Caulking windows is one of those chores that gets ignored until there’s water damage done. Today I’m showing how easy it is to caulk windows, protect your home AND make your windows look better.
You know Covid favours the introverts? I was thinking about it the other day – life as we used to know it favoured extroverts. Those people that recharge just by being in a group. They learn the social skills and the how to’s of networking and climbing the corporate ladder.
Introverts on the other hand, recharge in quiet settings and/or small gatherings of 1 or maybe 2 people. They (we) prefer heads-down working over schmoozing. I’d hazard a guess and say that a great majority of bloggers are introverts; working alone on project after project.
Covid (except for the illness and anxiety around it) has been sort of easy?
In fact, working from home has allowed me to get a few niggly projects started/finished that I wouldn’t have done otherwise – as evidenced by this:
Embarrassingly, that’s my kitchen window.
I recently had a new backsplash installed and this funky pinkish-stained caulk became even more glaringly evident. Obviously it’s been there for awhile – 15 years I’d guess – but I’d done my best to ignore it.
That’s my bedroom window. The blinds and curtains distracted me from noticing it too much – but that can’t be energy efficient?
The kitchen makeover and the bedroom makeover required that I paint out the trim work on baseboards, windows, and doors, so I bit the bullet and attempted caulking windows at the same time.
First up – remove the old caulking. I used a blade from a utility knife and scored the caulk horizontally at the sill and vertically at the edge of the actual window.
Once I had removed as much as possible, I sanded down the areas with a 60 grit sanding sponge. You’ll find there’s still caulk left on the sill no matter how perfectly you scrape, and paint does not adhere to caulking well, so for a smooth finish it’s really important to get every last bit off. I believe there are even some cleaners that will help with this, but I used elbow grease.
Tidy up your sanded areas with a 150 grit sandpaper.
I painted out the trim on the window first. A coat of primer on the bare wood, then 2 coats of semi-gloss latex to clean it all up.
I think the paint made the gaps look even larger!
Not to worry, that’s what caulking is for – to fill in gaps and create a smooth finish.
I am not great with caulk (yes, I’ll let you run with that one lol). Cutting a tiny hole in the tip of the caulk tube did not really help with my tendency to over-fill the spaces and then when I spread it out – it oozed all over my paint job.
For this project I used DAP Dynaflex Ultra for no other reason than it said “window, door, siding and trim” and “lifetime mold, mildew and algae resistant”. I have no idea if this is the best or the worst caulking, so I can’t give an educated review.
The best way (I believe) to caulk a window (or any area) is to lay a strip of painter’s tape down along the sill and another along the edge of the window. Close to, but not covering the gap.
Squeeze the caulking into your sill, smooth with your finger, and then remove the tape afterwards.
The above window was my first attempt (without the painter’s tape) and it’s not bad – the gaps are filled and the finish is relatively smooth – but I had to really go over it with a wet sponge to remove the massive amounts of excess.
Here is with the tape method:
That’s the same sludgy window with the pink stain (mould?)
The excess oozes onto the tape when you are spreading it, so it’s easily removed when you pull the tape off!
I’ll be honest, I’ve only done these two windows so far – because of them being part of larger projects – so there are still at least a dozen to go, but I’ve decided to get the worst first and tackle the rest on a one-off basis.
It’s a fairly easy job, but caulking windows does take time with the stripping, sanding, painting etc.
Covid doesn’t appear to be going anywhere fast, so we’ll all have time to get’er done.
Have a great one!