How To: Finish Trim Caulking

7 Replies

When doing "finish caulking" (baseboard, crown molding, door trim, ect.) the last thing you want is to be wiping away loads of excess caulking. To avoid this I like to use a small tube of caulk that requires no caulking-gun to operate. I prefer the DAP kitchen and bath caulking. The trick is to use a pair of side cutting pliers to pinch/cut the end so you get a nice small hole. This will leave zero excess caulking. Apply and then follow up once with your finger or wet rag. 

That's my tip for a mess free caulk job while doing finish work. 

-David F.

One other tip...make sure you DON'T accidently pick up the silicone calk.  Really, nothing sticks to silicone, including paint!  :-)  Look for the calk that says it's "paintable", unless you've got a trim color that matches the calk, where you aren't going to have to pain.

Nice tip @David Frandsen  

Do you have stock in DAP? I make a small hole in the caulk tube with a finish nail and wipe with a vasoline coated finger, keeps caulk from sticking to you, better yet, get a box of surgical gloves or hospital gloves and toss it when done.

DAP is good stuff, easy to control, but you'll always have some clean up to push the bead in the gap to be sealed. Laying a bead on top doesn't last as long as getting a good bond in the craves to be filled.

Ah, Vaseline. I agree with the thin line of caulk, most people lay down too much.  I use a wet finger, cup of water handy to dip the finger each time, and rag to clean the finger each time.

@Bill Gulley  I'll have to try the Vaseline trick. Sounds awesome. Thanks for the info!

I do what brooks mentioned, I wet my finger on every pass.  Work great, and I think the trick relies on how big you cut the tip.

Good tips. 

When caulking I wet my finger and keep a paper towel handy. I am also all too familiar with what paintable caulk tastes like these days since I don't thoroughly clean my fingers between each section. Hah! 

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