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Old 05-31-2019, 03:50 PM   #1
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Caulk - Removing Tape, Getting Unwanted Gap


Super noob here. I tried adding a line of caulk between my granite backsplash and painted wall. I used painters tape on the top of the backsplash and wall to create a ~1/4" gap for the caulk, with the hopes of ending up with nice straight lines. The process seemed to go well enough... until I removed the tape.


No matter what angle I tried, I ended up with obvious gaps between both surfaces and the caulk. On the wall, it looks like the caulk is "pulling away" from the wall. On the backsplash, you can see a slight gap where the tape was.


What did I do wrong? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
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Caulk - Removing Tape, Getting Unwanted Gap-looking-down-backsplash.jpg   Caulk - Removing Tape, Getting Unwanted Gap-looking-straight-wall.jpg  
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Old 05-31-2019, 04:12 PM   #2
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Re: Caulk - Removing Tape, Getting Unwanted Gap


I've never used tape when caulking but many do. How soon after you applied the caulk did you remove the tape? I'm having a little trouble figuring out the one dimension pic.
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Old 05-31-2019, 04:28 PM   #3
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Re: Caulk - Removing Tape, Getting Unwanted Gap


Thanks for responding. I removed the tape right way - I smoothed the caulk with a wet finger, cleaned my hands, and then removed the tape.


The top pick is looking straight down - from top to bottom it's the wall, the line of caulk, top of backsplash, front of backsplash, counter. Kind of an optical illusion! Looks like the granite is sticking straight out, but it's not.


Since you don't use tape, how do you prevent the caulk from shmearing all over the wall/backsplash when you smooth it?
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:35 PM   #4
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Re: Caulk - Removing Tape, Getting Unwanted Gap


Hard to tell from here, I might say maybe your finger did not remove enough mat'l. Possibly not pressed hard enough into the corner.


Regarding how to caulk without tape. First, cut the tip small. Like about 1/8". Lay in a small bead. It is always easy to go back and add a little if needed. But when you lay in too much it just turns into a mess!
When wiping out, only pull your finger a few inches at a time and then wipe it off. If you let the excess caulk roll past the width of your finger it will get messy. That is the trick, never let the caulk roll past your finger.

Also wiping the surfaces with alcohol prior to caulking insures the surfaces are clean and oil or soap free. And dries instantly.
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Last edited by Yodaman; 05-31-2019 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:38 PM   #5
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Re: Caulk - Removing Tape, Getting Unwanted Gap


Try doing a small section without tape. Push enough caulk into the gap to fill it, it will oveflow.

Take a small damp wash rag to wipe away the excess oveflow. Have a bucket of water handy to clean and wring out the rag, repeat excess cleaning until it looks good. Try not to get too much water in the caulk because it can cause it to shrink once dried. Practice will make perfect. You might have taped wrong.

BTW, a colored (bone?) caulk might look better, less contrast between the caulk and adjacent surfaces hides small imperfections like slightly crooked caulk.

Last edited by adamz; 05-31-2019 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 05-31-2019, 07:21 PM   #6
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Re: Caulk - Removing Tape, Getting Unwanted Gap


Quote:
Originally Posted by CalvinH View Post
No matter what angle I tried, I ended up with obvious gaps between both surfaces and the caulk. On the wall, it looks like the caulk is "pulling away" from the wall. On the backsplash, you can see a slight gap where the tape was.

I can't see anything from those photos. But based on your description, it might be that you put on too much caulk, and left too much on the joint when you pulled the tape off. Where the caulk meets the tape, the thickness of the caulk should be pretty much zero.


You are correct in pulling the tape off right away. It should not matter what angle you pull the tape off, except that you don't want to rip the tape while pulling it off.


First time I used the tape method, it was the best bead of caulk I had ever put down in my life. So I think you are using the correct method.


What kind of caulk are you using ?
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:10 PM   #7
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Re: Caulk - Removing Tape, Getting Unwanted Gap


Thanks all! It does sound like A) I used too much caulk; and B) I definitely didn't wipe off enough of the excess caulk when smoothing.

The caulk is "DAP Extreme Stretch".

I'm going to try removing the caulk while it's still relatively fresh. Hopefully 2nd times a charm!
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Old 06-01-2019, 02:33 PM   #8
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Re: Caulk - Removing Tape, Getting Unwanted Gap


Be glad you didn't use silicone. Once silicone cures, nothing will stick to it, not even new silicone.
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Old 06-01-2019, 02:41 PM   #9
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Re: Caulk - Removing Tape, Getting Unwanted Gap


It takes some practice but the neater you apply the bead of caulk the less wiping you'll need to do and the easier it is to get a nice looking job.
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:33 AM   #10
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Re: Caulk - Removing Tape, Getting Unwanted Gap


Sounds like you put the tape on too close to the joint. The tape should have a larger gap. It will still have a clean line, but as mentioned above the caulk should be basically 0 thickness at the point it hits the tape. You're trying to take tape off along a thick edge of caulk and that will never work.


It's probably better to use a caulking tool to make a more solid edge, but tape can still be used in this application. Just tape it a little farther away.
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