Advice from the DIY Experts.

Caulk Tools and How to Load a Caulk Gun.

By Brittany Bailey, Pretty Handy Girl

*Brittany has partnered with GE Caulk to bring you this post, and has been compensated for her advice and honest opinions.

A successful caulking job begins with having the right tools. First and foremost, you need a good quality 100% silicone caulk that will flex and won't shrink or crack over time. Second, a good caulk gun, some clean up and application materials are important as well.

Caulking materials you may need:

  • GE Silicone Caulk
  • Caulk Gun - for use with caulk tubes
  • 5-in-1 Painter's Tool - for scraping out old caulk
  • Razor Blade - useful for scraping off any remaining residue
  • Rubbing Alcohol - for cleaning off any caulk residue and grime
  • Mineral Spirits - for cleaning stubborn residue (not to be used on finished wood surfaces)
  • Wire Brush - to scrub old caulk off brick or masonry
  • Cotton Balls - to apply rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits
  • Paper Towels - for clean up
  • Wet Wipes - for smoothing caulk and cleaning up
  • Painter's Tape - for masking off areas to produce a clean caulk line
  • Rubber Glove - to keep caulk off your hands
  • Scissors - to cut caulk tube tip off
Caulking tools and materials

Start by cutting the tip off your caulk tube. You can use scissors or some caulk guns have a hole in the handle for cutting the tip off. Cut the tip at an angle for better application.

How to load a caulk gun

Poke the stick on your caulk gun into the tube a few times to break the internal seal. Alternatively, a straightened wire coat hanger will work as well.

How to break the internal caulk seal

Pull back on the hooked rod on the caulk gun (some rods must be rotated 90 degrees to release the notches.)

Loading a caulk gun

Pull the rod all the way back.

Preparing a caulk gun

Insert the caulk tube base first. Lay the tip inside the notched end of the caulk gun.

Insert the tube of caulk into caulk gun

Now you're ready to start caulking. Squeeze the trigger to start the caulk flowing out of the tube. If you've never caulked before, practice on the inside corners of a cardboard box to get the feel of using a caulk gun and caulking a joint.