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How to Use a Caulking Gun

Tips and Techniques on How to Use a Caulking Gun Efficiently

To fill in cracks in either windows, bathtub, walls, or any other areas around the house, a caulking gun can be quite helpful. Read the HomeQuicks article to find out how to use the gun correctly.
Sheetal Mandora
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
A caulking gun is a tool mostly used during various types of construction or home improvement work. You can seal or fill any gaps and seams in a building, and help keep water, insects, pollution, dirt, and the harsh weather out.
Steps to Follow
The gun is filled with a material which works on the interior and exterior areas of your home. There are many varieties found such as silicone caulk, acrylic latex caulk, and Butyl rubber caulk. There are other types of caulk as well that can be used around your home like the kitchen, countertops, gutter, roof, etc. Depending on which surface area you need to fill up the cracks, choose the right caulk material.
  • You will require―a caulk gun, caulk (variety depending on the project), a nail, a utility knife, and some cleaning towels. To ready the area, clean it properly so there's no dirt, paint, or previous caulk left.
  • Once the area is dry, begin loading the gun. To do so, you will place a tube of caulk inside the gun. Before we begin, you need to be absolutely sure that the tube is fitted properly.
  • The tip of the tube, near the spout, needs to be cut. Use the utility knife to do so. Make sure that the cut isn't too big or the amount of caulk that'll come out will be more.
  • You can make this cut at an angle or straight. Many times, there are caulk tubes that are cardboard material. For such tubes, make sure you search for the other seal in it. That should be close to the base of the tube's opening.
  • For those tubes, use the nail to place a hole in it. This way, you can easily use the caulk.
  • Now wherever you need to use the gun, hold the opening at an angle so that you can work easily around the surface. If there are cracks that need to be filled, you can place the opening in it properly and fill the gaps. Or else, work your way along the surface.
  • Slowly squeeze the caulk out, and move along the area which needs to be sealed. Make sure you don't apply excess caulk because we don't want the area to look messy.
  • Now to make sure that the cracks and gaps are sealed properly, use your index finger to press on recently applied caulk to the area. This way, the caulk will settle in place completely.
  • In the end, use damp cleaning towels to clean the area and leave it to dry completely.
Essential Tips to Remember
In order to save unwanted expenses to seal cracks around the house, you can definitely do this job on your own. All you need to do is follow the directions mentioned above, and keep this tips in mind.
  • When you choose a gun, you can opt for a basic model for frequent usage. If you wish to get a better quality job done, opt from a more professional models.
  • Before you begin any small or big caulking project, do read the instructions mentioned on the tube itself. This way, you can assure accurate application every time.
  • As we mentioned before about cleaning the area before beginning, you need to make sure that the existence of the old caulk isn't there. You can dampen the area, and use a putty knife to remove the old caulk.
  • During the application, as you near the end of the area to be filled, release the handle where you are pressing to get the caulk out. This way, no extra caulk will come out and you can ensure a cleaner application.
  • After the caulk has been left to dry, you will notice that it has shrunk overtime.
  • Now if you wish to apply paint after the new caulk has dried, do remember to wait till it dries completely. If you rush, the paint might begin to chip off as the caulk dries furthermore.
  • For hard to reach surfaces or cracks, use a gun extension nozzle for easy application. There are different sizes and lengths of this extension nozzle. Choose the one which best suits your project.