Tape Before Caulking
Apply painter's tape to control your caulk lines. Apply the caulk, smooth the joint with your finger and immediately remove the tape.
Choose the Right Caulk for the Job
The selection in the caulk aisle at home centers is mind-boggling, but actually choosing the right one is pretty simple. Most of the caulk on store shelves is basically one of four types: elastomeric, polyurethane, latex or silicone. Here's how to make the right choice:
- Siding, windows and doors: Polyurethane is best. It's paintable. It doesn't shrink. It stays flexible. It adheres better than silicone, and it doesn't attract dust and dirt the way silicone does.
- Roofing: Use an elastomeric or rubberized product. This stuff won't dry out in extreme conditions, and it sticks to everything.
- Interior trim: Use latex if you're sealing gaps and nail holes in trim that's going to be painted. It cleans up easily and dries fast. It's also easy to tool—and cheap.
- Kitchen and bath: This is where silicone products shine. Silicone tools well. It can be purchased with antimicrobial additives, and can be easily removed and replaced when it gets grungy.