Caulk This Way…

Okay seriously.. the number of “play on words” I could have done with the title of this post was ridiculous. But really… my parents read this blog, so let’s keep it PG, okay? Anyway as always, I digress.  Have you ever done a job around your home and wondered WHY on earth you lived for so long before you actually just got down to business and did it? Well that’s what this is… the simplest thing that has made SUCH a difference, but for some reason I looked at it, daily, for almost SEVEN YEARS without ever attacking it.

My friends… brace yourselves… I’m about to show you what it used to look like around the bottom of our bathtub, and it ain’t pretty.

Behold – my bathroom:

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Oh my gosh… so embarassing. Sigh. It’s just one of those things that I almost forced out of my mind and pretended that it didn’t exist. It was SO UGLY. I don’t what the heck the previous owners were thinking, but heck even I know that once you apply caulking you have to smooth it out! They quite literally just applied it and walked away. Um, thanks.

I’ve been meaning to ask my husband to fix it forever but his list is just so long and with a full time job these little things just don’t top the priority list so it sat. And sat. And sat some more. Finally I stumbled across this post on Young House Love where they address this exact issue, and I realized how silly I’d been for putting it off for so long! All I needed was caulking, a caulking gun, painter’s tape and an X-acto knife. I had all that! So, first I attacked the existing mess… honestly, it was so nasty. Please remember that our bathroom is also in the midst of a minor renovation/update, so it’s a bit of a mess anyway, but no matter how much I have cleaned/scrubbed/bleached this stuff over the years it just never looked decent. Using my knife I cut all along the top and bottom of the caulk and started prying it out. It wasn’t super fast, but it wasn’t horribly slow either…

samsung june 3 2014 050You can already see how much better it looks!!

I was a wee bit nervous – no going back at this point! But I forged ahead and knew I could do it. Once I scraped as much of the previous gunk off as I could, I cleaned the entire area and vacuumed up all the dust and leftover bits. It honestly looked so much better just from that one step! I knew I was on the right track.

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So this is where I had to really start to pay attention and make sure I did things properly… I have a problem with that sometimes. LOL… I get excited and don’t read instructions or just rush something to get the job done. I reeeeeeeally tried to not do that this time. And I failed. But we’ll get to that in a minute. First I will show you how I marked off the area that I wanted to caulk by using painter’s tape:

samsung june 3 2014 062I used one long piece of tape along both top and bottom, which made it slightly more difficult to handle but I wanted as clean a line as possible when I removed the tape. I just kept the tape on the roll, pulling out six inches or so at a time and securing it to the tub (and then floor). Once that was done it was time to get the caulk ready for application… the scary part! GAH! But it wasn’t too bad… I loaded the caulking tube into the gun and went for it.

And nothing happened.

So I squeezed the trigger again. And again. Then harder. Oh wait…. I cut the tip off but didn’t pierce the seal inside. Oops. Remember when I said I get excited and nervous and skip steps sometimes? Yah… so that’s when this happened:

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Awwwwww, man!

SO MAD AT MYSELF! All that trigger pulling forced the caulk to explode out the back end all over the gun. (teehee… so many dirty jokes) And FYI, this stuff isn’t easy to clean up. Once again, I missed a line of the instructions because I was racing to see the result. But at least this time my mistake didn’t actually affect the job I was doing… the tub and its taped off area were still waiting for me, safe and sound.

So I cleaned up, pierced the seal inside the tube and went back to work. I slopped that stuff on like nobody’s business, it was a MESS. I had NO clue what I was doing and holy smokes you could tell. But then I smoothed along the length of it and got rid of all the excess. (All I used for this step was a small square of cardboard with one corner snipped off to give it a nice smooth surface.) This is when it started to look like I was definitely doing something right. I slowly and carefully removed the tape while everything was still wet, and VOILA:

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Glory, glory HALLELUJAH it looks awesome!!!

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What a difference – even I was surprised at how well it turned out! It’s just so CLEAN and smooth and it looks like it was actually done, oh I don’t know, PROPERLY! I am so glad that I finally crossed this simple job off my list. I knew that at some point during this bathroom makeover it would have to be done, and I’m so pleased to report that it does make a huge difference in the room.

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So get out there, girls… grab your gun and get busy! (Okay I admit that at first I wrote “grab your caulk” and then changed it… sorry mom… and dad.)
As always, I’m here to help you find the biggest bang for the smallest buck, and this was one of my favourite ways so far! I feel pretty accomplished and proud of myself too – I know I sound horribly house-wifey, but this seemed like such a “man job”.
Now I know there’s no such thing!!

Except for killing spiders – but that’s a given.


  1. says

    Looks good! I need to do that to the bathroom downstairs, but only guests use the shower/tub, so I forget. Cold water and ice cubes also work great for dealing with caulk.

    • says

      Thanks for the tip! Peeling it in bits was time consuming for sure as it was elastic-y and stretching but not breaking off.

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