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caulking line on vanity

Hello – I recently installed a new vanity sink in my bathroom that has been running great. We are happy with how it works and looks except for the caulking line where it meets the wall. I had painters tape on the tile and on the sink but the line still came out very messy due to the tight area behind the faucet. Any tips to make a clean caulking line in a tight area like this one?

Thank you!

A. Spruce
Re: caulking line on vanity

Tight spaces are always hard to deal with, especially with certain types of caulk.

If using latex caulk, simply wet your finger and do the initial lay off with short, 2" - 3" strokes to remove the excess and push the caulk into the joint, cleaning your finger between swipes. Follow this up by running a clean, damp finger the length of the joint. Always try to end your lay off in motion, meaning lift your finger from the joint while you're still moving, this will prevent lifting of the material. As for the tight spot behind the faucet, if you can get a finger in there, you can lay it off. One of the great benefits of latex caulk is that if you mess it up, you can always wipe it out and start over.

If you're using silicone, which I do not recommend under any circumstances, then the installation technique is similar, with one exception, it is not water soluble, so you have to be more careful during the application to only apply what you need. To lay it off, mist some rubbing alcohol over the joint and wet your finger with alcohol as well. Now you can use the short stroke technique as described above. Silicone won't stick to the alcohol, so you're less likely to goober it all over the place as you're laying it off. The reason to avoid silicone is that it's not only difficult for the novice to apply, it will fail just as fast as latex. Additionally, you won't be able to clean up the old mess well enough for new silicone to stick.

Re: caulking line on vanity

Spruce explained how to let your finger do the walking, but if you still can't do it, get a caulking tool by DAP or HYDE to help you get a nice even bead in a straight line, like the pros.

Re: caulking line on vanity

Or remove the faucet.

Or add tubing to the nozzle of the caulking gun. Like this

Re: caulking line on vanity

Behind the faucet is nearly impossible to fit a caulking gun. Use the tubing trick Houston mentioned, or pump some onto your finger and work it in then use the sponge trick below.

If using latex caulk, you may be able to refine the line by using a damp sponge (use a latex foam sponge, not cellulose). Rinse the sponge frequently.

The pressure you place on the sponge will determine the width of the caulk line. Too much pressure and you'll just end up wiping it all out of the crack.

If the sponge trick doesn't work, the worst that happens it it's all wiped away so you can start over. :D

Re: caulking line on vanity

Excellent! Thank you for the follow-up and great ideas! As a weekend DIYer, today is the day to finally get this project done correctly.

Thanks again!

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