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Old 11-17-2020, 10:45 PM   #1
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How do I apply a Good Bead of Silicone Caulk?

I absolutely HATE to deal with silicone caulking. It seems I can never get a consistent, smooth bead.

I need to reapply clear silicone caulk around the shower bench wall mounts in our 2017 DS 4369. I have read several posts on the Internet suggesting I use rubbing alcohol, soapy water, or glass cleaner after applying the caulk and then smooth it with your finger.

For you experts, how do you achieve a smooth bead of silicone caulk?

Thanks,

Rex
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:14 PM   #2
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It's easy for me.....my wife does it. And she's pretty good at it too !!
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:21 PM   #3
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A simple technique is to use painters masking tape on both side of the bead area. Spaced as desired. The apply the caulk and use finger with paint thinner and smooth any lumps out quickly. Peel off the tape ASAP after getting the bead formed. You'll have a very nice smooth caulk bead.

I use a pneumatic calk gun that keeps a very steady pressure. None of the start stop mess seen sometimes with a standard caulk gun. I use about 25 PSI on the gun.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:23 PM   #4
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Thanks, but I cannot use painters tape because the wall mount I am caulking is circular.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:34 PM   #5
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After you apply the silicon, get a short piece of 1/2 inch copper pipe and run it along the joint to make a nice even bead. You will have extra along the edge that you can simply peel off later when it's cured.
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Old 11-18-2020, 04:58 AM   #6
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battery powered caulk gun
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Old 11-18-2020, 05:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ransil View Post
battery powered caulk gun
that is best start, squeezing the handle cam make a oops..

In the auto collosion work I do, we have to chaul (seam seal) hoods, doors etc, variety of textures, bead heights, width etc..

Some guys got it, otherst cant,, it is that simple, practice,, helps..

If doing a lond run, do a dry run with the gun,, make sure you can fluidly move, not rip or stop..

Then do a fast run on cardboard and go for it,, A Fast past is best, a warm to hot day is key, to cold no flow...

good luck..
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Old 11-18-2020, 05:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LK23 View Post
I absolutely HATE to deal with silicone caulking. It seems I can never get a consistent, smooth bead.

I need to reapply clear silicone caulk around the shower bench wall mounts in our 2017 DS 4369. I have read several posts on the Internet suggesting I use rubbing alcohol, soapy water, or glass cleaner after applying the caulk and then smooth it with your finger.

For you experts, how do you achieve a smooth bead of silicone caulk?

Thanks,

Rex
Hi Rex,
I'm a GC and if you want to know the secret to applying "silicone" and not "caulk", well, here it is "Caulk EZ". Now the secret is out of the bag.

All you do is clean your area very well, rubbing alcohol works great as a final clean then apply the silicone, once applied, spray the area with Caulk Ez over the silicone then smooth it with your finger. The silicone will adhere too nothing except the area you applied it to prior to the Caulk EZ, not even your finger and will finish perfectly with no mess. Once the silicone dries wipe off the excess spray and you have a professional job.
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Old 11-18-2020, 07:15 AM   #9
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The trick is to smooth with denatured alcohol. Caulk it, I still use the tried and true hand pump one, spray it with denatured alcohol, and smooth with your finger. I find using a finger vs plastic tool (West Systems sells inexpensive spatulas with one end rounded) gives a better feathering of the edges.
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Old 11-18-2020, 08:01 AM   #10
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I use to be in the rubber business and if u are using straight silicone Naphtha is what u want and use a used paper towel or toilet paper cardboard core to remove the caulk...Hold the core and pinch a little and the excess caulk will go into the core as u slide the core along the applied area.
Just remember pre cleaning with Acetone or Alcohol is very important to insure a good bond as the surface must be free of any foreign debris...
Hope this helps u...Jay
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Old 11-18-2020, 12:01 PM   #11
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I have two methods....one is to use the blue painters tape when you can. The other is......first, apply LESS than you think you need. I'm still old school and find that wetting my finger with saliva is the best for smoothing the silicone. Alcohol or the other products are fine. Covid is probably a good reason not to use your saliva anymore.

Again.....use LESS than you think. People get into trouble when a big gob builds up as they try to smooth the silicon. If you come up with a small hole or spot where there is not enough, put a little on your finger and make a second pass.
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Old 11-18-2020, 11:33 PM   #12
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I agree with Don. Cut the nozzle at an angle and with a small opening. Put down a light, consistent bead. No reason at all to have a battery powered caulking gun especially for small areas. The key is to use consistent pressure to lay down a consistent small bead. When you reach the end of squeeze travel, a quick release and reapply in concert with a pause of forward direction will keep the skip of pressure limited change of bead. But that's only needed for a long travel run.

Once the bead is down, immediately use your moistened finger (keep a water tray nearby) to quickly champer the joint. Apply a little pressure downward to force the silicone into the angle and to push any air out.

The key is to do the tooling quickly before the silicone skims over. If your finger gets too much silicone on it then quickly remove the excess into a paper towel. Keep a couple of sheets preripped and nearby to minimize delay.

If you don't like what it looks like, then use the towels to remove and start over.

Don't continue to "play" with the caulk as it will screw up once it starts skinning over.

Practice makes near perfect. Perfect doesn't exist. Get er done!
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Old 11-20-2020, 11:31 AM   #13
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Thanks to all the replies.

Lenny, I used Caulk-X and it worked great.

Job done.

Rex
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Old 11-20-2020, 11:50 AM   #14
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Caulk finishing tools

This is something like what I've found useful. I always seem to manage to get caulk EVERYWHERE when I am working it. This helps the mess and gives "Professional" results.



https://www.amazon.com/Caulking-Sili...a-908387383625
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