Asked on Jan 15, 2012

removing non-paintable silicone caulking from fiberglass tub surround

Patricia Fluharty3po3Dan's of Central Florida, Inc.


In one of the bathrooms of the home I bought last year has non-paintable silicone caulking around the (glossy) fiberglass tub surround. AND lavender walls. In order to paint, I have cut away most of the caulk, but am having a time getting the remnant caulk off the shower, despite rubbing, Motsenbocker's LIFTOFF, Goo Gone Extreme Remover. I am concerned about marring the glossy finish of the shower.
I would appreciate any recommendations from the "hometalk" team?
6 answers
  • Peace Painting Co., Inc.
    on Jan 15, 2012

    Uggh, MJ that's a toughy. Not ever having done that exact procedure, scraping and removing the residual caulk with solvent sounds like the best approach. What solvent? Perhaps toluene, MEK or acetone. You can also try a paint stripper. After scraping all that is possible, try using an extra fine scotch-brite pad with the chemical of choice. You will need the correct chemically resistant gloves and we use respirators when using these chemicals that will make you sick. The disclaimer is, try this first in a discrete location. Silicone caulk is one of the banes of our existence /-: Best, Charles

  • You need to be careful using chemicals. Check a very small spot elsewhere before you try on larger areas. The Gel Coat on the tub may soften and dull as the result. You may only be able to remove this with a tiny scraper and some very careful work. But as Charles suggested a fine scotch-brite pad should be able to help remove the tiny amounts left. To protect the tub and surrounding area when cleaning, I would put down some painters tape right next to where your cleaning, scrubbing etc. This way you lower the risk of scratching or dulling the finish outside of the caulking zone.

  • Brenda D
    on Jan 15, 2012

    there is a product called GOOFOFF. no kidding it works for everything. even paint in carpet

  • I've found that a thin rag around the scraping end of a putty knife it usually enugh the allow you to slice under those little bits yet do no damage to the tub. You don't have to get every little bit off of there. You will, or should, caulk along that same edge with a paintable tub caulk. The new caulk will cover and seal in the old tiny leftover bits. If some of the old sticks out in places, just concentrate on removing those sections better instead of all of it.

  • 3po3
    on Jan 15, 2012

    I think Dan has a good solution for you. If you want to keep tackling it, I have had luck in the past with mineral spirits, but as Woodbridge said, it is worth testing in a small inconspicuous spot first.

  • Patricia Fluharty
    on May 24, 2015

    I used a hair dryer on high setting. Hold over area for a few seconds and it should soften it enough to pull out. Just be careful with the electrical cord around water.

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