Caulk. One of those words I’ve never been confident about how to pronounce so I won’t get funny looks.

OK, as a girl DIY-er, walk into home depot, look one of the guys in an orange apron in the eye, and say with a straight face “Can you show me where I can find some caulk?”  I dare you. 

Seriously, caulking around joints in wet areas (bathroom, kitchen) is incredibly important to help preserve and protect everything.  I just installed my new vanity in the bathroom (more on that later) and of course the new cheap factory-produced vanity is fairly perfectly square and my old house… isn’t.  So there were substantial areas of gaps between vanity and floor, vanity and wall.  Gaps where water could splash, where a lost contact or bobby pin could get lost, etc.  Meanwhile, in the kitchen, the seal between sink and countertop had broken, so whenever I wash dishes by hand the water slips down into the cabinet below.  So… caulk.

And I was pleased to discover a newer, better way to caulk.  In the past I always carefully cut a small opening in the top of the tube, then carefully and slowly tried to apply a perfect even bead, with steady hand and no gaps and no excess glops and… well, that never works for me.

So I was intrigued to find this approach to caulking on da intrawebs, and I was really psyched by how well it works.   Basically, it suggests that you mask the caulk area with tape just like you are painting.

So… you first go over the whole area, carefully taping a nice even distance from the gap:

Then you slop on the caulk.  Doesn’t matter too much to get it fancy – I glopped it on like a kindergarten crafts project, and mushed it all down smooth and flat with my fingers.

Then, before the caulk has set, peel away the tape to get rid of all that sloppy overage, leaving a smooth pretty caulk line.

This is so much better than the alternative where you fight with the caulk, getting a sloppy gloppy line in place

And then wiping it down over and over with a wet rag to try to clean up the mess

And end up with something that was six times more work and still doesn’t look as nice as the tape effect:

So yeah.  I learned a nice trick about caulking and my life is better thereby. 

On other fronts:  Once you get a pocket hole jig, you feel mildly irritated that you didn’t try that sooner.  And once you get a nail gun…. well, everything in the world looks like it needs screwing or nailing now!

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