Sunday, January 4, 2009

Home Improvelence

Hm, sort of out of order on the pictures, but Oh Well!

New Years Day I created this:

What you see, my friends, is a freshly caulked kitchen sink. (Heh heh...."caulk").

I also took care of the adjoining countertop's caulk trim between it and the tile backsplash. Here is a shot I took during removal and cleanup of the old caulk (if you look at the corner where the tiles meet, you can see that the caulk in there has yellowed. I am assuming it's a combination of age + the last guy's chain-smoking habit. Probably nicotine stains as much as anything else...)

Here is a gross close-up I took on the other corner, during cleanup and removal:

I will have to redo one side of the countertop, though. The caulk I bought dries clear, and it magnified some flecks of old caulk I didn't remove entirely... Ah well. Live and learn.
I still have to re-caulk the bathroom sink and tub.
If you are attempting to do this yourself, please do! It's pretty easy. All you really need is a razor blade or utility knife (don't cut yourself!), bleach or other cleaner, tube of caulk, rubber gloves (?), and time.
1) Use the razor blade or knife to cut out all the old caulk. Hopefully it's easy and comes off in big strips. Make sure you take the time to get EVERYTHING off.
2) Wipe down the area with normal cleaner, then run a bead of bleach all up inside the crack you just exposed by removing the caulk.
3) Let the bleach dry. Repeat if needed. Make sure there's no fungus or nastiness in the crack.
4) Cut open your caulk tube's tip, and squirt away. It's pretty thick stuff, so be prepared to muscle it in. Make sure you get an even bead. I used a wet finger to run it in and smooth the join, but they sell "as seen on TV" tools that supposedly do a better job (for $19.95...versus...your finger, which is already attached to you). I just used some paper towels and a wet rag to keep everything clean.
5) Once you're satisfied....make sure to let it dry. This usually means you can't use whatever fixture you just caulked - sink, tub, etc. - for 24 hours.

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