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Old 12-24-2007, 11:27 AM   #1
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Caulking Baseboard Without Making a Mess on the Walls


I'm looking for some tips on caulking the top of newly installed baseboard. Every time I go to smooth the caulk out (with my finger), it smears the caulk on my painted walls and looks terrible. I then have to go back and touch up the paint. Is there a method that is not so messy?

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Old 12-24-2007, 11:32 AM   #2
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Caulking Baseboard Without Making a Mess on the Walls


I cut the end of the tube off straight instead of at an angle, cut the end so the hole is pretty small for more control, and put your bead down into the crack. Wipe with a damp rag. use a small amount of caulk and add any more if necessary. too much caulk and tour lines get sloppy

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Old 12-24-2007, 12:06 PM   #3
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Caulking Baseboard Without Making a Mess on the Walls


I do the same thing as rehabber. When things are working good I just use my finger and have a roll of paper towels with me.
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Old 12-24-2007, 12:09 PM   #4
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Caulking Baseboard Without Making a Mess on the Walls


You usually want to paint over the caulk anyway. But cutting a smaller nozzle and using less caulk may help. Keeping the nozzle clean by wiping it with a rag often and making short wipes will help. Taping the wall with painters tape, then caulking and tooling sometimes helps make a neat line if you want to avoid the touch-up painting for some reason.
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Old 12-24-2007, 12:25 PM   #5
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Caulking Baseboard Without Making a Mess on the Walls


I use the red squeeze tubes of dap cut on an angle then square cut the pointy tip off, much more control in application of amount of caulk, better feel. Wet your finger and wipe, if the area is low and small add more, bigger cracks let the dap set up and apply a second coat if needed. caulking will stand out without paint on it, never matches the base or wall color, so if possible apply a coat of paint when completed.
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Old 12-24-2007, 03:24 PM   #6
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Caulking Baseboard Without Making a Mess on the Walls


Always have a bucket of water with a rag in it. Cut the tip at an angle as small as you can and still fill the joint. Wet your finger and press as you run your finger down. Do a small section at a time maybe 4-6" and wipe your finger on the rag. Trick is to use only as much caulk as needed. When the correct amount if applied your finger will just flatten the caulk and not remove much.
It takes time to master but worth it in the end. If you have white baseboards and whit walls there is no need to paint. If your walls are dark you may need to paint. The wet rag and wet finger are key. Along with not too much caulk.
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Old 12-24-2007, 05:21 PM   #7
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Caulking Baseboard Without Making a Mess on the Walls


I cut my tubes at a slight angle with a small hole, about the size of the puncture rod. I keep a wet rag and i wipe the tube end frequently. Do not press to hard, as you will end up pushing caulk up on the wall in globs. Just pull it smoothly. Keeping your finger wiped as well.
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Old 12-24-2007, 06:04 PM   #8
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Caulking Baseboard Without Making a Mess on the Walls


I do all the above, however, I prefer a wallpaper sponge and bucket of water, rather than a rag.
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Old 12-24-2007, 08:58 PM   #9
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Caulking Baseboard Without Making a Mess on the Walls


The last time I caulked some trim, I used blue painters tape, then caulked, the wet finger trick, then immediately removed the tape. It left a nice laser-straight line of caulk.
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Old 12-24-2007, 10:05 PM   #10
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Caulking Baseboard Without Making a Mess on the Walls


The caulking is done before the painting
After the clean and sand on repaints, after the prime on new const.

There is a small sponge "wheel" on a stick that works well for smoothing caulk though
You should find it in at your local Paint Store


(image courtesy of DAP....and wow is that some image or what)
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Old 12-25-2007, 08:31 PM   #11
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Caulking Baseboard Without Making a Mess on the Walls


Use a wet rag to precision wipe the caulk off the wall. To tell the truth, when I run into a situation like this, I run a bead, wipe it, let it dry and then run another bead, making sure the caulk gets down into the gap. If the caulk isn't up on the wall a little bit, it's liable to pull away later, hence two beads.

I also agree that it has to be painted. Bare caulk will yellow or otherwise change colors as mentioned above.

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