Caulk is used to fill gaps, cracks and seams between molding and walls. Few walls are exactly straight, so when molding is nailed to the wall, the deviations between the two surfaces become very visible. Caulk is a flexible material that will move with the different expansion rates of wood molding and drywall, to keep up the appearance that the molding is well fitted to the wall. Applying the caulk takes only a few minutes.
Things You'll Need
- Utility knife
- Caulking gun
- Moist rag
- Garbage bag
Cut the tip off a tube of caulk using a utility knife. Cut at an angle away from the tip. This will allow you to create a smaller caulk stream.
Insert the caulk tube in a caulk gun and turn the cut side down. Turn the bar handle at the rear of the gun to the downward position and pull on the handle one or two times until caulk emerges from the tip.
Place the tip of the caulk gun in the corner at the top of the baseboard. Hold the tip at a 30-degree angle from the wall. Squeeze the handle and apply an even bead of caulk into the seam or crack between the baseboard and the wall. Continue to the opposite corner. Turn the handle upward and wipe the tip. Set the gun on a paper bag.
Wrap your forefinger in a moist rag and drag your finger along the center of the seam. This will push caulk deep into the seam and smooth the caulk along the top. Often, excess caulk will build up in front of your finger. Keep a paper towel handy and a garbage bag. Wipe off the excess on the towel and throw the towel away. Continue wiping the caulk until you reach the end. Discard extra caulk and rinse out your rag if you want to use it again. Insert a nail into the tip of the caulk tube when you are done.
Tips & Warnings
- Use a paintable caulk, as some silicone types remain somewhat sticky and will collect dust easily. You may also want to caulk between the shoe molding and the floor in wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
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