Ever noticed any tiny gap or hole showing on your home wall? These cracks look really awful and need some sealing to become unnoticeable. One quick method is caulking. With an easy-to-use caulk gun, you need to fill the holes with a material. That will seal down any gap perfectly.
A caulking gun is basically a tool that comes with a carbide or tube.
This part is usually filled with the right sealing material. Most of the time, these caulk materials are made from latex and silicone.
These are also great at bonding a lot of materials. You can try the gun for ceramic, metal, wood, and glass, as well. By controlling the gun, you can decide how much caulk is released at one time.
I’m breaking down how to use a caulk gun for the first time.
The Caulking Gun Mechanism – 11 Steps Using Method!
Before jumping into the overall process using a caulking gun, there’s one thing you need to ensure. Check for the type of cartridge product you’ll be using.
Here’s what you need to do in easy 11 steps.
1. Get Your Area Well Prepared
Use a putty knife and get out the old caulk. Simply place the sharp knife edge at the old caulk’s base. Next, grab the handle while pushing a knife forward. Keep on doing so until the old caulk comes out.
This way, there’s no chance of over-layering. Also, it helps to keep your foundation strong. You can also get rid of old caulk using a wire brush.
If you are stuck with silicone caulking, use a needle-nose plier to pull it out by one side gently.
2. Keeping Everything Neat & Tidy
Get some hot water and disinfectant. Use this to wash down the crack gradually. Using a rag, wipe the area gently. Use another dry fabric to wipe once again. Let it be completely water-free.
When trying to caulk, there will be insulation. So, it’s important to make debris gone completely. You can also try a plastic scraper to lift any sturdy grime leftover.
3. Using Painter’s Tape
You can use painter’s tape to get the crack more preciously. Take the strap and place one long end just above the crack. Let another long strip sit right below the crack. This tape will make sure nothing else than the gap touched is by caulk. That is also a precaution from any mistake happening later.
Also, by using a painter’s tape, you assure a better aesthetical result. Make sure to pull out the tape quickly once you finish caulking.
4. Inserting Tube
You need to press the release trigger next to the insert tube. This trigger should be sitting on the back of your caulking gun. Use your thumb and press it gently.
A long steel rod should loosen after doing so. That is usually running along with the whole frame. Using your other hand, make sure you pull this rod. Let it go as far back as you can while holding the tube.
A better way is to ask someone to help you keep the rod back. You’ll find inserting the tube easier that way. Next, you need to keep loading the tube into the frame keeping nozzle facing away. It must not face your direction at all.
Get the back of the gun and gradually insert the flat end of the tube. Do so until the back end touches the gun’s ending. Now, let the tube’s forward end get lower. It should be snug and on a level with everything else.
You can use the tip cutter and piercing rod. These are helpful for placing the tube inside the frame. Curious to know how to unload caulking tube?
5. Let the Tube Sit Safely
Make sure the tube is sitting inside the frame securely in its place. Now insert the metal rod back into the caulking tube. You need to ensure that the hook is plunging deep backward. This way, the whole caulk will stay in place while you work.
Also, it keeps the triggering working better for overall gun function. If there’ is any confusion while performing this step, refer to instructions. You should get a guide with the caulk tube. Usually, the instruction guide comes with a precise method for that particular tube.
6. Thinking About the Right Thickness
If you observe the caulking tube, you’ll notice the front nozzle is long and sealed. You need to shape down this nozzle at a required point. This way, you’ll be able to get caulk out at your preferable width.
Keep in mind that for larger cracks, you need to cut the nozzle near the tube. For a tiny crack, the nozzle needs a precious cutting near its end. Make sure you have thought right about your cutting thickness. Once you make a cut, there’s no turning back.
A simple way to make the right cut is to keep it closer to the nozzle’s pointy end. This way, it will give thinner results. If you want to increase the thickness, go for another cut. But at least it’s safer than making a huge cut at first that you can’t rewind.
7. Practicing the Caulk Release
It’s a good idea to practice over a piece of paper first. Hold the gun with strong hands. Make sure the nozzle is facing at 45-degree angle downwards.
Now, place it over the paper and trigger it. Let the caulking gun move steadily over it. See how well you control the caulk coming out in the stream. With fast movements, you’ll get thin and uneven results.
Also, if you go too slow with the gun, the caulk will become unworkable and chunky. Practice until you find the right balance in the middle. Sometimes, caulk does not come out even when you push the trigger. Don’t worry, and try once again after releasing the trigger. It should work.
8. Holding the Gun Right
Now time to caulk down the crack. Maintain a 45-degree angle with the crack holding caulk gun. You need to hold it tightly with both hands.
Let the trigger have one of your fingers to get it pressed when it’s right time. Your other hand should be holding the tube, helping with the right aim. Make sure you also use gravity by holding it at an angle. This will make the flow even better.
9. Triggering the Gun
Press the trigger at this point. The steel rod inside will force the caulk to come out. Make sure you push the trigger with firm and steady hands.
The caulk will start to come out of a gun in a slow and controlled manner. Make sure you stop if the flow and control are not right, try once again.
10. Controlling the Gun
Now, since the caulk is coming out of the nozzle, it’s time to keep moving. Let the gun move the right way to fill up cracks evenly. It should release the caulk inside crack holes. The solidification of caulk is probably going to be quite fast. So better make it in one go with steady hands.
If, by chance, you miss certain spots, don’t panic. You can try once again and fill out those missing points. There’s no such rule as finishing the caulking in one go.
The caulk will most probably go over nearby areas of the crack. But since you have already applied painter’s tape, there’s nothing to worry about it. Just peel it off once you are done.
11. Even Out & Let it Dry
It’s time to even out the application. You can use a simple metal spoon from your kitchen to do so. Just heat the spoon by putting it in hot water. Let it heat for around thirty seconds.
Now, use the curvy edge and go over caulk. That will smooth down the work nicely. The aesthetically caulking line is what is left behind without any mistakes. You can use the heated spoon for further fining, as well.
Let the caulk dry now for around 24 hours straight. Once the time is over, it should become solid completely.
Some Remarkable Caulking Tips
You can reuse a tube by simply cutting the nozzle. Use a utility knife to make a slightly bigger than the existing one. Drive a screw into the nozzle head to get rid of any solid caulk from it.
For windows and doors, use polyurethane. While sealing interior trims use latex. In kitchen and bath areas, the shiny silicone caulk is best. Instead of going for an expensive caulk gun, buy something with a cradle and ratchet action.
Just like golf, you need to work with your legs and upper body to stay in a straight line. Using your wrist for caulking won’t give you the best results.
If you are caulking a concrete area, there’s a simple trick to do. Use the concrete mix to dust over the caulking line while it is wet. That will make your caulking line invisible. You can use a plastic straw instead of caulking guns in areas that are too hard to maneuver with control.
Here’s an easy video tutorial to help you understand the process even better.
I tried my best to explain every step. Hopefully, now you won’t have any difficulty with how to use a caulking gun for the first time.
After doing the caulking a couple of more times, this will become quite simple and easier. So, don’t worry if you mess up a little at first. It’s your very first attempt, and that’s too normal to happen. Keep on trying and practicing on a piece of paper. Once you get the trick, try it on cracks.
I’m sure you’ll do great.
Which step of the whole process was most challenging? Let me know in the Comment section below once you try it Out!
Antone Beaver is a DIY expert. He has a keen interest in tools and DIY projects around the house. He is always willing to provide you with the best solution for your home. He has 11 years of experience in the DIY sector. His highlighted skills in the DIY industry are: 1. Caulking 2. Drilling 3. Painting 4. Nailing 5. Measuring