Using a caulking gun is essential as a delivery system to help you keep all of the cracks in your house sealed. Whether it’s for stopping water or air, mastering a caulk gun is a great skill to have. Here are some tips to use a caulk gun effectively:
Have the right type
There are many types of caulk to consider when buying them. There are ones that can go on metal, plastic or wood along with those that can be used to seal out air or water. Along with just these basic caulks, there are more specialized ones for specific purposes. If necessary, have a store employee help you select the right kind for you.
If the surface you are caulking has been done before, your first step is to remove the old caulk using a knife or a scraper. If it doesn’t have old caulk, you will still need to make sure that the entire surface area is cleaned. The new caulk won’t apply as well if it’s put onto a dirty surface.
Perfect practice make perfect
If you’ve never used a caulk gun before, they can be a little finicky. Before you start on the surface that you’re actually going to work on, get an idea of how much will come out with the amount of pressure that you use on a piece of scrap cardboard. You will likely need less pressure than you think to get a nice, even bead.
The biggest trick, besides how much you let out, is the speed that you go. Your impulse will likely be to move quickly but going slower with consistent movements will give you the best finish.
When you feel like you have the speed and amount down, it’s time to get started on the surface. You will want to hold the gun at an angle to help you get it into the crack the best. Although the impulse is to put the tip closer to the crack if there’s too much being applied, it’s best to pull it back a bit. To help get the caulk in the crack even better, use your finger to gently press it in. If there is a lot of excess after that, use a rag to wipe it away (and clean your finger).
When you’re all done, you may have some caulk left in the gun. If left open, the caulk will dry up for the next time you want to use it. Instead, put a nail in the tip and put it in a cool, dry place. This should keep you caulk ready for the next time you want to use it.