How to Use a Caulking Gun? First Time Using Tips
It is usual to notice tiny holes or gaps on your home walls. These holes can look awful. What do you do when these cracks show up? The best approach is to use a caulk gun to fill them up. A caulk gun seals up the holes perfectly.
What is a Caulking Gun?
A caulking gun is a simple tool that usually comes with carbide or tube. It is used to cover up noticeable holes or cracks on home walls. The caulk materials are made from silicone or latex.
They are also good for the bonding of different materials such as ceramic, wood, glass and metal. Controlling the gun is easy. This helps you to control how the caulk is released at any point in time.
It may be difficult for first-timers to use a caulk gun perfectly well. This is why this article is written.
Below is a breakdown of how to use a caulking gun for the first time.
How to Use a Caulking Gun – 11 Steps to Using a Caulking Gun
Step 1 – Prepare the Area Very Well
The first thing to do is to get a putty knife to remove the old caulk. Put the sharp knife edge on the base of the old caulk.
Next, hold the handle of the caulk gun while you push the knife forward. Keep on applying pressure until the old caulk is removed.
The removal of the old caulk ensures there is no over-layering. It also helps to make the foundation strong. A wire brush is another tool you can use to remove the old caulk.
Working with silicone caulk is another thing entirely. Make use a pair of needle-nose pliers to gently pull it out from one side till it is removed completely. Basically, you can use silicone caulking for all kinds of household and professional work.
Step 2 – Tidy up Everything
Look for disinfectant and hot water. Gradually wash the crack. Wipe the area with a rag gently. Get a new dry cloth to wipe out the area completely and allow it to dry.
Step 3 – Get a Painter’s Tape
Using a painter’s tape helps you to perfectly target the crack. Place a long end above the crack and another below. This ensures that nothing else is captured except the crack. It also prevents you from making mistakes later.
Pull out the tape after you are done with the caulking.
Step 4 – Next is Inserting the Tube
To insert the tube, you will need to press the release trigger beside the tube. The trigger should be situated on the back of the caulking gun. Gently press it using your thumb.
There is a long rod that will loosen up after pressing it. The long rod runs across the complete frame of the caulking gun. Ensure that you pull the rod with your other hand. Pull it as far as you can while holding the tube.
The easier way is to call someone to help you hold back the rod. This makes it convenient for you to insert the tube.
Now, start loading the tube into the frame while making sure the nozzle is facing away. The nozzle must not face your direction.
Grab the back of the gun and start inserting the flat end of the tube gradually. Continue to insert it until you notice that the back end has reached the ending of the gun. Now, lower the forward end of the tube. Ensure that it snug perfectly on a level with every other area.
Step 5 – Place the Tube Safely
Allow the tube to sit properly inside the frame right in its position. Insert the back of the metal rod back into the caulking gun. The hook should plunge deep toward the back. This ensures that the caulk stays in place while you make use of it.
Also, this helps the triggering to work better for overall functionality. If you have any issues here, consult the instructional manual.
Step 6 – The Right Cutting Thickness
Looking at the caulking tube, you will observe that the front nozzle is long and sealed. This means you have to shape down the nozzle to a required point. Doing this helps you to get the caulk out at your convenient width.
Note that if you have larger cracks, you will have to cut the nozzle close to the tube.
Step 7 – Testing the Caulk Release
Use a paper to practice how the caulk release works. This is a practice. Hold the caulking gun strongly. Make the nozzle face 45 degrees angle downwards.
Now, try to position it over the paper and release the trigger. The gun should move steadily over it. Observe how well you were able to control the caulk. If the movement is fast, you will get thin and uneven results.
And if it is too slow, the caulk will be ineffective. You have to continue to practice to get it right.
Step 8 – Holding the Gun Properly
Now use the caulk on the crack. Position yourself at a 45-degree angle with the crack as you hold the gun. Hold the caulk gun firmly with your two hands. Allow one of your fingers to be on the trigger to press it at the right time. Use the other hand to hold the tube while focusing on the right aim.
Step 9 – Ready to Trigger the Gun
Now, you can press the trigger. The steel rod is going to force out the caulk. The trigger must be pushed with steady and firm hands.
You will notice that the caulk will start coming out slowly.
Step 10 – Having Control Over the Gun
Keep moving as the caulk is coming out of the gun. Fill the cracks evenly in one-go with steady hands. Don’t bother yourself if some of the cracks did not fill up very well. You can go over it again.
Step 11 – Get Even and Allow for Dryness
Now, make the application even and allow it to dry. You can use a metal kitchen spoon to do it. Heat the spoon by dropping it in hot water for about 60 seconds.
Use the curvy part of the spoon to go over the caulk. This will make it smooth. Allow the caulk to dry for 24 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the right temperature to apply a silicone caulk?
Answer:It can be applied at a temperature range of between -25 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But the room temperature is the best.
Q: Will I have to use different caulk products for different projects?
Answer: Of course, yes. This is because they are different in formulations and intended use. Always choose the right product for each project.
Q: Can silicone caulk be painted?
Answer: No. You can only paint latex caulk.
We hope you understood our step-by-step guide on how to use a caulking gun for the first time. You will master the art of caulking over time with continuous practice. You don’t have to worry about the mess. It is part of the learning curve. So, keep on trying on paper until you become perfect. Once you understand the trick, it becomes a lot easier and convenient.