Caulking Gun 101
If the thought of using a caulking gun makes you nervous, here are 4 steps to have you using it like a pro:
Before you start, look at the type of cartridge product you are using, if you are looking to waterproof a joint with a sealant or fill a gap before painting then we recommend you do some preparation first by masking up 5mm either side of the joint – This will make sure you get the neatest possible finish afterwards.
Glues you don’t have to worry about masking, just make sure the surfaces are typically clean and dry. For more information check the cartridge of the glue you are using.
Step 1: Become one with the caulking gun
Each caulking gun typically has a barrel or cradle that holds the cartridge, a plunger rod, a large trigger for extruding product and a small trigger to release the plunger rod to remove the cartridge.
Step 2: Prepare the cartridge
To prepare your cartridge cut the tip off the cartridge, secateurs work very well for this and are safer than knives. You will also want to cut the nozzle to the width of the joint or desired bead size, this should be done on a 45 degree angle. Once done insert the cartridge in to the gun, you will need to ensure the plunger rod is pulled all the way out.
Step 3: Apply the product
If this is your first time using a caulking gun get some practice by gunning the product on to some cardboard to get a feel for how it comes out.
When you are ready you can apply the product in to the joint. Do this by gunning in a forwards direction making sure the product is pushed in as you go. You will find that when you have to release the trigger to pull again you may get a little blob appear, this can be smoothed out after application when you smooth your sealant, glues will just get squished flat.
Step 4: Finish off your joint
You are now ready to finish off your joint, soapy water often works well for this but the manufacturer of the product will recommend the best way to finish their sealants or fillers. Glues can be brought together and clamped in place until the dry.
What do I do with the leftover product?
As for your now open cartridge you can help store it for longer by simply leaving the nozzle on the cartridge filled with product. When you need to use it again just clear the nozzle using a screw or nail. Typically products will last 3-6 months when stored like this in a cool dry location.