Travis Larson: Hi! I'm Travis Larson. I am an Editor for Family Handyman magazine and today, I'm going to tell you about caulking joints; joints between wood and joints between wood and drywall. It's really important to caulk especially when you're talking about painted trim like this. I'll talk a little bit later when it comes to stained and varnished trim. Even if the room has been painted before and the trim has been painted before, it's really important to go through this step and caulk every single one of those seams.
Now, I'm going to tell you about how to prepare your caulking tube. A lot of people blow this, but I'm going to show you the right way. It just involves utility knife, and a keen eye, and here is what you do, you cut a little tiny V in the end of the caulk, really small; the smaller the better. If you've got big cracks to fill later on, you can cut a bigger opening. But, do all your small cracks first with this technique. You can see that little tiny hole in the end of that thing. I'll make it just a hair bigger. This arrow, sharp edge is going to get right into that crack and put a real fine bead of caulk, and you have very little cleanup to do.
Before I start caulking, I want to give you a little tip. When you're done caulking, and you're going to start wiping off an area, be sure to release, and pull back the plunger, otherwise this thing has some pressure on it, and it's going to keep squirting caulk out, and it's going to get all over the place. You're going to kneel on it, it's going to get on your work. So do that, and before you start caulking each new time, wipe the tip off. So you can see here we've got a big gap here from some lousy carpentry work. We've got a bunch of nail holes that we're going to fill, and we've got gap between the drywall and the top of the base. So I'm going to fill all those areas and then I am going to wipe them down. So let me show you how that works.
Don't overdo it when you are caulking, you can also go back, and fill spots that need more caulk. So now we're going to do the top of the baseboard and fill the nail holes. You can see that really looks good if you work best. Now, wipe this down. You don't want to caulk too much before wiping because it scratches the skin over and I am going to fill the nail holes. When you've got natural wood trim like this, you don't want to overdo it with the caulk, that's because you've got two completely different surfaces and you don't need to worry about caulking gaps where there aren't any. You just want to look for gaps like this and especially big ones like you will find in corner. There is always a gap in the corner because of all the build-up of drywall mud.
Now I am going to show you how to caulk around the door, same as a window. You can see that's a real small for me, so I will go on. So I am going to wipe it down, get a real nice smooth joint. Now, we're going to do the inside of the door, really look for these types of areas. They look awful if they are not filled. Now, we're going to do every single one of these seams. So let me show you how that works. Now, we're going to do this seam right here between the casing and the jamb, and then do a wipe down with your wet rag. So have plenty of wet rags on hand because you're going to go through a lot of these doing entire rooms with caulk. So that's how you caulk trim for a neater paint job.