Caulk or Paint, what should come first!
This is a universal dilemma among the DIYers.
I was not different and had some dilemma a couple of years ago. But now, I know what works and whatnot.
I will share with you the detailed guideline that I have learned by doing repetitive mistakes and finding solutions.
As there are key differences between indoor and outdoor caulking sequences, I am going to explain these two in separate subheadings.
Outdoor Caulking & Painting Sequence
Exteriors can quickly get dirty and filled with lots of harmful substances. When you caulk first in the exterior and paint afterward, you'll see specks of dirt are sticking to the surface area.
Removing that dirt will be harder than the ordinary caulk removal process. Because you've to remove paint first before the caulk.
So, it is good to do the painting first and then caulking to ease future maintenance works.
With caulk on the paint, you'll have to remove the caulk only and replace it with a new one, when necessary.
With the benefits, there are some drawbacks of this method as well. When you caulk after the painting, guess what will happen?
It will not be pleasing to your eyes. The caulk residue will be visible on the surface and will ruin your exterior design.
For getting a balanced outcome, meaning, enhanced beauty, and lower maintenance requirements, you need to be a bit tricky in doing things.
Here are some tips-
1. Get transparent caulk to make them invisible on top of the paint. You can use the same color caulk as well to blend the caulk with the paint color, but those colored caulks are not good in terms of durability.
2. Use thin beads of caulk on top of paint so that it becomes less visible on the painted wall. Where you can replace the caulk with drywall putty, use them to get consistency.
3. When applying the caulk on the paint, make sure to apply like a pro. You can get a nice design on the wall despite using different color caulk. A proper straight line of caulk will enhance beauty.
What Caulk to Use Under Painting?
Latex-based caulks are great to use under the paint because of their inherent characteristics. These expands and contracts with the temperature change leaving you worry-free about any cracks on the surface.
As they are paintable and long-lasting, you can use them under the paint without any hesitation.
Indoor Caulking Sequence
Internal surfaces are likely to be protected against the polluted air materials and other harmful substances. So, the suggestion would be the opposite of what I've told in the earlier subhead.
Putting the caulk before the paint is useful when you want to hide the caulk from the people for a better look.
But if the surface is not protected and is exposed to the harmful materials, then you should follow the exterior caulking sequence.
How to Caulk Before Paining?
The caulking technique for both before and after the paint is the same. There is no difference at all. However, we recommend following these pro caulking tips so that you get a good finish-
1. Start caulking on a clean and dry surface. If the surface is dirty or wet, the newly applied caulk won't stick to the surface leaving the surface look ugly.
2. Cut the tip of the caulking tube at an angle for convenient and neat application. The angular position will prevent a mess.
3. Keep a consistent angle when you are applying caulk before or after the paint. Move your whole body with the caulking gun to achieve a perfectly consistent angle.
4. Always keep a couple of paper towels to keep the tip clean. This will prevent drips from sticking on the surface making it look unpleasant.
5. Don't leave the caulk as it is after the application. Use your fingertip or caulk finishing tool to make the bead smooth and neat.
6. If you are working on an edge or corner, use masking tape to define them. You will have a smooth and defined edge with a lot less effort.
Is There Any Way to Look Better Applying The Exterior Sequence?
It depends on various factors. The main factor is the budget. If you are ready to spend a handful amount of money on the maintenance, you can go with the outstanding look you desire to happen at your home.
I, personally, don't think spending a lot of money just for an absolute finish on the exterior make sense.
The thing we recommend is using paintable caulk on the exterior surfaces so that you can easily hide the caulk when needed.
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Finishing with a story. I had a little desire for an outdoor dog home and ended up making a nice one hiding the caulk with the paint. After a year or so, the house was dirty, and I hired a professional dog home builder to make it cute-like-new.
After doing the renovation, I stumbled with the bill that the dog home improvement guy put on my hand. It was almost the same as the new caulking and painting bill If I have missed anything here or you want any specific answer about the topic, leave a comment in the box below.