Caulk gun bootcamp

How to use a caulk gun: Become an instant expert

Silicone sealant has several uses and is an essential part of many DIY projects around the home. Learn how to use a caulk gun and how to select the right type of sealant for the job in the article below. Then get sealing!

How to load a caulking gun

Loading a standard caulking gun is a rather simple process.

  1. Cut the tube at the place that will dispense a bead of the desired width for your project. Cut it at an approximately 45-degree angle.
  2. Some types of sealants have a foil seal at the bottom of the cone. You’ll need a long nail or wire to puncture the seal before use. Some caulk guns have a wire on the bottom for this purpose.
  3. Load the cartridge into the gun.

How to apply sealant: Simple steps for a great job

Now that your caulk gun is loaded and ready to go, follow these steps for a professional job:

  1. Put the caulk gun in place and squeeze the trigger handle with even pressure as you move the gun along the seam. Try to get an even bead of sealant.
  2. When finished, push the pressure release button on the caulk gun (if equipped) to stop the flow of sealant. Alternatively, pull back the plunger arm to release pressure (some guns do this automatically).
  3. Smooth out the bead of sealant to create a good seal. Use a damp rag, a moist fingertip, or best of all, a silicone tool. This will give a very professional look.
  4. Clean up excess sealant immediately with a damp rag or the recommended solvent.

Pro tip: Save yourself a mess by following this simple tip. If you’re using a previously opened tube and the sealant doesn’t come out easily when you squeeze the trigger, don’t try to force it. It may be some dried sealant plugging up the nozzle. Use a nail or a piece of wire to clear the hole and try again. Using excessive force on the trigger may cause the sealant to leak out the back end of the tube and get all over the plunger.

How to apply sealer: Choosing the right sealant

Choosing the correct sealant for your project is essential for success. For most interior painting applications, a silicone sealant will be the right choice. Sealing trim, small cracks in the wall, and the like are easily fixed with this flexible, paintable sealant.

When working in areas subject to moisture, you have some choices. Use a waterproof sealant around bathtubs, sinks, etc for best results. Silicone is the most waterproof but is not paintable, so bear that in mind. If you need to seal a wet area that will need to be painted, make sure the tube says that it will take the paint.

For exterior applications, silicone sealant is most often used. Make sure to purchase an exterior-grade sealant. Again, keep in mind that silicone isn’t paintable but it does come in various colours to go with your trim.

For small waterproof repairs, try Loctite Clear Silicone Waterproof Sealant. It’s perfect for sealing gaps on metal, glass, tile, and porcelain surfaces. It can be used inside and out and won’t peel or shrink.

Looking for a quick way to refresh old sealant without removing it? Try Loctite Re-New. This innovative product can be applied right over old sealant. It covers cracks, flaws, and discolourations. Its integrated smoothing tool ensures great results every time.