Exterior Painting Part 3: Applying Caulk to Your Ann Arbor Home

This is a continuation of our previous tutorial on exterior house painting.

(Original source)

Today we're going to go over step three in the painting process and that's caulking. Now you're going to want to caulk your house because it makes it more energy efficient to seal up the gaps around the windows and doors. Also it just makes it look more solid. You get rid of those gaps in the trim boards and cracks in the foundation, et cetera. If you're going to sell your house you want to go through maybe a whole case of caulk just sealing everything up making it look real solid and new. Not giving the impression that it's old and worn out, you know, there's big gaps and everything everywhere.

Caulk can be very beneficial especially in cities like Ann Arbor where it can get really cold and really hot all within a few months of each other.

Now equipment that you're going to need for caulking includes of course a caulk gun, I like the Dripless kind. I like this 35 year silicone paintable caulk. Going to need a brand new razor knife to cut the tip off. You're going to need a bucket of water and a rag and also you're going to want a dry rag to put on your belt loop to wipe your fingers throughout the day. Also of course, you need a five way and a putty knife. As always it's helpful to have on on any phase of the painting job.

caulking your ann arbor home

Now when you cut the tip off you just want to go back maybe a quarter inch, three eighths of an inch, do it at an angle. All right, now as we go around the house I'm going to point out a few spots that commonly need caulking and I'm going to demonstrate how to do it and make it look real neat. And that's pretty much all there is to it. Okay? Let's go outside.

You're going to want to caulk anywhere the corner boards meet the siding. See that crack in there? Follow it all the way down, in there it got wider where I dug the old caulk out. Now here's a good example of some corner board that could use some caulking to look a lot better. Get down there, it was probably never caulked. And when you're trying to sell a house or something, that stuff just looks ugly.

Now a lot of houses will have gaps between the pieces of siding. This house happens to have these little covers over the gaps, but a lot of houses, they're caulked and over time that caulk separates and dries out and creates a crack. You're going to want to hit any joints in the siding as well.

Now one spot you do not want to caulk are these natural gaps underneath the siding there. Just leave those alone. One common place that you're gong to want to look at for caulking are along the edges of door frames here where it meets the siding. Don't put too much on but make sure you get enough to fill any cracks. Take your bucket with your rag, get your finger a little wet. Get a glob out there on the siding, rub it in, get it all smooth and some people don't rub the caulk in with their fingers like this. They just run a bead and they end up with this kind of gloppy looking worm. I don't like that, I always rub it in, smooth it out with my fingers.

I also like to caulk in the door jams here, mostly on the outsides of houses you'll find that they never really got caulked. They just kind of slapped it together because it was the outside. They didn't figure anybody would ever notice. Some people think I'm picky but you know it only takes a second. Roll it down, you rub it in and then when you paint it you're not going to see any crack there. It's going to look solid, it's going to look tight. It's not going to look worn out with a big gap.

Here we've got a window frame. Same thing as the door frame. You're going to want to check all four sides and make sure there isn't any openings or cracks or gaps around it anywhere ... Handy thing to have along with you which I forgot to mention at the beginning of the video is a little duster brush. You can dust areas before you caulk them because if you caulk on top of dust or dirt, it's not going to stick. [Music 00:04:41]

One of these bucket hooks can be handy when you're working up on the ladder. Hook your bucket on there with your rag and your water and you can hook the caulk right on there too. Okay, so now you know how to caulk your house prior to painting. This is a very important step, not only for energy efficiency and get rid of the draftiness, but also just to prove the look of your house.

Now you can visit my website howtopaintahouseright.com where you'll find a lot of helpful information. You'll find free Pdf's, complete written instructions, equipment lists, paint estimator sheets, as well as a whole series of videos designed to help you paint your house right.