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Community and Q&A

Neat silicone caulk

Graham c | Posted in GBA Pro Help on

I have been looking to start making my timber windows internal beaded. i have had a look at some imported windows and have been very impressed at the quality of the silicone applyed to the external face of the window/unit ,no matter how i try i can not get the look i am after .Is there a tool i can use or are the eastern europeans bloody good at tooling of silicone .Any one help .

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  1. wjrobinson | | #1

    Big box stores sell caulk tools. I use low stick tape on both sides of bead area applied exactly where I want caulk to edge. Apply caulk get good at controlling your speed to match bead and repumping. Smooth bead immediately, and pull tape. I pull tape at an angle that disrupts caulk the least. The more you caulk the better you will get. Rags, paper towels, thinners.... Special tips, power caulk guns,

    With tape anyone can caulk almost as good as the best.

  2. Graham c | | #2

    thanks for that .i have thought about tape but it takes up a lot of time if you have an order for a house full of windows to make

  3. wjrobinson | | #3

    The fastest way is the caulk finisher square block that you push into caulk cutting away excess caulk. If doing lots of work you will improve fast to the point that eventually you lay a bead that needs no rework. Keeping the push tool immaculately clean you won't need tape after just a bead or two.


    Push tool is bottom right. I love it. I carry a spare one always in my glove box.

  4. wjrobinson | | #4

    My rigid cordless gun is great too.

  5. user-1140531 | | #5

    I use 1/16" ABS plastic to make tools for whatever bead type I need. Then I lay down the blue masking tape on each side of the intended bead. I carefully cut the tube spout to get the best outflow for the bead and gap that is to be filled, and make a effort to pack the product into the gap on the first pass. Then I make 2-3 full passes with the tool leaned into the direction of travel to help compact the material.

    I cut the troweling tool to make sure the bead that it leaves is entirely within the boundaries of the masking tape. That way, it is only a thin film of product that covers the transition from the tape to the bead zone. I pull the tape the next day, and with silicone, it separates clealy because it only has to tear that thin film.

    Most people would say to pull the tape off right away, but you don't have much time before the silicone starts to skin. On a warm day outside, that open time may be only five minutes. If the product starts to skin, and you pull the tape off, it will grab and pull off or dislodge the skin here and there, thus messing up your work.

    With my technique, I can apply silicone that looks like it was applied with a factory machine process.

    If you are using LEXEL by Sashco, the tape has to be pulled off within just a few seconds. Even if the product is only the thickness of the tape where it crosses onto the tape, it will stretch and raggedly tear as the tape pulls away. So waiting 24 hours to remove the tape is disasterous. I would not attempt to tool a bead of LEXEL if it is over 12" long. The tooling time is about 10 seconds maximum.

  6. albertrooks | | #6

    Hi Graham,

    It's been awhile since I've done this, but the secret as I recall is denatured alcohol. It won't let any siliconized caulk adhere to a surface that's sprayed with it.

    The sequence is:

    1, Lay a bead of caulk slightly larger that what you like the finish size to be.
    2, Using a small spray bottle, heavily mist the bead with denatured alcohol in a way that you cover 1' on either side of the bead.
    3, Tool it with what ever shape you'd like: Chamfer, radius etc...

    The upshot is that while you tool, the excess beads up and doesn't stick to anything that's been sprayed.. You get a nice clean line in one pass without using tape. Nylon makes the best tool.

    I've watched them caulk windows in a factory in Western Germany and it's the same way: Bead - spray - tool. No tape.

    If you'd like it all in one neat package, here it is. I know this company and the "mist product" and can say that it works great.

    Works great on Kitchen backslashes too.

    -Happy healthy beading!

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