How to Use Silicone Caulk Instead of Liquid Latex

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If you want to produce many replicas of a decorative element for your home, the best way to do it is with a mold. Liquid latex is the most commonly available mold-making material, but it is thin and takes dozens of layers to build up a mold of any strength. An alternative is to use silicone caulk, which is available at any hardware store. The caulk allows a mold to be made requiring only a few layers. This technique works well if the object you are molding has a flat base, such as a bust or candle holder.

Things You'll Need

  • Object to be molded
  • Hot glue
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Paintbrush
  • Bucket
  • 100 percent silicone caulk
  • Razor blade
  • Rubber gloves
  • Secure the mold to a work surface hot glue.

  • Brush a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the entire object and surrounding work surface. You only need a micro-thin layer as a release agent. Be careful not to fill in any fine detail.

  • Fill a bucket halfway with water.

  • Hold your hand underwater and squeeze a large dollop of silicone caulk into it.

  • Form the caulk into a flat disk shape under the water's surface. The water will prevent the caulk from sticking to your hands.

  • Press the silicone disk into the object. It should be no thicker than a quarter-inch.

  • Add more silicone disks until the object is covered.

  • Allow the silicone to cure for several hours until it has hardened. Different caulks take different amounts of time; consult the label for your caulk's curing time.

  • Add a second layer of silicone caulk disks, pressing them into the first layer. Allow the caulk to cure, then add a third layer.

  • Remove the object from the mold once the silicone has cured. If it cannot simply pull out, cut a slit up the mold's back side with a razor blade until it can peel off of the object.

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References

  • "The Prop Builder's Molding & Casting Handbook"; Thurston James; 1989
  • Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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