Alright, you’ve gotten past the hard part- the tedious application process- but it’s not over yet! A caulk bead isn’t fully adhered to the surface or attractive until it has been tooled or smoothed within the joint. Follow the five best practices below to ensure you get a durable, aesthetically pleasing bead.
1. Line the Edges of the Bead or Joint with Masking Tape
You have probably heard of this tip for ensuring a smooth application bead, but this can also be used to frame your bead smoothing and tooling so you don’t squish the bead out everywhere and make a mess. This also secures a clean line between your joint and the surrounding surface.
2. Use Your Finger
Using the pad of your index finger is adequate for smoothing out the bead and your natural body heat will make the caulk pliable enough to tool effectively. Keep in mind that you need to keep an even pressure and pace as you go along the bead or else you will ruin the finish. It may take several passes and ,if necessary, some alcohol or water to moisten your finger for efficiency.
3. Use a Damp Rag
Alternatively to your finger, you may use a damp linen to get an ultra smooth, controlled finish. A damp rag can also be used to smooth out any texture irregularities left over from using your finger.
4. Attempt Smoothing before Caulk Cure
Don’t wait around too long. It’s important that you do the smoothing and tooling of the caulk bead before the caulk hardens and becomes difficult or impossible to manipulate. You also want to fill out any gaps in your bead through smoothing before the caulk dries.
5. Smoothing in Sections
Smoothing ,as stated before, takes even pacing and pressure to be effective. This can be harder than it sounds depending on the amount of surface area you need to cover. To make it less intimidating, only smooth in even, short sections until you’ve smoothed out the entire bead.