Success with squeeze sealant

How to use sealant without a gun: Pull it off with this handy guide

Do you know how to use sealant without a gun? You’ll find the following information to be a helpful resource when you need to make some repairs around the home

Using sealant without a gun: Things to consider

Sealants prevent dirt, water, or moisture from getting below a surface, such as tile, laminate, or marble. They also block the path of insects, outside air, and noise, keeping the interior of your home more comfortable. Some areas of your house that require proper sealing are difficult to access, such as behind toilets and around a faucet. Using sealant without a gun may be necessary in these tight spaces.

There are numerous varieties of sealants available, many being project specific:

  • Silicone sealants are often used in kitchens, bathrooms, and on the exterior of a house. Silicone is highly durable and waterproof; however, pure silicone will not accept paint. Silicone in a smaller squeeze tube is perfect for applying behind a toilet or in the tight space between a faucet and the backsplash.
  • Acrylic latex sealant is very commonly used for interior projects, such as sealing baseboards, door trim, and other woodwork. Latex sealants are easy to work with and clean up. They are also paintable. When you have a large area to cover, such as sealing all the new trim during a remodel, a caulking gun application is much quicker. However, for touch ups and repairs, using sealant without a gun is more convenient.
  • Latex sealant with silicone added is an excellent choice for most “wet areas,” such as kitchens and bathrooms, because it has the paintability and ease of use of latex but with the added moisture resistance of silicone. This type of sealant is generally available in both types of applicators for easy dispensing.
  • Finally, some products are designed to work as both adhesives and sealants and are excellent for repairs to tile or panelling, weatherstripping, and roofing materials. Typically when using an adhesive, the glue lines are not visible. Making a clean and sharp application less of a priority when compared to sealing baseboard trim for example.

Using sealant without a gun: A good option

The most obvious advantage to using sealant without a gun is that you don’t need a caulking gun. If you don’t already own one, purchasing one for most smaller jobs is unnecessary.

Another advantage is that you don’t have to open a large cartridge if you only need a small amount. Once the canister is open, the sealant can eventually dry out. Taping the end of the tube or putting on a cap is a good idea as it will extend the life of the cartridge. So, if you only need a small amount, a squeeze tube of sealant is your best choice!

Pro tip! To keep the sealant cartridge intact and to get every drop out, try using a wooden paint stir stick. Press it into the bottom of the cartridge to dispense the sealant after cutting the tip.

How to use sealant without a gun: Simple instructions

Let’s discuss how to go about using sealant without a gun. First, you may want to collect these tools and supplies:

  • sealant
  • utility knife
  • disposable gloves 
  • a small bucket of water and soap or household cleaner
  • clean cloths
  • painter’s tape
  • wooden paint stir stick
  • a sealant finishing tool (if available)

Next, here’s how to proceed using sealant without a gun:

  1. Remove the old sealant. Clean the area with soap and water or a cleaning agent. Dry the area with a cloth.
  2. If desired, place painter’s tape along each side of the joint. This will result in the sealant having straight edges when the tape is removed.
  3. Open the tube of sealant. Cut the end of the nozzle at a 45° angle with the utility knife.
  4. Dispense sealant along the joint. Hold the bottom of the sealant tube with one hand and slowly squeeze the bottom of the tube to dispense an even bead of sealant.
  5. Smooth out the sealant with a sealant tool or with your gloved finger. Ensure the surface is smooth and that there are no gaps in the sealant.
  6. Allow the sealant to fully dry before painting or normal use.