First Caulking a Mess

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So last night at about 11PM, I decided to start my bathroom caulking project by doing the easiest run first: The intersection of the tub and the linoleum floor. It turned out to be a mess. Even though I have read everything about caulking in this group for the last few weeks, read the sites recommended, and viewed numerous videos on YouTube, I smeared GE Silicone II a good half inch over the floor.
Maybe practice makes perfect, but I still cannot determine why the finger thing works for some and not for others. Wetting my finger sure made a big difference. The joint between the tub and the floor was not uniform, and it was a larger joint than some, but there was just no way for me to get a uniform bead. My next step is to try using tape on the remaining joints. In addition, I may go back to Home Depot and get one of the tools that someone here recommended.
One thing I did notice is that some of the YouTube caulking joints are not as clean as they seem from a distance. A lot of them have smearing, as well. Now when I visit other bathrooms, I guess I'll be looking over the caulking jobs. My goal is a very professional looking caulked joint.
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mcp6453 wrote:

I had a pro install a small counter top. He put silicone caulk on the bottom of the backsplash and pressed it onto the counter. There was squeeze-out. He sprayed 409 cleaner into the corner and removed the squeeze-out. The silicone caulk did not stick to the surfaces wetted with 409. If you can get a good bead 409 might replace tape.
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So you learned that: 1. This skill requires either tuition or experience (trial and error.) 2. Less material correctly positioned (as by specialist tools or a wet finger) is better than more material badly placed.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
  Click to see the full signature.
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On 1/19/2010 8:07 AM, Don Phillipson wrote:

Don, you're absolutely correct, and I never doubted either one. What would you suggest for a next step? Rip it up and try again? That's what I'm leaning towards.
The caulk I used is GE II, 3-hour drying time. It's finish is bright white, or glossy. To make matters worse, the gloss draws the eye to the caulk line.
http://www.caulkyourhome.com/ge-silicone-II-paintable-silicone.php
I'm now convinced that I need to spend some time at http://www.gesealants.com learning about caulk. That's what I should have done before I ended up with multiple tubes of caulk.
Here's the even newer one-hour stuff I bought but haven't opened yet.
http://www.caulkyourhome.com/ge-silicone-II-kb-supreme.php
New question: There are a couple of spots that need some additional caulk. Can I add new caulk on top of new caulk, as in layers?
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mcp6453 wrote:

That is one drawback to clear silicone - I first noticed that feature when my parents built a new home and the contractor used c.s. around all of the baseboard/flooring joints in the bathrooms. A good idea to caulk them but not with shiny stuff.

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One of the neat things about silicone sealants/caulks is that the bond between old and new layers is about as strong as unlayered material. This why it is perfectly acceptable to razor blade off old material without entirely removing it. The well bonded old silicone is in fact a perfect primer. The deadliest thing for silicone adhesion is any kind of detergent or similar material.
Joe
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painters tape on either side of the joint cut tip on an angle use a good gun the backs off when you let go of the 'trigger' when working with silicone wet your finger with white vinegar use water when working with latex based like painters caulk after your bead is down smooth it from bothe nds toward the middle have A LOT of paper towels ready and a bucket or grocery bag to toss them in pull the tape right after you get it smoothed out
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I second that .. Good quality painter's tape on each sides + wet/ clean finger to smooth things out results in a VERY good looking joint, even for a beginner (like me).
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On Tue, 19 Jan 2010 06:14:58 -0800 (PST), Limp Arbor

Maybe the best advice. A pro might be able to use a cheap gun successfully but they won't usually even try. Why does anyone ever think an amateur would be successful with one. You want a gun with a swiveling barrel so the cut tip can be rotated to match the surface and one with a good unloader that relieves pressure (flow) when you stop.
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On 1/19/2010 10:28 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

The one I bought seems to be a good one, but I'd be willing to spend more. When I release the trigger, a little silicone still comes out, but it doesn't pour out. It was twice the price of the cheaper ones. If you can, please recommend a brand or model that would be a good one.
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mcp6453 wrote:

Back off on the trigger before you get to the end, and slow down appropriately. After you pull the gun away, immediately release the plunger ratchet to remove all pressure on the caulk.
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wrote:

Excellent advise. These methods work!
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On Jan 19, 10:28am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Unless you plan on doing a LOT of caulking, you don't need to spend money (about $20.00) on a caulking gun with a "swiveling barrel".
A decent caulking gun such as this works just fine.
http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair/images/CaulkingGun.jpg
I used to use the one in the above picture and it is now buried somewhere in my garage.
These are what I use now.....the top pic is battery powered and the one below has a rotating barrel.
http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p96/bigelile/IM002727.jpg
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On Tue, 19 Jan 2010 06:14:58 -0800 (PST), Limp Arbor

Best cut the tip smaller than the bead you need, always start small. Make sure the tip is cut cleanly with the razor/utility knife blade (lay the tip on a block of wood and get a clean straight angled cut. No burs on the tip.

Se other posts.

Sponge and water is my choice. The grout sponges located in the tile section.

See good sponges :)

Pull up and away from the caulk bead. Rapid is better, Imo.
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mcp6453 wrote:

Perhaps you can rig something to practice on. There is nothing like making a mess to teach one's self what doesn't work :o) Using either a finger, tool or the tip of the caulk tube, make the bead slope to the very edge of the tape...If you are dealing with a curled edge on the linoleum, you first need to find a way to hold it down. It might be easier going around the tub to do the back wall first, let it cure, then do the ends - corners are tough for me to get done neatly. Push the tube along smoothly and steadily as you can (this is where practice helps).
Has anyone invented bottled spit? Sure would help for jobs like caulking :o) Keep a damp rag handy to keep tools/finger clean and remove tape right away after you have caulked. If a space is larger than about 1/4" wide, you should use backer rod (like a round rope of firm foam) to fill the space so caulk isn't piled in too deeply - it won't cure if not exposed to air.
Yeh, I tend to notice caulk jobs wherever I go - hard to imagine doing it as badly as some I have seen that look more like an explosion :o)
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On 1/19/2010 10:04 AM, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Actually, yes. I have a bottle of some sort of chemical by GE that you spray on the caulk to keep it from sticking to your finger. It's a home, so I don't have the details handy. It does work, though, and it doesn't take much.
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mcp6453 wrote:

I have had better results using a damp sponge than a wet finger. The sponge soaks up excess caulk better than my finger can and conforms to angles better. Experiment with moisture level of sponge and wash it out often.
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On Tue, 19 Jan 2010 15:52:38 +0000 (UTC), "badgolferman"

Exactly! I use tile (sea) sponges from the tile section - the orange ones (4X6X2?) Keep fresh clean water and rinse often.
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On 1/20/2010 1:50 PM, Oren wrote:

I still haven't finished the job. I lost my enthusiasm. Hopefully I can get back in the mood soon so that I can get the bathroom back in service.
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mcp6453 wrote:

Persevere. It took me 4-5 do-overs before I got the recaulk of my tub to stick more than a couple of weeks. (After 4 years, I couldn't stand looking at that hideous press-on caulk thing previous owner had installed any more, with mold growing out of every crevice a week after soaking it in bleach...). Lesson learned- a reseal of the grout on the wall, about a day after the caulk job, helps keep water from getting behind it and making it fall off. And I got the best looking bead using one of those caulk tools that looks like a square rubber rod cut off at an angle, with as tiny a bead as I could get from the toothpaste-tube style bathtub caulk from the borg.
Glad I have a second 3/4 bath, so I could let the main one dry a day before applying the caulk, and 3-4 days to cure after.
-- aem sends...
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