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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mini Fix: Kitchen Caulk

 I decided Mini Fix sounds better than Little Fixes, what do you think?

Anyway...

It turns out sometimes what you think is going to be a mini fix is not so mini. But maybe if you read this first, I can save you a trip to the hardware store if you should have a similar problem.
It probably goes without saying here that the caulk behind the kitchen sink is looking a little grimy.   While I was very happy with the results of my DIY tile backsplash job, I wasn't such a pro at caulking. 

The problem was that I pushed the caulk back too far and left a little groove between the backsplash and the counter. This allowed for water and gunk to get in there. The caulk started peeling and I was worried that water might be seeping back behind the counter.

Besides, it just looks unappetizing. And the kitchen, of all rooms, should be appetizing! 
There was also the issue of coffee grinds getting stuck over by where I grind my beans every morning. 

So it was time to re-caulk. 
 First, I cleared off the counters, wiped them down and brushed out the coffee grinds. 

The next step was to pull out the old caulk. I bought those red tools on the left for about six bucks. Turns out they were pretty useless for this job. The scraper (they call it "calk-away") was too big and didn't even scratch the caulk. The "caulk-rite" I'm sorry to say didn't smooth out the caulk as well as a wet finger. 

What was most useful in getting out the caulk was that tiny $1 utility knife.  

I just scraped and scraped with that knife and used tweezers to pull out the old caulk in chunks. 
Next up, I got out the leftover kitchen/bath caulk and caulk gun and filled in the gap. 

I thought painter's tape lined along the tile and countertop would help make cleanup easier, but the caulk stuck to the tape and made a mess. I seems the best way to clean up the caulk that gets on the countertop and tile is with damp paper towels. 

And this time, instead of pushing the caulk too far back, I made sure that the caulk line came flush with the edge of the backsplash. That should keep water from getting trapped in there and it will be much easier to keep clean with a quick wipe. 
So there we go. A Mini Fix that makes a huge difference. The countertops look nice and clean and I don't have to worry about any water leeks back there behind the counter. Oh yes, and no more coffee grinds getting swept in there either.  


 
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