First Caulking a Mess

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OK, I've been caulking things for over 20 yrs (glass business) it takes a LOT of practice to be able to run a nice bead.
I've seen a few posts that tell you to practice running beads, but that is a waste of caulk which is going to cost you even more money.
If you have at least a halfway decent caulking gun, I would recommend using tape as others have pointed out (you can use cheap masking tape btw instead of that expensive blue painters tape) and getting one of those finishing tools from Home Depot like this one
http://www.toolsnob.com/pictures/DAP_caulk_tool.jpg
Believe or not, not only is running a good bead an "art form" but so is using a finger with spit to smooth it. It takes a lot of practice / experience.
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BTW, make sure EVERY time that you stop and lift the gun, to wipe the nozzle clean with a paper towel or rag before starting again.
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Ron wrote:

$3-$4 for a tube of caulk? One can waste it practicing or waste it gumming up a bath surround :o) It's just about impossible to guage the size of the tip, speed of movement and evenness of the bead without trying it out. I practiced on a bathtub three times until I got the hang of it :o)
Could just fold a piece of corrugated cardboard into a a right angle to use as a joint to practice caulking on.

I agree, and you have got to keep a wet rag handy to clean fingers.
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wrote:

But, if he buys the tool that was recommended for what, $2, and uses tape he'll be done with it.
I had plenty of practice back in the early 80s because my boss made me practice. Took 2 pieces of glass and taped them together at a 90 degree angle. Run a "bead" (lol) scrape it off with a single edge razor, and run another one. Not that big of a deal when you are working for a company that is paying about 50 cents (if not less) for a tube of silicone.
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I had to do about 40 feet of 'finger' caulking. Unfortunately, I didn't pick up a good technique until almost the end. Here goes: Don't try to 'finger-smooth' the caulk, say left-to-right, all from beginning to end. Example: Your tub is five feet long, and you want to 'finger smooth' all five feet. Let's assume that you want to 'finger-smooth' from left to right. START one foot from the right end of the tub and smooth that one foot left-to-right. START your second move about 2 feet from the right end and again, 'finger-smooth' left to right. When you go over a few inches of the previous portion, you won't even notice it. CONTINUE this process smoothing from left-to-right always starting at a point further to the left.
Any attempt to start at the very left end just accumulates a giant blob on your finger and makes a mess.
Ivan Vegvary
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There are preparatory classes, and then when you're physically and spiritually ready, you intervieew with the priest. And then you can have your First Caulking, and take the squeezegun and tube. It sounds like you just weren't ready for your First Caulking.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

My first caulking left a mess all over also. Good thing she understood....
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