How to caulk a sink

It’s time to put away that emergency towel you’re using to soak up random water leaks under the sink. Let’s seal it up right. Here’s an explanation of how to caulk a sink.

What You'll Need

  • Lexel®

    Lexel® synthetic rubber elastomeric sealant is the superior alternative to silicone caulk in clarity, adhesion, elasticity and paintability.

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  • MildewFree*

    Mildew-resistant sealant guaranteed to stay mildew-free for 7 years, or we'll pay someone to re-do the sealing job for you.


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  • 1

    Gather tools

    You’ll need:
    • Lexel® or MildewFree*
    • Utility knife for removing old caulk and opening the caulking tube
    • McKanica® Silicone Caulk Remover or similar product
    • Caulk gun
    • Painter’s tape (optional)
    • Beading tools, small foam brushes or your trusty finger for tooling
    • Damp rags for clean-up
    • A smile of determination

  • 2

    Clean around the sink and remove existing caulk

    If you want your caulking job to stick and stretch for years to come, make sure you remove soap scum, toothpaste, old caulk, and other contaminants. If silicone is present, use a silicone remover. Dry the surface with a clean towel.

  • 3

    Apply the caulk

    Now’s the time to set the caffeine aside. A steady hand is necessary for a smooth bead. Apply the bead 1/8”-1/4” wide to ensure there’s enough there to both stick to the joint and stretch with movement.

  • 4

    Tool (smooth) the bead

    Use your finger, a beading tool or foam brushes to smooth the bead. This provides best adhesion and greater longevity. After all, caulking isn’t your favorite pastime.

  • 5

    Clean up

    Use soapy water* or mineral spirits** to clean up tools and surfaces. Stand back and admire your handy work. Throw a party to celebrate your accomplishment.
     
    *for MildewFree
    **for Lexel
     
     

 Special Tip

Use painter's tape to outline the sink before applying the caulk. Pull it up after tooling, but before the caulk dries, for a professional-looking bead every time. After all this, it will be a long time before you need to figure out how to caulk a sink again.