How to Caulk Cracks in Cabinets

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Caulking is useful for both aesthetic and practical purposes. Cabinets need to be caulked around the edges when they are first installed. This fills the gaps between the side of the cabinets and the wall and the helps to achieve a more finished and solid appearance. Cabinets may also develop cracks in the wood over time due to moisture and humidity, which causes the wood to shrink or swell, or from ordinary wear and tear. Caulk is useful in repairing these cracks as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Utility knife
  • Rags
  • Select the right caulk for the job. A good quality latex caulk will do the job on wooden cabinets. Latex caulk comes in a variety of colors and it is also easily painted as well. If you are painting the cabinets after applying the caulk then then use a simple white caulk. If the caulk is not being painted, match the caulk color with the cabinet color.

  • Buy a good quality caulking gun. A cheap caulk gun has weak springs that always leave you with a mess. The caulk continues oozing from the caulk gun even after you have released the trigger. This forces you to spend more time cleaning up the mess than actually applying the caulk. A good quality caulk gun is much easier to use and will result in a much better quality job.

  • Cut the tip of the caulk at a slight angle. Use a utility knife to cut the tip. The trick is to make the smallest opening that you need to apply the caulk. Usually this is about 1/4 inch. Cutting the tip at an angle makes it easier to apply the caulk.

  • Insert the tip into the crack and apply the caulk. Hold the caulk gun at the best angle to fill the crack. Press the trigger to start the caulk flowing. Start at the top of the crack and work your way down. If the caulk starts becoming messy or building up on the tip release the trigger and stop the caulk from flowing. Clean off the tip with your fingers and continue until you finish caulking the crack.

  • Smooth the caulk with your finger. Run your finger slightly on top of the bead of caulk and make a smooth line. Clean your finger with a wet rag. The bits of caulk will quickly dry on your finger and this makes it difficult to make a clean smooth line

  • Wipe off excess caulk from the cabinet with a wet rag. It is much easier to clean the caulk before it dries.

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