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Old 01-28-2014, 02:00 PM   #1
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Need advice on how to prep a window frame gap for caulking


I'm preparing to re-caulk the gap in an interior window frame. The gap varies in width from 1/16 to 2/16 in, and in depth from 1/4 to 1/2 in. So far I've removed all the old caulk by scoring along both sides with a utility knife and then using that and a painters multi-tool to scrape. Below is a before and after pic. I'll use backer rod where it's wide and deep enough for that. I'm planning on using Big Stretch caulk, then painting.

I attempted to rough up the surface using the edge of an angled sanding sponge, but couldn't get into the gap very far. Does anyone have a recommendation of a good way to rough up the surface within the gap? I don't want to caulk and then find out it didn't adhere. Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:26 PM   #2
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Need advice on how to prep a window frame gap for caulking


You can do it that way, but there's a better way and it would make that whole window look better and may even have less air leaks.
If it was mine I'd remove that apron and stool, add expanding insulation to fill the gap under the sill that I'd guess no one ever filled, then install a real, wider window stool that fits tight against the window frame not just a plain piece of wood like what you have now.
Then reinstall the apron in the opposite direction it's facing now.
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...ectedIndex=158

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Old 01-28-2014, 02:32 PM   #3
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Need advice on how to prep a window frame gap for caulking


I assuming I am looking down to the window bottom.

Caulking with a high quality latex caulk is a temporary measure and it may not require painting.

Filling that gap with Bondo and sanding it smooth, priming and painting should last for many years.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:47 PM   #4
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Need advice on how to prep a window frame gap for caulking


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Originally Posted by Colbyt View Post
I assuming I am looking down to the window bottom.

Caulking with a high quality latex caulk is a temporary measure and it may not require painting.

Filling that gap with Bondo and sanding it smooth, priming and painting should last for many years.
The gaps are on the sides of the window, not the bottom. The pictures are both rotated 90 degrees. The first pic (before removing caulk) is the right-hand side of the window, the second (after) is the left side. Sorry for any confusion.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:55 PM   #5
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Need advice on how to prep a window frame gap for caulking


Rav, I would be more inclined to use caulk on the sides then on the bottom. Chances are the blinds or window treatment will hide the sides well enough that a good caulk job would be acceptable.

I also think you might be over thinking the prep. Caulk sticks to almost any surface.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:30 PM   #6
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Need advice on how to prep a window frame gap for caulking


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Originally Posted by Colbyt View Post
Rav, I would be more inclined to use caulk on the sides then on the bottom. Chances are the blinds or window treatment will hide the sides well enough that a good caulk job would be acceptable.

I also think you might be over thinking the prep. Caulk sticks to almost any surface.

agreed, caulk it, wipe it smooth with a wet rag, let it sit overnight and do it again, then paint it
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:11 PM   #7
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Need advice on how to prep a window frame gap for caulking


Overthought for a 1/16" to 1/8" gap. However as chris says it could use 2 "coats", since it is deep and will shrink some. Caulk with a high quality latex paintable caulk and move on, no backer rod or roughing up needed.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:20 PM   #8
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Need advice on how to prep a window frame gap for caulking


With a gap that big I would use BIG STRETCH that is the name of the caulk. It stays flexible enough that the wood contracting won't break the seal.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:41 PM   #9
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Need advice on how to prep a window frame gap for caulking


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With a gap that big I would use BIG STRETCH that is the name of the caulk. It stays flexible enough that the wood contracting won't break the seal.
Yup, that's what I'm planning on using. Thanks.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:14 AM   #10
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Need advice on how to prep a window frame gap for caulking


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Yup, that's what I'm planning on using. Thanks.

as was mentioned in your original post
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:35 AM   #11
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Need advice on how to prep a window frame gap for caulking


Sorry couldn't see all of original post thanks to butterkups.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:34 PM   #12
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Need advice on how to prep a window frame gap for caulking


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Sorry couldn't see all of original post thanks to butterkups.

I know what you mean

and it looks like the happy painter girl is back also
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:51 PM   #13
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Need advice on how to prep a window frame gap for caulking


for those with vinyl windows , try using a polyurethane based sealant , it will stick better to vinyl and is still paintable and always make sure the window is degreased

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