What is the best way to apply caulking around sinks? Recently painted our counters in our bath. When I caulked around our sinks, I made a mess. Need to do kitchen and other bath, but I am reluctant.
q caulking, bathroom ideas, home maintenance repairs
  20 answers
  • There is a small tool you can by to help you get an even caulk line. You can chek out my post to see what it looks like......I forget the name of the manufacturer. With this tool you will not even need to use your hands! I highly recommend it....both my fiance and I both love using it!

  • The best method is to use as little caulk as you can. Be sure to cut the tip off at an angle. Then having a dish of water near by, apply the caulking carefully without putting on to thick. while the caulk is still wet, Wet your fingers and rub them along the caulking creating a smooth curve in the caulk. Any access coming out on the sides of your fingers indicate you used to much of the product. Simply re-wet your fingers and rub the extra away. If you find you still have to much in place, using a wet paper towel, simply remove the offending area and re-apply only using much less then your first effort. The tool that Jennifer suggested is simply a plastic device that has various curved corners that remove the access caulking that was applied. It works much like a putty knife, removing the extra caulk leaving what should be left behind. I would simply use my finger. Just keep it wet so the caulk is smoothed out well and the caulk does not stick to your fingers.

  • Julie Julie on Aug 02, 2013
    Thank you for the suggestions. Wish I had of asked before I did our bathroom!

  • Carole Carole on Aug 02, 2013
    I have seen on the tv they use the water - dip you finger in, but also a little dish washing liquid in the water so your fingers don't stick to the caulk. Fingers are best for smoothing the caulk into the join. Or you can use a paddle stick from a ice lolly or similar instead of your finger.

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Aug 02, 2013
    When you cut the tip off on the caulk I try to get it as close to the top, and at a angle like Woodbridge suggested. The further down you cut the bigger the caulk line. I use water and my finger and keep a rag to wipe my fingers off. I have to say I hate the feel of it!

  • Jo N Jo N on Aug 03, 2013
    I use a wet sponge - the kind used for wall papering - the kind with small holes because it makes a "smooth" clean up. I put on as little caulk as possible, use my damp finger to "spread" and fill in then gently wipe with the sponge for any excess that needs to be cleaned up.

  • I found that it's all about the brand name of the caulk that you use on how easy your job of caulking will be. I use G.E. clear silicone caulk when I need clear silicone. The other brand names are sticky and messy! G.E. caulk is not sticky and goes on smooth! I also use a damp grout sponge which makes a smooth bead.

  • Kendra Kendra on Aug 03, 2013
    In addition, use painters tape on the top and bottom, making a "channel" for the caulk. Then gently remove it before the caulk cures. Cleanup with your finger & water.

  • Kendra Kendra on Aug 03, 2013
    PS ... love your bathroom!

  • Julie Julie on Aug 03, 2013
    Kendra, thanks for the idea of tape. I like that. I use it when I paint, but never thought about when I caulk.

  • Tabby Tabby on Aug 03, 2013
    my contractor/cousin uses Windex to keep his finger wet but water would be cheaper :-) a little caulk goes along way, cut the tip opening small.

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Aug 03, 2013
    I am so glad I read this page! I have caulked for along time and so of these suggestions are wonderful!

  • Core Plumbing San Diego Core Plumbing San Diego on Aug 05, 2013
    Damp finger and a sponge...tile sponge from Home Depot works fine.

  • Colleen Colleen on Aug 15, 2013
    Years ago on "This Old House" Tommy shared a viewer's tip of sliding the tip of a straw along the edge. The curve of the straw was flush with the corner, and the excess caulk would go into the tube of the straw. Figer if Tommy used this, it must be a good tip. Good luck.

  • Rita Wozniak Rita Wozniak on Nov 29, 2014
    caulk and a WET FINGER TO PUSH THE CAULK INTO PLACE.. WIPES OFF your finger.. and leaves a neat concave seal around the bowl..HOWEVER.. if you have artifical nails you can use a popcicle stick..

  • Dianna Blumricl Dianna Blumricl on Nov 29, 2014
    First ask someone at like Lowes to the best type of chalk to use. I use a gun that disburse the chalk. You can buy a small tool to remove the heavy part. I take a wet my finger and run around the edge until it is real smooth.

  • Beve Falley Beve Falley on Nov 30, 2014
    I sure appreciate this question and the great answers. I've been putting off necessary caulking since I didn't want to leave a mess. Now I will have confidence to go ahead with it. :)

  • Patti Nicholas Patti Nicholas on Mar 11, 2015
    Have done this professionally for years, dampen finger with a natural liquid soap as you smooth the caulk line. Have a rag handy for wiping excess off your fingers. And practice practice practice. Everyone makes a mess the first time

  • Edith wheelhouse Edith wheelhouse on Nov 24, 2015
    Remember to check the date on the tube of caulk as it expires and will not set up. No one has time to do it twice.

  • Shi13291265 Shi13291265 on Nov 16, 2016
    Just don't use silicone based caulk! Once you do its all you can use its amess