Caulking baseboards is an easy way to give your home a facelift and make it more energy efficient at the same time. There are two basic ways to go about caulking baseboards, but only one leads to a beautifully finished product that you won’t be ashamed of showing off. Learn how to caulk baseboards with these simple tips and tricks!
Step 1: Prepare your tools
Use a utility knife to cut the caulk tube at an angle. This will give you more control when spreading the sealant and make it easier to clean up. If you’re using a caulk gun, fill the applicator with sealant, insert it into the joint, and pull back on the trigger until you see sealant come out of both sides of your applicator.
Step 2: Scrape off old caulk
Start by scraping off the old caulk with a putty knife or scraper. Be sure to scrape in the direction of the wood grain and not against it, as this will cause unsightly lines on your baseboards. Once you have scraped away all the old caulk, wipe down the area with acetone or lacquer thinner. Wait 5-10 minutes for it to dry before applying new caulk.
Step 3: Remove the tape
After the caulk has set, the final step is removing the tape. The first thing you’ll want to do is let it sit for at least 24 hours before attempting this step. Next, gently pry under the tape with a putty knife and slowly pull it off.
Step 4: Apply the new caulk
This is the most tedious part, but it’s also the most important. Make sure you wipe away all of the excess caulk before it dries. Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to let your caulking cure for at least four hours and then you can enjoy your new baseboard! Start with an even coat that goes over any cracks or gaps between the board and wall. Press down gently so that there are no bubbles, which could lead to seeping and mold.
After letting the first coat dry, apply a second coat in the same manner as you did on your first one (you may want to wait a little longer before applying if it’s very hot out). Then go back with another coat after the second one has dried.
Step 5: Clean up and wipe down
It’s easy to get caulking all over your hands and fingers, so it’s best to wear gloves. Make sure you clean up any excess caulk on the baseboard with a rag or paper towel. Let the caulk dry thoroughly before walking on it. Use this opportunity to give your floors a good sweep and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners of the room. Remember: don’t put away those rags just yet! You’ll need them for step 6 below.