In a 15 second "This Old House" tip, they said don't cut too much off
the tip of a caulking tube and get too big a bead, or it will be hard
to work with.
And then they showed the guy pulling the tube backwards away from the
tip as he applied the caulk. People here, and I agree, said to push
the tube forward. The guy I bought my house from didn't seem to know
that and left a mess everywhere he caulked.
Does anyone pull the tube back?
the way I do it...and it's probably wrong... is lay a thinner bead than
you think you'll need. Wipe your fingers on a wet rag leaving them as
wet as possible and then PUSH the caulk into the joint with your
finger, this creates a better seal. Remember caulk is water-based and
is really easy to clean up with just plain water or a wipe off with a
I've never met anyone who "pushed" the tub as they're laying a bead...
I like to think of caulking as more a sculpting art that a chore.
And whatever you do, don't go up to the unsuspecting college girl
working the paint counter at home depot and ask her "Where would I find
I asked about this a year or two ago, and iirc, I got 2, 3, or 4
people who said they pushed it, and no one who said they pulled.**
I push because the tip of the tube makes a nice concave line (I guess
one wouldn't call it a bead since it is concave.) and the part on the
outside is (usually?) easy to get rid of after it dries.
I caulked only rarely before I bought a house, this house, but that
was my habit. It was confirmed when I saw the swirlies that the first
owner of this house put in all his caulk. And he caulked everywhere
because he was from Louisiana and he was cold here in Maryland. His
caulking looked like waves splashing on the shore. I can just imagine
little surfers one each one to two millimeter crest.
Wow, at least Craven doesn't think I'm crazy.
**I don't have time to hunt in google now, but I thought that is what
Took me an hour to cut away the old caulking to switch out a failed storm
window. The dumbass didn't realize he was creating a collection point that
contributed to the mold problem he was trying to solve. (what's a weep
The *correct* way to apply caulk is to pull back as it comes out of the
tube. Then, it must be TOOLED into the joint for proper adhesion.
Pushing caulk from the tube doesn't properly tool it into the joint.
Applying too much caulk can make a mess no matter how you apply it.
Those of us in the business know that pushing the tube, where possible,
yields a better result, produces a better seal with less waste. This method
drives the goop further into the crack which is good. However it does take
practice to do this successfully.
Instead of using the laborious masking tape, wet your index finger with
Windex and run it across the seam (without forcing Windex into the
seam; i.e., don't spray). Now run the bead and follow by wiping with a
wet (not soaking wet) cloth. You will impressed with how clean the
caulked seam looks. I was.
Windex is needed for caulking around tiles, bathtubs, vinyl floors, and
the likes; else using a water-wet finger followed by a damp cloth wipe
will smear the surface "like mad." Not a pretty sight! Windex-base
caulking, when wiped by a damp cloth, will give the cleanest bead
you've ever seen. The idea is that caulking does not stick to a
surface covered by Windex. Try it. You will be impressed.
It worked fine, but I will try the Windex next time. I wish you'd
told me sooner. There was a bottle on the edge of the tub when I
was doing the work.
I'm a painting contractor, I go through about 10 tubes of caulking every
month for the last 20 years, I cut a small end off, about 1/16th" hole, on a
slight angle, probably 30 degrees, and pull the gun towards me on about that
30 degree angle, wipe off with finger, done.
I'll try that too, and everything else people said. I'll admit that I
did the bathtub a week ago and havent' gone back to remove the edge
But more important than that, I got my motorcycle running 10 minutes
ago (3:30PM here), the first time since 1972. It's pretty loud!
And I had thought up until now that I would go riding, as best I know
how, immediately after it started, but the throttle doesn't spring
back quickly enough. And it will be dark in an hour and a half.
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