Gaining confidence as a DIYer isn’t just about mastering the tools — it depends equally on using the right products. There’s a huge variety of options at the lumber yard or hardware store, and it's easy to get lost trying to figure out which is right for you. Join me in this series as I shop the Dunn Lumber aisles for a few of my favorite products and share some tips and tricks for using them.
Today, we’re headed to the caulk aisle to talk about what caulk is, when to use it, and which products to reach for.
What is caulk?
Caulks and sealants are glue-like materials used to seal up the gaps around windows, doors, siding, counters, sinks, and tubs to prevent air, water, and debris leakage.
How to choose the right kind of caulk
Walk down the caulking aisle of any hardware store and you’ll likely find hundreds of products. So—how do you know which caulk to choose?
First, you need to know what kind of project you’re using it for. For example, you’ll need a different type of caulk to seal siding than to recaulk a bathtub. You’ll find clearly marked usage labels on our shelves at Dunn Lumber, but we always recommend double-checking the label on the tube as well.
Caulk products come in two forms: cartridge tubes or squeeze tubes. Cartridges are more common and require a caulking gun to apply the product. Squeeze tubes can simply be squeezed out by hand after snipping off the tip of the tube. The nice thing about squeeze tubes is they can easily be resealed with a cap so you can toss the tube in a drawer to use later.
The caulk products we recommend
But what if you want to have something on hand in your toolbox in case you need to reseal something unexpectedly?
Sashco Lexel Clear
For a great all-purpose caulk and sealant, Sashco’s Lexel Clear caulk can’t be beaten. It’s a crystal-clear, waterproof sealant that comes in both a cartridge and a tube. It works great as an adhesive, as well, making it a multi-purpose solution that will solve most homeowner needs.
Sashco Exact Color
This is a tintable acrylic latex sealant that you can mix with any type of latex paint to create a perfect color match in three easy steps:
- Inject your own paint into the partially filled cartridge and shake to mix it up for at least 60 seconds.
- Add the thickening agent and mix vigorously once more.
- Let sit for 30 minutes. Then, you’re ready to gun out a caulk that is a perfect color match!
Looking for more DIY tips and tricks? Check out the Dunn DIY tool-buying guide to read up on what tools we recommend having in your toolkit (and how to use them); and, don’t miss our guide to choosing the right wood stain.