How To Lay Down a Mean Caulk Bead

Featured writer Deren S. Monday wants to pass along 4 DIY skills to his kids. The first was building a fence that rots before it falls. The second is laying a caulk bead properly.
I never appreciated the wonders of caulk until adulthood. I thought caulking was as simple as squeezing out a fat bead and walking away. How wrong! Turns out once I started remodeling my house, and actually caring (ok, obsessing) about quality, I needed a new caulk strategy.
So, I did a little asking here and there, and came up with my current caulking rules:
1. Surface prep – Clean your surface thoroughly with a wet rag before applying caulk.
2. Bead thickness – The bead need be just thick enough to cover the gap.
3. Wet finger rule – Always, always, always use a wet finger to immediately smooth the bead.
4. Gun quality – Buy a good quality manual caulking gun once and use it for 20 years.
5. Cap it for Reuse – Buy one of those 79-cent caulk tube caps that pressure fit to the nozzle and get more use out of one tube than you could imagine.

I tried to teach this to my 3-year-old recently and let’s just say he ended up with caulking in spots where caulking should never go…
Deren S. Monday has spent over a decade in the residential and commercial construction industry, and is a graduate of the Construction Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He is thankful his father has some great years ahead… Deren is the author of Your Cheap Kitchen Remodel: A Guide to Your Affordable Dream Kitchen.
photo: Hoggarazzi

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