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Old Nov 12th, 06, 7:52 pm   #1
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Well I tried caulking my backsplash and the line aren't perfect. Will have have to rip it off after it dries and try again.

I wonder if anyone knows how to get to caulk a smooth line. Everyone seen it in bathrooms and kitchens and I know there is something the pros use to get one smooth line. Would anyone know or suggest how to get that look?

I tried using the corner of a credit card.

thanks
jim

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Old Nov 12th, 06, 9:20 pm   #2
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It can help to tape off the wall just as you would when painting, but leave a nice even channel for the caulk. Rip off the tape before the caulk dries. My finger is the best caulk-smoothing tool I've found.

Kathy

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Old Nov 13th, 06, 1:14 am   #3
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Try wetting the area to be caulked with a sponge, damp cloth, etc., before you run the bead of cauk, then smooth it out with your finger (as Kathy said, the best tool around for this), but wet that first also. Use a barely wet paper towel or handy wipe to clean up. You can always repeat this process to add "backfill" if needed.

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Old Nov 13th, 06, 8:11 am   #4
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Here's my trick...use SOAPY water. Mix up a drop of liquid detergent in a cup of water and then use that to dip your finger to smooth it out. Works like a charm.

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Old Nov 13th, 06, 9:25 am   #5
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There is what's called a "caulking tool". They come in a few different varieties, but they make the job SO much easier and tidier.
Mine is a black plastic handle with a white rubber triangle on the end but I've also seen hard plastic ones. The key is that the end is a right angle shape with a rounded point. You could make your own out of a plastic container lid if you've got a minute. I probably ran about eight hundred miles of caulk bead in our new house, and I find it gives a more uniform, neater bead than I could ever get with my finger.


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Old Nov 14th, 06, 3:54 pm   #6
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Here is another vote for taping off around the area that you are caulking. Also, use the DAP caulk that comes with a tip built in. It is in a pressurized can kind of like the cheese spread.

ETA : The DAP caulk cleans up really easily with water.

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Last edited by Brodysmom; Nov 14th, 06 at 3:54 pm..
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Old Nov 15th, 06, 10:35 am   #7
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Three keys to a smooth caulk line:

1. Your materials must be close enough to span both with a bead of caulk. If not, use a backing material of some sort to support the caulk.

2. Choose a siliconized latex caulk. Not pure silicone. Pure silicone is very hard to work with. The latex will last 25years.

3. Cut the tip of the caulk tube as close to end as will allow for a bead that matches the average width of the caulk joint. This is where the novice usually goes wrong. Also cut the tip at a 45 degree angle. Use the tip as a dispenser AND as a trowel that presses the caulk into the joint. Your line should just overflow the joint. The cleaner and smoother the fill, the better the finish.

4. Have a moist towel ready. Using your finger, make even smooth strokes to press the caulk into the joint and feather the edges to the material you’re joining. Don’t press hard; just glide your finger across with light pressure. Your stroke should stop as soon as you see a pile of caulk building on your finger. Wipe it off on the moist towel and go back to the caulk line.

Good Luck!

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