Friday, September 30, 2005

Non Paintable Caulk. Grrrr!

I was at work today thinking about my cabinets and I thought, “You know, if I caulk the seams on lunch I can put on the first top coat after work”. The plan was fiendishly clever in it’s simplicity, I know. There were a total of 12 seams between the bevel board slats that I wanted to caulk. How long could that take? Zoom home and come to a screeching halt out front. Race around back. Zip, zip, zip, with the caulking gun and I’m done, right? Wrong!

The tube in the caulking gun was already set up for just this sort of thing. I had to caulk several of the seams on the bead board when I painted the trim in the kitchen I had a partial tube of caulk left over from that and it was still in the gun. Because they are very narrow and tight seams you need just a little pin hole and the end of the tube.

I went out to the garage and began to caulk away and wouldn’t you know I ran short. There was only enough to do 10 seams. Not to worry, I knew I had another partial tube someplace so I scrounged around, found it, slapped it in the old gun and started to caulk one of the two remaining seams.

As all of you caulkers out there know applying the caulk with the gun is only half the operation. The next step is to drag your finger along the bead of caulk to smooth it out and get rid of the excess. As I dragged my finger down along the seam it seemed that something was not right. This caulk didn’t feel right and I had felt it before. By the time I got to the end of the seam I realized to my horror that I was using 100% silicone sealant and it was NON-PAINTABLE!

I had bought this tube by accident last summer when I was replacing the crown molding under the exterior window sills. This crown molding was brutally ripped off the house by the asbestos siding people (a.k.a. The Butchers of Eureka). At that time I didn’t realize I was using non-paintable caulk until after I had done 6 or 7 windows. I didn’t want to have to go through the painstaking chore of scraping off dried caulk again so this time I raced to get water and a towel to try and get it off before it dries. No such luck. It really just smears around and doesn’t wipe off very well. I made a bad situation worse.

So my big plan went somewhat asunder. What really makes me mad about this is that the tubes of caulk are not marked better. They all pretty much look the same. I know that 100% silicone does not take paint, but it was on sale. I’m only human – IT WAS ON SALE! I saw “Door & Window” and I saw “30 Year” and I saw “On Sale” and I grabbed it. The big graphics on the front don’t say “Non-Paintable” or “Paintable”. They go on and on about how this sealant will withstand a nuclear blast but you have to read the very fine print on the reverse (is there a “reverse” on a round tube of caulk) where it says, buried among a bunch of other information, in miniscule letters, Paintable: No. Why not put that in big letters on the “Front”. That would be helpful, don’t you think? So the blame for this falls squarely on the shoulders of the guy who designed the text and graphics on the tube of caulk. He had just better hope I never find him.

When I got home from work the smeared sealant had dried and I got out the trusty random orbital sander and that made quick work of it. I them reprimed the spot I sanded. Waited for that to dry and then caulked with PAINTABLE caulk, and I just finished putting on the first top coat. And, if I do say so myself, it looks pretty damn good.

6 comments:

Gary said...

Maybe you could try putting some shellac over that caulk as an experiment and see if you can paint it then.
I think I read some where that you can smooth silicon caulk with a little alcohol. I know you can smooth liquid nails with paint thinner.
Of course this information is coming to you after the fact....

Chris said...

Maybe 3M Caulk Remover would help?

Jocelyn said...

I heard you can use shellac as a self-tanner too- it's uses are endless (sorry, couldn't resist). At least he didn't suggest you use drywall compound. :)

This kind of stuff bites and we all do it once in a while. Sounds like you took it pretty well. Goo gone removes caulk too- but it would probably mess with the wood.

Greg said...

Drywall Compound!?!?! Who said Drywall Compound? Let me just get out my soap box....

Gary said...

Uhhh hmmmm that's JOINT COMPOUND to those of you who obviously NEVER use the stuff! This week I saw that a previous owner had used it to fill holes in wood molding..... I've been dropping the stuff all over my floor as added texture!

Kristin said...

I'm grrrr'ing right along with you. I hate packaging that doesn't clearly state what it does and does not do.