Let’s talk about caulk

How to silicone: Applying sealants like a pro

It’s one of the most basic DIYer skills. Learn how to silicone with our guide to sealing techniques, and start beautifying and protecting your home today.

Caulking gun tips: Choosing a quality gun

The first step in learning how to silicone is choosing a gun. Like anything else, caulk guns vary in quality. Here are a few features to look for when selecting a caulk gun.

Try it out without a sealant tube in it and make sure the trigger works smoothly and releases properly. A nice feature that some guns have is that they automatically release pressure when you let off the trigger. Some guns are equipped with a rigid wire on the bottom that can be used to puncture the seal inside the tube.

Now let’s cover how to do sealing.

How to silicone: The basic technique

Learning how to silicone is easy with a bit of direction. Grab your gun and the tube you’re going to use and follow these simple steps:

  1. Insert the tube into the caulk gun and push the plunger up until it stops inside the bottom of the tube.
  2. Cut the nozzle end of the tube. You’ll notice that it narrows towards the end, so cut it at the place where it will deliver the width of bead you’re after. It’s usually best to cut at about a 45-degree angle.
  3. If there’s a foil seal at the end of the tube (inside the nozzle), use a long nail or piece of wire to puncture it.
  4. Now, hold the nozzle at the place where you want to begin and gently squeeze the trigger. Try to use an even pressure as you move the gun along the gap or seam you are filling.
  5. Stop the flow of sealant by releasing the trigger. It may be necessary to pull back on the plunger arm just a bit to release pressure.
  6. Now, using a finger, rag, or caulking tool, wipe along the bead you just put down. This will smooth it out and seal the edges of the bead.

You can apply silicone sealant the same way - just make sure to wear gloves as it can be very hard to get off your hands. Allow the silicone to fully cure before using the sealed material.

Here’s how to use a caulking tool. A sealing tool is a small tool with a rubber tip shaped to a rounded 45-degree angle. After you dispense the sealant, you can use it to smooth and seal the bead without using your finger or making a mess with a rag. It’s a great aid to sealing like a pro.

How to apply sealant the easy way

You don’t necessarily need a caulk gun to do sealing. Many sealants also come in squeeze tubes for small jobs and touch ups. 

A new innovation that you should definitely consider if you need to re-seal old or discoloured sealant is Loctite Re-New. You can apply this sealant right over the old sealant even if it is mouldy, yellowed, or cracked. Just wipe down the old sealant with a damp cloth and use the built-in smoothing tool to get great results, every time. It's mould resistant and ready to use in just 6 hours!