If you notice an unattractive brown tinge near the edges of your bathtub, or the surface is becoming brittle or cracked, these are signs that it needs caulking work. Below are four tips that will help you caulk a bathtub the right way.
Get Rid of the Old Caulk
Begin by closing up your tub’s pop-up style drain, then covering the whole tub using the drop cloth which will shield it from residue or scratches. Take a razor and gently use its blade to pry the aging caulk from the tub, and be sure the blade’s angle is kept low. Make sure you remove all the aging caulk otherwise the replacement won’t stick. Additionally, avoid using a metallic blade as it will scratch the surface, and use a blade made from plastic instead.
Scrub the Caulk Residue Using a Soft Rag
Use a dry pad that is non-abrasive to remove every bit of caulked residue. If you’re removing silicone you’ll want to use a pad that has been exposed to mineral spirits, rather than the scouring pad. Use a cotton rag that is damp to wipe over your joints to eliminate caulk dust which then preps its surface for replacement caulk. Be sure to carefully dry the surface using paper towels, a hair dryer or a dry rag.
Tape the Wall Off
Next, lay down parallel strips worth of bluish painter tape which are spaced roughly 3/8 inches apart, which will keep their bead uniform and straight. Point your nozzle hole to the joint, and be sure to hold your gun equidistant to surfaces on both joint sides at about forty-five degrees away from it.
Now press the trigger steadily while moving the nozzle carefully along the seam’s entire length. You’ll want to keep your caulk gun mobile at a speed that is steady and in alignment with the rate the caulk is emerging from the nozzle. If you go too fast, your bead will be excessively thin with breaks or bubbles, but if you go too slow you’ll end up wasting material that will have to be cleaned up. Some experts recommend trimming your nozzle at a forty-five-degree angle by its tip, that way the nozzle hole should be large enough for filling the joint at about 3/16 inches.
Use a Paper Towel or Lint-less Rag to Smooth the Caulk
Once the seams have been filled, take a paper towel or lint-less cloth and press it against the joint using your finger. Pull along its joint in a single continuous motion so your fresh caulk can be shaped into a concave bead. Remove your tape 1 strip after another and while doing so be careful not to touch your fresh caulk. Finally, go back and then smooth your bead a second time to remove the small ridges which your tape left behind. Give the fresh caulk about thirty minutes to dry before using the shower again. Afterward, the caulking will need about twenty-four hours to cure, so avoid touching it in the meantime.