For the Love of Moulding

I love moulding…but it comes with a cost. It actually costs a lot less than most people imagine. In fact, I think it is one of the best upgrades for your buck you can do to your home.

But it does take a lot of work. You will need a good miter saw and I then suggest you get some scrap board and just cut away. Trying to figure out how all those angles work can be mind-boggling.

Another tool that comes in very handy for this job is a nail gun…it can be done without it..but once you become addicted to moulding like me you will want the gun.

No matter how good you get there will always be a joint that just doesn’t come out right…that is ok…that is why they made caulking.

My husband isn’t real happy I took this picture, but it proves my point.

Thirty years ago Mr. Amazing wasn’t so amazing at caulking…in fact he was terrible at it…but he has learned a few things along the way and now he does it like a pro…thanks to me …come on..I’m the one that provided all the projects for him to practice on…

I will let him tell you in his own words how to do it….

First rule of caulking, use a Caulking Gun, not one of those little toothpaste looking tubes. A caulking gun costs less that $5.00, you get much better control and the caulking refills are much more economical. Every caulking gun has a rod that pushes the caulking out of the tube, and a release to let that rod slide back out of the tube. Figure out how the release works. It will be your best friend. All of the instructions I have given you below deal with “water cleanup caulk”. If the caulk is not “water cleanup caulk” disregard any of the instructions dealing with the water. Everything else applies. HINT: Always use “water cleanup caulk!”

Get a small bucket, about a gallon, and fill it 1/3 full of warm water. Put a small piece of cloth, smaller than a handkerchief, into the water. You will use this to clean the end of the caulking gun, to rinse your fingers and as a place to put that extra caulking that may show up coming out the end of the tube. The cloth does not come out of the water while you are working, it is just there to give you something to wipe against.

To start, cut off the end of the tube about 3/8″  from the end at a 45 degree angle. When you put the tube in the gun, the point should be at the top of the gun angling back towards the bottom of the gun like this /. Put the end of the tube over the bucket and squeeze out the first bit of caulk. Now quickly release and pull back the push rod to stop the flow of caulk. Wipe off the end of the tube with the cloth.

When you approach the work surface, think 45 degrees. You want the gun to be angled 45 degrees from the seam with the gun handle leading the way. The tip of the tube should be firmly but gently held snug against the seam. Gently and smoothly squeeze the gun handle. As soon as you see a bit of caulking on the handle side (leading side) of the tube nozzle, gently pull the caulking gun along the seam while continuing to gently and smoothly squeeze the gun handle. You should always see just a little bit of caulking on the leading side of the tube nozzle. This avoids voids (sounds like an old Domino’s Pizza  commercial) and forces caulk into the seam, not just on top of it. The smoother and more consistant your actions are, the better job of caulking will result.

When you get to the end of the run, stop squeezing the handle, release and pull back the pull rod to stop the flow of caulk. Smoothly lift the gun off of the seam while finishing the run. Wipe any excess caulk off of the tube tip and lay the caulking gun down on a paper or something safe in case some caulk decides to sneak out.

Dip your fingers into the bucket, shake off the excess water and gently smooth your newly caulked seam with one finger. Again, think 45 degrees. Your fingers should be damp, not dripping. Periodically wipe the excess caulk off of your finger in the water so it doesn’t smear onto the area on both sides of the caulked seam. Expect that the floor below your work area will get dripped on, and cover it before you begin if it is sensitive to water.

You don’t want to work the caulk any more than is necessary. Less is better.

Now stand back and admire your handi-work.

Don’t get discouraged. Caulking is an art and it takes time and practice to perfect.

Have you ever tried caulking? Do you have any tips to add?


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