One of the most common home improvement projects out there is the caulking process. Especially in older homes, where some sprucing up is needed, re-caulking will likely be required to give your tub and bathroom a refreshed appearance. A project like re-caulking your tub is also common ahead of listing a property, since updating your bathroom’s appearance goes a long way towards luring prospective home buyers.
Caulk can mold over or loosen over time, and if you want to preserve the water-protectant properties of your tile and bathroom, then you’ll want to take the time to re-caulk as your grout loses some of its oomph. This leads us to the obvious question: How do you re-caulk your tub? Let’s unpack some of the steps necessary to take on this DIY project and have successful, long-lasting results.
Step 1: Removing existing caulk.
First, you’ll want to use the aid of sharp tool to peel, pry and hack away at the existing caulk. A scraper fitted with a razor blade will get the job done. It takes a little effort and detail work, but you’ll need to lift the existing caulk to achieve a good hold for the new application.
Step 2: Clean the tub’s surface, then dry the area.
Make sure that all caulk, dirt and other debris is removed from the tub and tile area you plan to re-caulk. Consider using white vinegar and a soft sponge to lift any potential mold or staining left behind. Then, dry the area using a lint-free cloth, to avoid leaving behind any stray lint or hairs before you begin the re-caulking process. Try to leave time to let the area dry overnight, or you can use a fan or a hairdryer to speed up the process.
Step 3: Prep by taping off the area, then trim your caulk dispenser to a 45-degree angle.
By taping off the area, you’ll ensure a mess-free and straighter caulk line along the tile and tub. Make sure to tape above and below the area you’re caulking. And, by trimming the tip of the caulk dispenser, it’ll be far easier to dispense the caulk evenly.
Step 4: Load up the caulk gun and use evenhanded pressure as you apply.
Maintaining a steady pace and pressure will ensure that your caulk doesn’t pool or dispense unevenly as you lay down a consistent bead. If you go too fast, the caulk line will break; if you go too slow, you’ll create pockets of thicker caulk that won’t dry well.
Step 5: Smooth the line of caulk with a wet finger.
This step ensures the line of caulk is even and more pleasing to the eye, while removing any blemishes. Once the tape is removed, leave your tub to cure for at least 24 hours.
DIY projects don’t have to be a drag, and re-caulking your bathtub doesn’t have to be a time-consuming or frustrating process. With the right tools, patience and preparation, you can complete this job in a weekend and give your bathroom the freshening up it deserves.
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