How to Apply Acrylic Caulk

What You'll Need
Acrylic Caulk Tube
Caulk Gun
Utility Knife/Scissors
Clean Rags

There are many uses around your home for acrylic caulk. If you have decided to use it for one of them, whether you are sealing a window or closing an air leak, you should be able to do it easily, assuming you have the correct knowledge and plan accordingly. What follows should give you everything you need to get started.

Step 1 - Choose the Job Carefully

Acrylic caulk is good for some projects, but bad for others. It is designed to work well with paint, making it a great type of caulk to fill holes in drywall. You can also use it for caulking windows, or sealing off any holes between the inside and outside of your home. However, for bathrooms, you are better off using silicone caulk.

Step 2 - Setting Up

Preparing your caulk tube properly is an important part of applying acrylic caulk. If you prepare your tube incorrectly, it becomes easy to apply too much caulk. This makes a mess that can be difficult to clean up, and is quite wasteful. Even more importantly, it gives you a bead of caulk that is hard to control and apply accurately.

For a good, easy to work with caulk tube, cut the tip of the tube off with a utility knife or scissors. Aim to have a hole that is 1/8 inch across. However, err on the side of having too small of a hole, as you can always cut off more later.

Additionally, cut the tip of the caulk tube at a 45 degree angle.

Step 3 - Applying Caulk

Practicing on a piece of scrap material first is a good idea, especially if this is your first time operating a caulk gun. Try the following techniques out somewhere that does not matter before actually working on your home. When you are ready, try them for real.

Hold the caulk gun at a 30 degree angle to the place you are attempting to seal off. Squeeze the trigger slowly and evenly, and attempt to deposit an even bead of caulk over the crack or seam. Try to move your caulk gun away from the surface as you squeeze rather than towards it, because pushing can smear the caulk, making a mess and leaving you with not enough excess to work into the seam. Do this as quickly as possible. You do not need to be completely accurate.

Step 4 - Finishing the Job

Get your index finger damp. Use it to simultaneously push the caulk into the crack and remove the excess by running it along the bead of caulk. You can use this technique to remove imperfections in your caulking job by depositing the caulk that builds up on your finger into areas that did not receive enough. Remove excess caulk from your finger regularly and keep a water source nearby to keep it wet.

It is important to do  this as soon as possible after applying the caulk, because the longer the caulk sits, the more it will solidify and the harder it will become to work with.