Putty And Caulking Repairs

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Ted Richards, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Ted Richards

    Ted Richards Well-Known Member
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    When we moved into this place in 2005, it was 9 years old, owned by an older widow and seemed to be in pretty good shape. “Ahhhh”, I thought, “I’ll not have much fixing-up to do”. Then I started noticing tiny little nails and tiny little nail holes everywhere. The nails didn’t match up with where I wanted to hang pictures, so out came the nails and moved to new locations. Has this ever happened to you? Sure it has! Now your walls are peppered with tiny little holes. Fortunately, the solution is simple, fill them all in with putty. More specifically Wallboard Joint Compound or it may have a similar name, depending on the brand.

    I have a variety of putty knives that I use for applying putty. They range from 1” wide to 4” wide and I always use two at a time, one to hold putty, and one to apply it. I also have a roll of paper towels and a container of water at hand. Use your putty knife to press material into the hole, then lay it flat to smooth off the excess. Then use a damp paper towel to remove any smear around the hole. When it dries, you won’t even have to sand it smooth. If your walls are a light color, you probably won’t have to repaint either because a tiny white spot is much less noticeable than a dark hole.

    After a few weeks, I began to notice other things that needed doing too; the front door and storm door didn’t completely seal all around and didn’t latch smoothly and weren’t properly caulked to keep out drafts. Since it was wintertime, I made some temporary repairs and left the caulking for summer.

    Caulking is something every homeowner should do a lot of, it keeps the cold drafts out and saves on your heating costs. Most homeowners don’t use it because it’s icky, gets all over your hands, it’s sticky, etc. so it is avoided like the Plague. Face down you fears of icky! Again, a container of water is the key to success. First, let’s define caulking because there are many different types for different applications. The most familiar is white silicone bathtub caulk. The type I use most is acrylic latex with silicone caulk that is sometimes called Painters Caulk because it can be painted over and is UV resistant for outdoor use. Some straight silicone caulks cannot be painted over, they shed paint like water!

    Painters Caulk is great for sealing cracks, especially cracks that tend to crack again because of slight movements in the house. Painters Caulk is slightly flexible to accommodate movement. One caution, you can’t sand it smooth, it just rolls up, so get it smooth when you are applying it. That’s actually pretty easy. The key is, have a small container of water and a roll of paper towels at hand. Use a single sheet of damp toweling to clean off the excess as you go.

    First, cut off the tip at a 45-degree angle. Cut it so that you have a nice big hole for the caulking to be extruded. Place it in the caulking gun (inexpensive!) and squeeze out the caulking slowly while you are dragging it along the crack. Just slightly overfill the crack and work slowly and carefully for about two feet. Stop and release the pressure on the caulking gun so that caulk stops extruding out of it.

    Now, wet your index finger and very lightly smooth the top. Keep wetting your finger as you shape the caulking into a perfect bead or even level with the surface. Then use damp paper towels to remove the excess. It’s time-consuming but easy to do perfect repairs. I’ve also used this technique to fill large holes, even shape large corners, it just takes patience.

    When you are all done, you will have some on your hands. Don’t worry, it washes off fairly easily. However, if you get it on your clothes, you need to get it off before it dries, otherwise your clothes will permanently “decorated”. If you find that you have missed wiping up a few smears on your work, they can be rubbed off with a white eraser when the caulk is cured.

    So far this year, I’ve used up 8 tubes of caulk on this place that seemed to be in pretty good shape. Fortunately, it’s not expensive, $1.79 per tube. The caulking gun runs less than $5 new or a quarter each at yard sales.
     
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  2. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    I just did some caulking this past week. My caulking gun didn't want to work so I cut open the tube of caulking and used my finger to apply it. :D
     
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  3. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Caulk ........ Is that the sealer that goes around baths and sinks
    Ours is white (or supposed to be) but I think the guy used a cheap make and has turned yellow very quickly.
    I doubt there's anything I can use to whiten it - is there ?
     
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  4. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    I've done some calking, both in our apartment and on our boat (marine calk). Most apartment maintenance, I leave up to our Maintenance guys, but there are a few things I do.

    Getting ready to fill in nail holes of pictures we are taking down and packing up. It's in our Leasing Agreement that we have to do this it will be changed if not done. Have to fill in holes where shelf anchor/screws were in walls.
     
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  5. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    I think bleach can clean it. Gloves in hand of course and I would use some warm soapy water - just because bleach is very strong.
     
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  6. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Caulking.
    @Ted Richards has brought up a subject that is very near and dear to my heart in that I have to face the stuff on a daily basis. The adage of "like it or leave it" comes to mind so when one is concerned with home renovations, the attitude of "like it" must be attained at all cost before embarking on the journey of learning to caulk.
    One of the most popular methods of liking and becoming one with the caulk and gun is to sit in the Lotus position and meditate on cracks whilst chanting, "caulking and silicone and seam seal are good. caulking and silicone and seam seal are good".
    Note: Some folks cannot get into the Lotus position so perhaps the Warrior position is more appropriate but mind you, not too much warrior attitude because the caulking will detect any hint of aggression and it will pour out of the tube just as aggressively or in a fit of pique, not at all.

    Now, when you have obtained the necessary warm and fuzzy feeling toward filling endless seams with the sealant do know that caulking needs to be warmed also. If it is not already at a good room temperature or a bit warmer and if you know that you are going to embark upon the caulking cruise ship of honey-do's or that of personal accomplishments, it will be wise to get your tubes warmed for use.
    For that, placing your tubes in a bucket of warm water might be the best way but placing a couple of them under the electric blanket with your soul mate after you get up from bed in the morning definitely runs a close second.
    Another Note: When you are using the cardboard tubes, use any other method other than warm water because the tubes will indeed disintegrate into oblivion.

    I did notice the Ted covered almost everything else, but a couple more things have come to mind and I believe I might add them at a later time.
    Happy Caulking! caulking and silicone and seam seal are good, caulking and silicone and seam seal are goooooooddddddd..............Kumbaya my Lord, Kumbaya...............................
     
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  7. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    I'll try a little bit @Von Jones - believe its silicone seal though
     
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