags. Some scissors and wrap that sucker up with a protective layer for your pleasure and comfort. OK now usually I’ll start off with a steel scraper. And follow that with a plastic scraper. Maybe finish off with a razor blade, or an abrasive cleaner and a wipe down with paint thinner.


Now taping is optional because your edges can be refined using a scraper and a rag. Now a really common problem I see is people loading their goo-gun and pumping and pumping and pumping. And nothing comes out. It’s because there’s another seal inside the nozzle. This one just unscrews and you cut it off. Others you’ll have to push a long screwdriver or something long and sharp into the tip of the nozzle in order to break the seal.

Pro tip

OK so the best tip I have is to wet your finger with paint thinner to achieve a smooth and glossy finish.

Excess gets wiped up with a clean and dry rag. Now for a very limited period of time. You can fill in holes or flatten ridges with your finger wetted with paint thinner. And you can define edges using your scraper. But once it skins over it’s become too late to touch it. And if you do you’ll just ruin it and have to start over again.

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