Hello all! How is your week going? It’s been a slow one for me…it feels like molasses or something. I’m continuing on Decrapification 2013 (yeah, I named it) and it’s going really well. Our whole front room is a pile of stuff and I’ve decided I may leave it all till I’m totally done, just to get the full effect of how much I’m purging. It feels goooood.
Today I’m sharing a gadget that I LOVE. Let me introduce you to my little friend(s) – these things have changed my life!:
OK, maybe that’s a bit of a strong statement, but they sure have made my life a lot easier. Throughout the basement finishing process I took on a bunch of the projects myself in order to save some money (like all the painting and installing baseboards), but I’m not always so good on the finishing touches, like caulking the trim.
I have baseboards and crown in this house that I installed years ago that are still not caulked. I don’t know what my deal is, I just get that trim up and call it done. But the thing is, the caulk makes a much bigger difference than you think. It hides all the imperfections and gaps and stuff and makes it look pretty, clean and finished.
I used a TON of it on the DIY built ins:
I found those little caulking tools above last year and tried them out on all the little gaps near and on the built ins. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised – that rubber wedge makes it SO much easier and less messy.
I used it everywhere:
I’ve shown you how I caulk before and how much I rely on caulk and spackle to finish up projects. They hide a multitude of sins, let me tell you.
That little corner had gaps everywhere (every house will have not perfect walls, angles, etc.) and after the caulk you wouldn’t even know:
I was doing some laundry last night and noticed the awful gaps behind the baseboards down there. I grabbed my caulk and little blue tool (no idea what the call it) and it was done in no time flat. See how the base is snug on one part of the wall and has a bit of a gap (mind the gap!) at another part?:
Well, it’s annoying. I happens with crown occasionally too. And yes, I went from laundry to sitting on the floor caulking, that is how I roll.
Oh look, a butterfly!
Anyhoo, here’s the thing, always use paintable caulk. ALWAYS. Did I mention always? Always. You may think you won’t need to ever paint over it and then the day will come you want to and you’ll be screwed. I speak from experience (it’s not fun):
I just use regular tape to close up my caulk between uses, it works just fine. Just make sure it’s air tight.
It’s hard to get a picture of using this tool (I guess I did above) but you just put a bead (or line) of caulk down the trim, then instead of your finger, you run the corner of this tool right down after it:
It’s BRILLIANT!! I can’t tell you how much easier it makes this process. And cleaner, so much cleaner. I take a wet paper towel and do a quick swipe afterwards to pick up any leftover caulk, but that’s it.
It takes half the time and look Ma, no gaps!:
Here’s a good before and after shot for you:
See what I mean about making it look so much more finished? It’s such a little thing but I think it makes a big difference. I still need to paint these, but one thing at a time…
It’s a little easier and quicker on projects where the white caulk is going down on white trim. When we built the bookcases in the dining/library I was a little concerned about the caulk showing on the butcher block, so I tried out this little trick I saw on a DIY show awhile back:
You just lay down some painters tape – I used my green FrogTape obviously. Then you put the bead of caulk down, then swipe it (I used my blue goodness):
And when you’re done (I pulled it up when the caulk was still wet), you have a loverly clean, perfect line of caulk:
Ahhh, so nice! I used this method on every support on the bookcases and it worked great. It would be a bit of a mess to caulk on a darker surface like this without that tape laid down first. So much better!
I love sharing new tools that actually work (I guess you could call this a tool?) – I got this from a hardware store and it came with four (or five?) of the blue jobbies. It was only a few bucks if I remember right. SO worth it in my opinion.
Have you found a tool or gadget that makes life easier for you? Honestly, now that I have this one caulking isn’t that bad – dare I say almost enjoyable? It’s kind of a relaxing, therapeutic thing for me. And it’s instant gratification, which I love. :)