Remove old caulk?


The previous owner did a bad caulk job along our stairway. Should I remove it and apply new caulk before painting?

q remove old caulk
  11 answers
  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Apr 14, 2020

    Hello. Yes I would remove any faulty or failing caulk and replace. The results will be well worth the effort.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Apr 14, 2020


    It is best to remove the old caulk. You can't really patch or fix it so it will look nice. Here is info on how to do it easily.

  • Gk Gk on Apr 14, 2020

    I would remove the old caulk before painting. then paint, wait a few days for the paint to cure, and then reapply the caulking. It's hard to keep paint off of the caulk so if you have an opportunity to paint without the caulk in your way, things will look much better if you can caulk after you have finished painting/drying/curing.

  • William William on Apr 14, 2020

    Yes. Remove the old caulk and apply new caulk. Also use paintable caulk.

  • Montross Made Montross Made on Apr 15, 2020

    I would- just to make it look cleaner. Make sure to get the paintable caulk!

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Apr 15, 2020

    Absolutely. You can get a tool for around $5 that will make it easier to remove and also to smooth the new caulk, if you need it.

  • Janice Janice on Apr 16, 2020

    It will be worth your time and effort to remove the old caulk, recaulk carefully with paintale caulk, thene paint.

  • Betsy Betsy on Apr 16, 2020

    Hi Meredith: Oh yeah! :) Or, you can use a razor blade to make it more even, but I'd remove it and replace it. It's not that hard. It should just peel off, if not, you can get a caulk remover like Crud Cutter. Here's a site that shows you how to caulk:

    Good luck

  • Dee Dee on Apr 17, 2020

    Here is how to remove the caulk. Buy Latex caulk, Loctite and Dap Alex are great caulks, Buy a caulking gun and only cut a small hole in the top. Less is more in this case.

    Having properly ventilated the work area, be sure to follow any other safety tips specified in the printed instructions for your chosen caulk remover. You can use Goo gone. Once ready, proceed to apply the product to the caulk you wish to remove, and then—wait. The caulk remover, rather than making the sealant magically disappear, simply softens it. In most cases, the longer you let the chemical remover sit, the softer and more pliable the caulk becomes. Allow at least four hours. Note that a typical bottle of caulk remover usually covers about 20 or 30 linear feet of caulk.

    With the caulk now soft, address it either with a caulk remover tool or a simple utility knife. Be careful with the latter, as there’s a danger of scraping the material on either side of the caulk bead. If the remover did its job, the caulk ought to come off rather easily. For any lingering residue, particularly in crevices, use a toothbrush or putty knife.

    Sometimes those last little pieces of caulk can be stubborn.use a hair dryer and pull out the remaining caulk.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Dec 31, 2020

    Ya you should

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Jan 03, 2021

    Hi Meredith, I would re-caulk. Start with a clean surface, so removing the existing caulk is very important. Scrape it out with a screwdriver or a putty knife. (If you run into stubborn caulk that you can't get loose, use a utility blade to score the top and bottom.) After all the old caulk is removed, re-caulk it with quality caulk. Make sure you use 100% silicone caulk. It’s more flexible and will expand and contract. Let it dry. Then add decorative trim. Take your measurements with you to buy the trim. Home Depot will cut the trim for free if you buy it there. You can also add a backsplash that would cover the gap, but you’ll still need to caulk. Good luck.