Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tell Me re-caulk my shower.

I know...titillating stuff.  

I thought about starting a series called "Tell Me How Tuesdays" where I would walk you through some stuff that I've been doing on my own.  My man has been doing a lot but I carry my own weight here  - i mean, i feed him and stuff  (yes, that DOES count).  But I come with my own skilz..But then i remembered...i'm not so good about this blogging with regularity thing - so scratch that. So maybe i'll just title these "what i did on my weekend instead of cool stuff like drinking margaritas and laying by the pool i don't have".


The first thing I said to everyone around me when we first looked at this house was "OHMYGOSH DID THESE PEOPLE NEVER CLEAN???". the realtor, to my husband, to my kids....they were there.  Ask 'em.

It was dirty.  Like, they should have been embarrassed, dirty.   

This is what I saw when we looked at the shower - fair warning - it's beyond gross.

and i cleaned. scrubbed.  and while the tile would come clean, the caulk and grout had seen it's better days.  I knew what had to be done.  And, I knew I would have to do it. The man - he was on other projects.  And my whining would not help.

I needed to re-caulk and re-grout.  

Here are some facts about me:  
  1. I know how to do a lot more stuff than i tell Vance I know how to do (thanks to what my parents affectionately dubbed Baptist Bootcamp when I was young and would get into trouble - meaning i got put on restriction a lot and was given many. many household chores).
  2. I actually ENJOY  most of these things - I hate the getting ready part though - the going to the store or rifling through the garage for stuff - but i LOVE the actual doing.
Now - also know this.  When you have a project like this - think about putting some good tunes on the iPOD and just plan on this taking more than a few hours.  You cannot rush this process or processes.  Just tell yourself your going to be using your kids bathroom for a week and then start having more wine after dinner.  

Here is the timeline that i worked under for just the re-caulking process:
Day 1 - remove existing caulk
Day 2 ( look, i said i take my time, ok?) - Wash down down frame with bleach. Let dry for 48 hrs.
Day 3 Wipe down with rubbing or denatured alcohol and then re-caulk.
Day 4-5 - Do nothing. Let caulk cure. Go to the beach. If it's raining or high humidity out, wait an additional 24 hours.  Remind yourself that you are awesome for doing this all by yourself.
Day 6 - You can use your shower again.

So... there are some necessary items you will need:

Ok. Let's get to it.

First...get rid of the gross old caulk - can you believe I touched this?

Just take that putty knife and run it around all the offending caulk and start scraping it away! Goodbye gross mold.  If you want immediate gratification - look at your feet...You can use that fancy schmancy caulk removal tool if you want - i like my putty knife - your choice.

yeah...gross stuff.

Ok - you've got it off.  Now do like i did and and call it a day - OR get on with your bad self and clean the shower seams down with a  bleach rag.  Make sure all that mold is gone.  If you proceeded onward and wiped it all down - you have to wait for at least 48hrs for it dry thoroughly or you will be thoroughly disgusted when your new caulk job doesn't stick. 

Trust me when i say STOP and set your timeout timer for 48 hrs. If it's raining and/or you're in the deep south  - 72hrs.

Alright - you're back - how were those 2 days off? 

Now - you're ready to one more quick wipe down with the alcohol.  I've used both denatured (which I prefer to use but didn't have any) or rubbing.  They're both great for any leftover greasy residue.

I left one thing out of that item picture up there - blue painters tape.  If you want crisp lines - you need this.

Go get it - and tape off a 1/8th width on both sides of the joint where you're going to caulk.  Many many people don't do this. That's ok. I like small caulk lines that look like i hired someone to do the job. 

If you want large, sweeping caulk smudge all over the place that's just going to get moldy eventually - knock yourself out, throw caution to the wind and do the job without it.   If you want crisp - go get the tape.

Don't let that caulk gun you see laying in the background throw you - i did not use it.  The husband thought i needed it because he didn't know i was using caulk squeeze tubes.  I hate caulk guns - they're way to bulky for me to use.

Now it's time to caulk.  Cut the tip off of the caulk tube at the first slanted line closer to the point.  If you cut it off at the second line - your caulk lines will be too large.  

Start at one corner and squeeze it down the shower glass seam like you would squeeze an icing tube. It's ok if you get tired and have to stop in the middle like this:

Because you will just take your finger and run it down the seam and even it out  - and because you have taped it off, it won't make a lick of difference - it will still be a tiny caulk line.  

Once all your seams are caulked - remove your tape.  Do not wait to remove the tape because you will run the risk of comprising the seal of the caulk once it's set.  

See? Crisp, clean and SMALL caulk lines.  

and isn't that up there better than this?

Awesome blossom huh? 

yea, i'm pretty darn pleased with myself.


  1. It looks great Sheri! Seriously cracking up though about "Baptist Bootcamp"! :-)

  2. This falls under the category of when girls tell me they're painting around the house...things my husband doesn't need to know chicks do.

  3. I sit here impressed. We just re-calked the kitchen and it made such a difference. BUT I will never ever EVER tell my husband that I've read this post! I do enough around here as it is! ;)

    good job. I really am impressed.

  4. Wow, good job and cute nails. For starters, that is how my shower looked when we bought our house 5 years ago. And it still does. I felt okay about it then, because it was technically someone else's yuck, but now it's just plain embarrassing. Something to tackle once we get home?