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How to Smooth Lexel and Through the Roof! Caulking

We hear you: Lexel® and Through the Roof!® are sticky.

An example of stringy caulking An example of stringy caulking. Look familiar?

Sticky isn’t all bad – like when it sticks to the surface you’re sealing and doesn’t let go! – but when it’s all over your fingers, making a stringy mess? Yuck. Here are some tips on how to to smooth Lexel® and Through the Roof!® caulking to keep your fingers and clothes clean and your caulking projects frustration-free.
(HINT: These tips apply to silicone, too…but as you can see here, Lexel® is far superior to silicone.)

1. Find your smoothing tool.

A disposable foam paint brush, small trowel, a small beading tool, or your trusty finger will do the trick. If you want to make sure you don’t get anything on your finger, a disposable latex glove can be worn.

Through the Roof foam brush application on shingles Beading tool used to smooth caulk on a backsplash Tooling (smoothing) Big Stretch on crown moldinglatex glove chicken

(Of course, making balloon animals with latex gloves is more fun…but we digress.)

2. Get your smoothing agent.
Unlike water-based sealants and caulks, plain water won’t work. Thankfully, there’s plenty around the house or workshop that will do the trick:

Clear window cleaner is great for smooth caulkingJust a small bit in a disposable container will do the trick, or you can put it in a spray bottle and apply it directly to the bead of caulk.

Use a skimming touch to smooth caulking A light, skimming touch works best when smoothing out a caulk bead.

3. Get to smoothing.
Use a light, skimming touch, and smooth out the caulk bead. Less pressure is good. Use enough pressure to ensure the bead adheres well to the sides of the joint, but not so much that you end up removing half of what you just applied. You could end up starving the joint of enough product and it won’t maintain its seal.

(Vocab lesson: amongst contractors and maintenance guys in-the-know, smoothing is known as “tooling.”)

4. DONE! Admire your mess-free handiwork.
A job well done is worth staring at. Enjoy the view for a few minutes, then go stare at something even more worthy…like a great sunset, or the 1998 Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos. (We digress again.)

See also:

The Many Uses of Lexel®

VIDEO: Caulking 101

VIDEO: Where to Use Through the ROOF!®