If you’re doing home renovations then it’s very likely you’ve either wielded a caulk gun or are about to.
Caulking comes in handy whether you want to put the finishing touch on trim and baseboards, seal windows against draughts, or in sealing plumbing fixtures. Some jobs will call for specific types or colors, but for the most part, a good brand of paintable caulk will get almost any job finished to your satisfaction.
When working with caulk, you’ll also need to invest in a good quality caulk gun. There are a number on the market, and it might be overwhelming when you start shopping around, so I’ve made it easy and reduced your list to the best that the market has to offer!
What You Need To Know About Caulking...
As opposed to regular caulk, paintable caulk, once dry, allows the paint to adhere for a professional finished look to your renovations. If you’re using a regular caulk, it tends to make the paint run off sporadically, making it look as if you weren’t paying much attention to the job at hand!
Whenever you’re using caulk around drywall or any other paintable surface (such as trim, especially around windows or doors, and baseboards) using paintable caulk is just plain good practice. You’ll of course want one that fits best with your colors, but as a rule nice white paintable caulk is best, since that’s typically the color of your baseboards and trim anyway, and it will blend in nicely.
You can easily see where you’ve applied it (unlike some clear caulks, which in certain lighting can be hard to locate and can make for a messy result) and fix any mistakes you might have made. (Let’s be honest, it takes some practice to get it right!)
Hands down the best paintable caulk I’ve used (and I’ve done a lot of home renovations both for myself and others) is none other than Alex Plus Acrylic Latex painting caulk by Dap Inc.
Dap is a well-known name going all the way back to 1865 when the company started with sealing wax for canning food. It’s stood the test of time with very reliable products, and this high quality caulk is no exception.
It has been great for a variety of uses, and because it’s paintable, you don’t have to worry if you haven’t gotten that perfect bead along trim or baseboards. Just smooth it with a gloved fingertip, let it dry, and then paint over any excess! Because it remains flexible, it’s easy to peel if you’ve overshot and didn’t immediately notice.
The caulk dries quickly but as I said, remains flexible and will adhere to a variety of surfaces including glass, stone, metal, drywall, wood, ceramic and brick! It’s both mildew and moisture resistant so you can go ahead and use it along those window and door frames and in all of your bathroom renovations.
It’s also good for use both in and outside your home – the projects you could apply this to are endless, making it a helpful product for both professionals and the handy homeowner. This particular caulk is white and the tube holds a full 11 fluid ounces.
What You Need To Know About Caulking Guns...
Do you really need to find the best caulk gun for the job?
You’ve probably seen the products out there; the tubes of caulk (they look like big toothpaste tubes) that advertise an easy and mess-free way of application.
They look like they might take the stress out of the job, don’t they?
In multiple tests by professional tradespeople, it was found time and again that caulk from a tube tended to shrink, meaning that the space you’re trying to cover isn’t going to get the desired seal.
You’re going to end up having to reapply...possibly multiple times. The shrinkage was assumed to be due to the thinning down of the sealant required in order to squeeze easily from a tube.
The sealant from a tube is meant to be used in combination with a caulk gun, which, on the other hand, can be very thick since the pressure is applied by the gun itself.
So which is the best caulk gun to get the job done right?
This gun works like a dream and doesn’t take any effort to use. The pressure rod requires less force to use than most, and is also less noisy for repeated use (whether you’re new to home renovations or not, there is a bit of stop and go when using caulk guns. With some of them the noise can be a bit jarring.)
The Hex Rod has a steel half barrel frame, which makes it sturdy and resistant to damage. To help prevent the mess associated with caulk jobs, the rod actually retracts by itself on this one after each trigger pull! This goes a long way to prevent drips and a huge clean up. Both the handle and trigger are padded, making this the most comfortable caulk gun on the market.
Before using caulk and the gun, it’s important to make sure you cut the tip of the tube of sealant on an angle. A small hole will obviously result in a small bead of caulk, while a larger hole results in a larger bead. Cut according to the job that you want done.
Once the tube is cut, insert it into the cradle of the gun. Now all you need to do is squeeze the trigger (some are more of a pump action) until you see the caulk start to emerge. If you notice that your bead isn’t big enough, release the trigger and cut a bigger hole.
Take your time, have confidence, and get that renovation done with the best the market has to offer!