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Tool Tutorial Friday – How to Use a Caulk Gun

How to Use a Caulk Gun

You know the old saying, “No question is a dumb question.” Well, I have to say that about this tutorial, “No tutorial is a dumb tutorial.”

I realize that a caulk gun isn’t a big scary power tool, and yet I still think learning how to use a caulk gun is a very valuable skill for any handy person.

So, let’s get right down to some Caulk Talk.

How to Use a Caulk Gun

A caulk gun is a necessary tool for any homeowner. Sealing gaps in siding, replacing the seal around the tub and shower surround when the old caulk gets dry and brittle is a must. Caulking around the trim around windows and doors will improve your homes energy efficiency and get rid of unsightly gaps. You can also use it for spreading construction adhesive and any other substrate that is sold in tube form. A caulk gun saves your hands from cramping, especially if you have a lot of caulking to do.

A basic caulk gun costs about $10 – $20, but you could buy a power version which run up to $200! Sheesh!

Starting a tube of caulk:

Cut off the tip of your tube by inserting it into the hole at an angle.

How to Use a Caulk Gun

Poke the stick attached to the gun into the tube to puncture the seal.

How to Use a Caulk Gun

 Loading a caulk gun:

Pull the hooked rod all the way back. Insert your tube base first. Then tilt the nozzle end into the top of the gun.

How to Use a Caulk Gun

Rotate the hook so it is facing up and the teeth are facing down.

How to Use a Caulk Gun

Pull the trigger and you’re good to go!

How to Use a Caulk Gun

Be prepared to pull the hook rod back when you finish or the caulk will continue to flow out of the nozzle.

How to Use a Caulk Gun

Watch these videos for more details on using a caulk gun (also called a caulking gun) and why it is important to fill any cracks or seams in your siding!

*Thanks to The Real Tim Jones for sharing the secret about how to cut and start your caulk tube! Tim is sooo right, I never knew about this until I saw his video!

And, if you want to find out how to keep your caulk from drying out in between uses, my friend Sandra at Sawdust and Paper Scraps has this tip.

Happy Caulking!

How to Use a Caulk Gun

32 replies
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  1. Laura
    Laura says:

    I generally don’t respond to posts, but this one totally deserves it. I needed to do some caulking today and, lo and behold, this tutorial popped up on my RSS feed. I have never done a great caulking job, so I was a little paranoid about tackling my kitchen. This tutorial combined with slowing down, resulted in a near-perfect job. Thank you very, very much!

  2. Barbara @diyHomeStagingTips.com
    Barbara @diyHomeStagingTips.com says:

    Great tips here. Thanks for another helpful tutorial!

    Caulking is more important than most DIYers know. It makes a huge difference on inside trim — the difference between a custom look and an incomplete job. I’m a professional housepainter, and one of the first things I do when painting interiors is make sure all joints, where trim meets the wall, or trim meets trim, are caulked. That means tops of baseboards, around all doors and windows, and the corners of window and door trim. The exceptions are when there is wallpaper or unpainted wood paneling on the walls, or when the trim is stained instead of painted.

    Thanks again for all the good advice.

  3. Monique
    Monique says:

    Brittany, where were you last month! 🙂

    I attempted to caulk some windows and had an awful time. I even looked around for a tutorial online and found nothing of value. Thanks again for another informative article. You’re the best!

  4. Paulette
    Paulette says:

    Just finished re-caulking the tub, and what do I find? You have a post on how to use a caulk gun! Too funny. I’m so thankful for all of your tips and tricks. This time, I got it done all by myself. I’m jealous, though. My caulk gun doesn’t have the cutting hole, or the stick.

  5. Holly
    Holly says:

    I’ll be the first to admit that I shy away from the caulk gun because I can’t ever remember how it works! I’ll have to bookmark the tutorial so it’s at my fingertips the next time I have to caulk. Great tutorial!

  6. jeannie
    jeannie says:

    I will be using these tips. I always buy the caulk in the tube because I make a mess of the caulk gun. But this is a great tutorial. Thanks!


  7. CherylM.
    CherylM. says:

    Thanks for the info… I’ve been putting off re-caulking around our tub/showers because I was just a little intimidated and not sure how to proceed… thanks again for the help!!


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