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Tim Carter demonstrates great ways to caulk tiles with a caulk gun and some acrylic or latex grout. These how to caulk tips will ensure a professional look to your painting project.

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Caulking
Caulking

Tim Carter demonstrates how to get professional painting results by caulking all cracks between woodwork and walls before painting. Discover how to caulk using a caulking gun.

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Caulks have been around for years. Most caulks made up until 30 or so years ago were solvent based. Water based caulks were introduced in the 1950's and 60's and worked fairly well. Caulks have steadily improved into a water based caulk called a urethane caulk which has many benefits over silicone caulks, including its paintability.

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Urethane caulk is hard to find. I got some excellent information from one company and ran into just three other caulk companies that make a urethane caulk. My search even took me to several national home centers. I could only come up with the one brand I already knew about! Here's what I found, including a couple of professional-grade caulking guns.

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Masking tape can be a nightmare when trying to peel it off after months or possibly years. Often it seems like a sandblaster is the only way to go. Fortunately I stumbled across a neat solvent that removes old tape, stickers and adhesive in situations like this. It is called Un-Du. If you are in a bind with old tape, check out their cool web site.

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Mildew-proof caulks (not to be confused with mildew- resistant caulks) are made by many of the top caulk manufacturers. While nearly every caulk manufacturer uses mildewcides in their caulk products, the top mildew-proof caulks incorporate a significant amount of the best mildewcides to resist mildew over time. The caulk also comes in colors other than white and Polyseamseal makes custom colors to match Kohler Plumbing fixtures.

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My guess is that you have seen them everywhere just like I have. They are smeared, humpy, glopped, too fat, etc. I'm talking about unattractive caulk joints. The biggest mistake people make is to start caulking before all your tools are set up. Apply slowly, making sure to stop every few feet to wipe off excess for a smooth application.

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Mildew that turns caulk black really frustrates lots of people. It even surprised me about 18 months ago when I re-caulked my kids' tub. I had a beautiful joint and six months later it showed signs of mildew. I couldn't believe it.

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Caulking takes practice. With the correct tools and by reading the instructions, you'll soon develop the patience needed for a first-class caulking job. Also, check out these recommended manufacturers for your caulk purchases.

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Caulks are one of the most basic building materials used in today's building and remodeling projects. However, the caulks themselves are highly advanced. The variety of caulking compounds available to the builder and homeowner today is almost overwhelming. There are caulks for stopping water and air infiltration, minimizing radon infiltration, sanitation purposes, temporary roof repairs, driveway and masonry wall crack filling, crack filling for painting and many other uses. Think of a use and caulk can probably "fill" it.

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