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Old 10-23-2013, 01:58 PM   #1
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WORST JOB EVER: Bathroom Caulking.

I want to preface this rant by saying that I have done everything on the Argosy from sub floor replacement to caulk removal and rewiring/re plumbing. That being said, the worst job that I have had to tackle thus far is caulking and water sealing the bathroom and shower areas... Even with the "professional" tool and all the patience in the world, this is the messiest and most frustrating thing I have done to date. I am now completed with the job but I thought maybe someone else could benefit from my experience and others, so chime in with tips and tricks...

1. Have loads of towels or paper towels on hand to wipe off excess caulk.

2. Use your finger (with gloves) to smooth corners. The tools are worthless IMHO.

3. Have tons of time and patience because this takes forever to get right.

There are some of my tips... Anyone else?
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:06 PM   #2
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I thought that I knew how caulk.

Then I saw a pro painter do it. He put a very thin even bead down, smoothed it out with a damp finger, and hardly any was actually wiped off. Fast as can be.

in all fairness, he was doing trim, not a shower that needed to be sealed.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:11 PM   #3
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I am sure with years of experience, it would get much easier and cleaner. I went through two rolls of paper towels and a box of gloves... LOL.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:29 PM   #4
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I once saw a professional wallpaper guy cut a perfect circle around something mounted on a wall. Freehand.

I re-caulked our shower at home a while back. It seems like it should be easy, but it's definitely a lot harder than it looks to get it right.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:57 PM   #5
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Yes.

Put painter tape (blue or green) about 1/8 on either side of the caulk line. Cut your caulk tip small - don't use too much caulk.

Use a couple of damp papertowels to clean your finger. caulk the line first, release pressure on the gun, then hold the papertowels with one hand, and spread with another.

Wait 15 minutes, then pull up your tape. Leaves a very clean line. The 15 minutes is tricky. Too early and it seems to smear, too long, and it tends to pull the caulk out.

Watch some youtube videos if you still are having trouble. could be your technique.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:11 PM   #6
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Caulking is to humans what a magnet is to steel except no two types act the same so it is a life long nightmare.
The perfect bath room would be chiseled out of a solid piece of granite....no seams!
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:15 PM   #7
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I did try to use painter's tape but I ran into 2 issues. The first is what you mentioned. I pulled it up to early and it smeared and then I ended up fixing with my finger anyway. Then the other was that the painter's tape would not stick to my tiles. I tiled about 50% of the new bathroom and the tiles are seriously hard to get tape to stick to. I tried duct tape but I was nervous it might leave a residue, so I stopped...
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:22 PM   #8
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You may have some residue from installation you can't see. Try wiping down the tiles with alcohol before you put down the tape.

the little tiny caulk tubes that are like toothpaste tubes can sometimes give you more control and you can cut a smaller tip
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:32 PM   #9
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Good idea with the smaller tubes. Next time around (hopefully never) I will try that...
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:03 PM   #10
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Skip any & all caffeine twelve hours in advance.

Grab a stick or two of chewing gum to chew & burn off nervous energy.

See what the caulk wants to do, arbitrate a compromise, don't look back
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:09 AM   #11
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Well I went back in today to check out the dried product and I am impressed. Didn't come out half bad. One problem I did encounter: I did one seem with another brand for a test run and realized after the fact that it was not paintable. Since I was planning on painting the same as the bathroom walls, I wanted to cover that up. When I covered with the new product, in some areas, it peeled back a bit... DO I need to fully remove the other caulk and begin fresh in order for it to work?
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:27 PM   #12
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I have used ice to smooth out the bead on some putty/sealers when damp fingers just get too sticky.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:46 PM   #13
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old technology

In 1990, when I first tried caulking, many contractors were using Phoeoseal. I thought that it was great. Now I am paying for it. It doesn't like to be painted.
It yellows. It hard to get off. I help a home remodeler from time to time. He HATES Phoenoseal. He does still use it from time to time, when it won't be visible, and he needs it's adhesive properties.

Bottom line....Knowing the materials is a huge part of the game.

Question...I have read not to use silicone on aluminum. The trim in my trailers shower looks like aluminum. So what are people using. I like Alex caulk when doing woodwork.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:54 PM   #14
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This is what I used:

GE Groov 9-oz. White Kitchen and Bath Caulk-M90025 12C at The Home Depot

I applied it to all seems before I added trim pieces. After it all cured and I painted it, I then added the trim pieces using a separate adhesive meant for swimming pools. I is 25% flex and ok with metals. I hope this combo lasts...
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