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Old 02-23-2012, 07:08 PM   #1
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Painting bathroom- around tub/sink w/caulk?


HI all
I would like to paint my bathroom and I am noticing as I prep the walls that around the shower/tub insert is a shiny surface that is the caulk that was used at one point. I of course hit it w/ paint to see what would happen. It does not stick to it of course.
What can I do to make the paint adhere to this? Its almost an inch away from the shower on the wall and then around the top of the sink back splash-- almost like it was done AFTER the orginal painting was done.

Can I sand the caulking to rough it up without causing any damage to anything?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions/advice.


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Old 02-23-2012, 08:05 PM   #2
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Painting bathroom- around tub/sink w/caulk?


Not a pro but if it's silicone (which is probably would be) it not paintable. Latex is paintable. If it is in wet areas you could remove the old stuff (silicone is hard to remove) and you can buy a good kitchen and bath caulk (not dap) in these areas in a color that fits your needs. Make sure to get the right type of caulk for any wet areas, otherwise it will eventually peel and turn mildewy. Try a tile store but the big orange store has caulking thay matches their grouts.

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Old 02-23-2012, 08:10 PM   #3
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Painting bathroom- around tub/sink w/caulk?


Silicone would be my guess also. No form of caulking should have been used to fill in a 1" gap. How about a picture to see if we can come up with a better way to do it.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:50 PM   #4
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Painting bathroom- around tub/sink w/caulk?


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Originally Posted by JW1971 View Post
HI all
I would like to paint my bathroom and I am noticing as I prep the walls that around the shower/tub insert is a shiny surface that is the caulk that was used at one point. I of course hit it w/ paint to see what would happen. It does not stick to it of course.
What can I do to make the paint adhere to this? Its almost an inch away from the shower on the wall and then around the top of the sink back splash-- almost like it was done AFTER the orginal painting was done.

Can I sand the caulking to rough it up without causing any damage to anything?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions/advice.

Hiya JW...

Sounds like we're all in agreement here - seems like it's silicone caulking. Not necessarily the wrong product to use, sounds more like it was just applied a little sloppily (Note to Joe C: JW didn't say they filled a 1" gap, just that it extended about an inch away from the shower).

Reg is right about silicone - it's not paintable, so, unfortunately, it has to be removed. There are solvents that may "remove" silicone, but it really just kind of melts it deeper into the surface you're trying to remove it from. I think your best bet is to scrape it off with a wall scraper - you may do surface damage that'll require some spackling, but you want to scrape until you can no longer see the shiny residue of the old caulking (sanding silicone will do no good).

Once removed, do any necessary wall repair and spot prime those areas. Then continue with any necessary surface prep for the remainder of the walls and you should be in good shape.

You're still gonna need to replace the caulk you've worked so hard to remove... and, even though it can be a mess, silicone caulking is still the best at keeping water out of areas you don't want it to be. If you use silicone, try to be a little neater than the last person to caulk the shower - Caulking is only meant to fill cracks and small voids - not to be spread an inch or so over the rest of the walls. If you decide not to use silicone, there are several different brands of high quality acrylic caulks that'll work in wet areas - they just won't work as well, or for as long as silicone will, but as Reg said, they're also paintable...and they're infinitely easier to work with....and they don't smell as much as silicone ...and they dry faster...and they're easier to remove when it's time to re-caulk ...and they're less expensive (but silicone will still work better and for a much longer period of time). Anyway, good luck.

Last edited by ric knows paint; 02-23-2012 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:00 AM   #5
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Painting bathroom- around tub/sink w/caulk?


Whenever I run into this problem I hit the silicone caulking with some B.I.N. alcohol based stain killing primer (red label can). It will bond to the caulking, then you can paint over it. Pick up a quart , very handy to have.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:40 PM   #6
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Painting bathroom- around tub/sink w/caulk?


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Whenever I run into this problem I hit the silicone caulking with some B.I.N. alcohol based stain killing primer (red label can). It will bond to the caulking, then you can paint over it. Pick up a quart , very handy to have.

not in my experience
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:21 PM   #7
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Painting bathroom- around tub/sink w/caulk?


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not in my experience
same with me. yea you have to remove it .try scraping it to get bulk of it off.you can use a single edge razor and carefully slice or scrape it off .then to get the remainder and residue ill use a dry terry cloth rag or some green scrub pads followed by fine sand paper.to re caulk i would use sherwin williams 950 a caulk
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:03 PM   #8
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Painting bathroom- around tub/sink w/caulk?


Silicone is a sealer and is not a caulk. Only through clever wording of GE marketing did the horrid stuff get used and adapted for such uses. I can see using a kitchen and bath caulk with some silicone in it but never pure silicone.

I ain't not never found nothin to make it paintable. It is an absolute PIA to carve out and get off surfaces once dry---if you ever can.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:32 PM   #9
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Painting bathroom- around tub/sink w/caulk?


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Silicone is a sealer and is not a caulk. Only through clever wording of GE marketing did the horrid stuff get used and adapted for such uses. I can see using a kitchen and bath caulk with some silicone in it but never pure silicone.

I ain't not never found nothin to make it paintable. It is an absolute PIA to carve out and get off surfaces once dry---if you ever can.
Hiya SDS...

This is the 2nd time I've seen you post that silicone is not a caulk...I don't understand. Silicone itself is an oil/substance that is used in caulk compound (among many other things) for absolute water repellence. Why do you say it isn't?

Last edited by ric knows paint; 02-25-2012 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:11 AM   #10
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Painting bathroom- around tub/sink w/caulk?


First: there is a great silicone remover out there called McKanica Silicone Caulk Remover. It's messy, but it works. We've used it both in the field and in our lab with great results. Try it. We've seen it at Ace Hardware, True Value, Home Depot, Amazon.com...it's pretty widely available. It's in a bright purple package and works like a charm.

Second: I would agree w/ some to stay away from silicone. It requires removing it completely whenever it needs to be replaced. There are acrylic bathroom caulks out there (we make one) and co-polymer rubber caulks (we also make one) that will work much better. We obviously aren't the only caulking manufacturer in the world, so feel free to check out us & others.

Sealant vs. Caulk: According to the Adhesives and Sealants Council, there is no hard and fast definition for each; however, it is generally agreed that any product that passes the ASTM C-920, class 925 standard is a sealant. This means it has a good amount of elasticity and memory to it. Anything that doesn't pass is generally considered a caulk. Both have their uses.

Now I'm done boring you for today.....

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Old 02-28-2012, 02:15 PM   #11
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Painting bathroom- around tub/sink w/caulk?


I have had good luck with oil primer on silicone.
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:37 PM   #12
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Painting bathroom- around tub/sink w/caulk?


If you brush latex over silicone enough it will cover, it will eventually stop fish-eyeing, just keep brushing it back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. By the time you do that after two coats, it will cover. I come across it from time to time, I've maybe cut some excess off, but I've never removed the residue and I've never not been able to get it to cover eventually.

SDS, "I ain't not never found nothin to make it paintable. It is an absolute PIA to carve out and get off surfaces once dry---if you ever can." Love that qaudruple, redundant negative.

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