A builder's guide for the home renovator

Recaulking, Silicone Sealant and The Simple Success Tool

Have you been holding off calling the plumber because you’re worried about the cost of recaulking? Is your moldy bathroom countertop overdue for an update? Well, worry no more as updating your old vanity is a simple do-it-yourself project. Follow this step-by-step guide with my secret to recaulking.

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Tools & Materials

Trade Tips

  • A small amount of dishwashing liquid (approx 1 tablespoon), is used in a spray bottle and applied after silicone has been applied. This makes it easy to remove excess silicone.
  • A wooden popsicle stick is used in a sweeping motion to collect excess silicone.

The How To

Step 1

Remove all old silicone and debris from beneath the tiles using a Stanley knife (or other flat blade knife). This is the area where tiles meet the bench top.

 

Caution: The blade is very sharp

use a stanley knife to carefully remove old silicone

Step 2

Make sure the area is thoroughly dry before applying silicone, as the product will not adhere to a wet or damp surface. If you’re not quite sure if the area is totally dry, wipe with a tissue or gently use a hair dryer to make certain the area is dry.

 

Step 3

Snip the end of the silicone sealant at a 45 degree angle and insert into a caulking gun.

Step 4

Squeeze the silicone out along the old silicone line making sure you push the silicone right into the gaps. 

 

Don’t leave any air pockets.

applying silicone sealant using a caulking gun

Step 5

Take the spray bottle and add a small amount (approx. 1 tablespoon) of detergent and water and give the bottle a shake. Spray generously over the silicone you’ve just applied.

 

The detergent works in a way that stops excess silicone from sticking to the tiles or the benchtop when it is cleaned away.

Step 6

Take the popsicle stick and swipe it over the silicone that has been applied and then scrape the excess onto the cardboard.

 

This naturally forces the silicone into the join to leave a nice sharp finish. Go over the area a couple of times if needed.

sweep popsicle stick along join to remove excess

There will be quite a bit of excess silicone scraped on to the cardboard.

Important

Don’t get silicone on your hands as it’s very sticky and messy.

Step 7

Leave the silicone to dry for 24 hours. We want the job to set properly so it will last a long time.

There you have it! You’ve quickly and easily removed the grimy, old silicone from the sink, refreshing the appearance at a fraction of the cost you’d pay if you had to call a plumber or tiler.

by Martin
Updated March 27 2024

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