how to use caulk

Using caulk is one of the most necessary parts of many home projects. Working with it is a different story, though. For a lot of people, using caulk is tricky. It’s messy, gets everywhere, and sometimes hard to smooth it right. Well, in this guide, we will show you how to use caulk the right way. With a few simple tricks, you’ll be caulking like a professional by the end of it. 

What Is Caulk Used For? 

As we mentioned, caulk is a small but significant part of tons of projects. It fills gaps when you install things like baseboards or crown molding. More importantly, though, caulk seals windows, doors, showers, and toilets. There’s a wide variety of caulking that ranges from roofing applications to clear silicone for the bathroom. Let’s jump in and talk about how to use caulk the right way.

Step 1: Prepare

Before you caulk anything, you need to make sure the surface is ready. You don’t want to add new caulk on top of old. This will result in poor sealing, plus, it doesn’t look good. 

Grab a utility knife, and remove any old caulking in the space you need to seal. Next, you need to tape off any areas where you don’t want there to be caulk. A simple painter’s tape will do for this. Since caulk tends to get messy, don’t skip this step. 

Step 2: Cut The Tube Open

It’s go time. To allow the caulk to flow, you need to cut the tube open. To do this, you may use your utility knife. Sometimes, though, caulk guns have a small, round hole next to the handle where you can stick the tip in and squeeze the handle to cut the tube. Pro tip: always cut the tube at a 45-degree angle. Next, you may need to puncture the seal within the tube. If the tube has an inner seal, you can use a metal skewer or metal rod on the underside of your caulk gun. 

Step 3: Apply The Caulk

Now comes the fun part. Insert the tube into the caulk gun and squeeze the trigger a few times until you feel pressure. Be careful, though. It’s easy to squeeze too hard and end up with way too much caulk coming out of the tube. 

Hold the nozzle at a 45-degree angle that matches up with the one you cut. Gently squeeze the caulk out and slowly move the nozzle along the gap you’re sealing. 

Step 4: Smooth The Caulk

Smoothing a bead of caulk is an art form of sorts. Sure, there are fancy finishing and smoothing tools out there, but the best way to smooth caulk is with your finger. Don’t use a dry finger, though. The caulk will stick to your finger and make a big mess. Have a small cup of warm, soapy water nearby and dip your finger in it before smoothing. Gentle pressure is all that’s needed here. 


Now you know how to caulk the right way. Give Drain Express a call if you need help with any plumbing or drain cleaning issues.