plugging. It can be intimidating and definitely takes some time, but use these caulking tips and you’ll love the ultimate professional look you create! Use your caulking skills in these projects: Beginner tips and tricks for installing cladding Built-in bookshelves for your home Building a desk and built-in wall-to-wall bookcase by Colleen of Lemon Thistle Pro-Level Caulking Beginner’s Tips For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links, Which allows us to continue providing you with lots of decorating ideas and DIY ideas at no cost to you. Learn more here. You may not often notice a good caulking job, but you will notice if it is missing, I promise! After spending days/hours replacing baseboards, windows, or trim, cracking the caulking can be the furthest thing from your mind, but it makes a huge difference to your space. Adding caulk creates smooth transitions that make the entire room look like it’s finished. To prove my point, look at the base in the image above. We missed a small section at the end of one of the walls when we sealed off the rest of the house. Can you see how it looks like he’s still waiting for something, and not quite finished? Caulk: Get the name right before I dig in, a little background for you. “Silicone,” strictly speaking, is a water-insoluble, highly stinky product that plumbers use around sinks and tubs. It is usually clear and intended to create a watertight seal. You can’t paint over it or the paint will look terrible. It dries but stays stretchy and stretchy which is great for keeping water out of areas that expand and contract with heat and often cold (like showering). Caulk is a different product, although the words are used interchangeably all the time (as I do in the video – I couldn’t help myself!). Caulk dries more difficult and many types are paintable. It is intended for filling the seams in your handiwork. Types of dam I use this dam from Home Depot around my house (and in the video). It’s plush silicone caulk so it has some flexibility when dry, which helps prevent cracks or separation. It is also paintable and good for indoor and outdoor use. There are 100 different types of tampon and silicone products out there. Choose the one that best suits your project. I use silicone grout (found in the tiling section) to finish my tiling jobs and clear silicone to seal along worktops and drywall. They are all used in the same style – they react a little differently. How to Caulk: Video Here’s a short video where I share basic caulking tips. I was quite a beginner and these are the things I had to figure out for myself! For example, the first time I tried caulking, I was so frustrated that the caulk kept coming out when I wasn’t squeezing the lever. You made such a mess! After sealing one room, I had a broken system, so don’t give up, okay? I have to tell you that I painted the baseboard after this video (did you see how dirty it was!). After filling in the top gap, I used the same caulking process to fill in the nail holes and vertical corner seams. Don’t worry if you’re not perfect at it. Stick to it and see how quickly you get better. Caulking Tips for a Perfect Finish I start somewhere less visible and I always like to start in a section of the room that is less visible, like behind the door or in the closet just in case it takes me a minute to get off. Caulking before painting I prefer dam before painting when I have different levels of pieces that will all be painted the same color. The caulk can be difficult to clean (keeping it flexible means less sticking) and coating over the caulk reduces some of that stickiness. Using masking tape is a great idea until you feel comfortable with the caulking gun. Glue both the wall and the baseboard, leaving a small gap for your caulk to go into the seam. Smooth it out, as in the video, then peel off the tape to see a nice, clean line. I stopped recording after the second bedroom in our house because it takes so long. But if you’re only doing one room or maybe just one window, taping will help you get a nice straight line. This is useful in really visible areas. Caulking Gun Your caulking gun will really affect the way you work, especially if you are doing a large area. When we first bought one, we bought the cheapest gun we could find but it killed my hand. It crashed after 2 bedrooms and we upgraded to the second cheapest caulking gun and it made a world of difference! Smooth Finish I use my finger and a soft damp cloth to apply the silicone and caulk. If you’re not interested in that – you get it, it’s killing your fingers. My family swears by this caulking applicator that can be used to get a nice angle in place of your finger. Just pull it on as you would a piece of cloth or your finger. I’m all about efficiency (aka impatience) so pulling this off every time I need to smooth the line has been really hard for me. Time The caulk I’m using takes 2 hours to dry, and that’s if you have a nice thin line. Filling in deep or wide gaps will take longer to dry. Make sure the silicone is completely dry before painting to avoid pulling it up. Professional push or pull painters will push the caulking gun along the base plate, but most of us will find it easier to pull or drag the caulking gun, using the tip to smooth it out as they go. Find out what works for you and go with it. And there you have it! Learning to dam well has been one of the most rewarding skills I’ve learned. I hope these caulking tips help you enjoy it too! More projects to use your new dam skills Please pin this for future reference. See more of Colleen at LemonThistle Originally Posted 05.07.2015 // Updated 06.11.2021 Remodelaholic is a participant in Amazon Services LLC Associates, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Please see our full disclosure here. Posted: June 18, 2021 Filed Under: Before And After Contributor DIY How To Media Tagged Videos DIY How To Templates Tips Tips & Tricks Pruning Video Wainscoting About Colleen I’m a DIY and lifestyle blogger behind Lemon Thistle: Home to DIY, crafts, home décor and design. I am a mother of three children under the age of three, love to entertain, and my wonderful husband and I work our way through major renovations to our new home. I believe you can have a nice life, home and party without spending a lot.