Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Life Skills: Caulking a Bathtub

Every time I move, it seems like the caulking in the new apartment is peeling or crumbling. I could pester the landlord to take care of it, but since it takes less than $10 to fix, I usually just handle it myself. Below find instructions for caulking a bathtub, though these are of course applicable to any other household fixture you need to caulk!
What you'll need:
Putty knife
Painter's tape
Caulk (Spend the extra dollar to get the anti-fungal kind)
Your finger
Wet paper towel
  1. Make sure the area is completely dry. It's best not to use the tub for 24 hours before and after this job, but in a pinch you can use a hair-dryer to speed up the process.
  2. Remove all of the old caulk from the seam (this is where the putty knife comes in handy).
  3. Stick two lines of painter's tape above and below the seam; the distance between is what the caulk will cover. I usually tape about 1/3 of an inch on either side. This step is critical!
  4. Slowly squeeze an even bead of caulk in the seam from end-to-end on one side of the tub. Don't worry if you mess up, just take the wet rag and wipe away the mess!
  5. Wet your finger and smooth the caulk into the crack of the seam. Wipe your finger with the rag when it gets sticky, rewet, and repeat until the caulk is as smooth as you'd like.
  6. Repeat steps (4) and (5) for the other sides of the tub.
  7. Remove the painter's tape (carefully - don't touch the wet caulk!)
  8. Let dry according to caulk package instructions, usually 24 hours.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, you caulk your own bathtub? I am seriously impressed. We have such a great Super, that I barely even change a lightbulb myself! Does anyone else in a dilapidated apartment (or a--gasp--homeowner) have any tips for DIY maintenance?


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