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How to use decorators caulk :: Posted by: Admin on July 2nd, 2012

Decorators caulk gun

How to use decorators caulk

One on the most useful tools you should have in your DIY toolbox is a caulking gun, you can use this gun for a variety of sealants from silicone sealant to decorators caulk. These guns usually come in two sizes, a small or large, I think its always worth getting a large gun so you can use all sizes of tubes, large guns will take tubes of 380ml and cost around £4-5.

Knowing how to use decorators caulk

Decorators caulk is a flexible sealer / filler. It is used to fill gaps around skirting boards, door architraves, window and door frames cove / cornice and ceiling / wall line and anywhere there maybe movement. Once the decorators caulk dries it remains flexible and moves without cracking, unlike traditional powder fillers.

To use decorators caulk isn’t difficult and once you get the knack its easy.

Getting started

Dunlop Caulk filler

You will need the following:

  • A tube of decorators caulk, with nozzle
  • A caulking gun
  • A knife to cut top off tube and nozzle
  • A damp sponge or some water

The first thing you will need to do is remove the nozzle from the tube, then take your knife and cut the top off of the tube (be careful), next you need to cut a small amount off the end of the nozzle, cut this at about a 45° angle, don’t cut too much off, you want the end of the nozzle about the same size as the gap you’re filling. You can always cut more off of the nozzle if you need to later. Now screw the nozzle onto the tube and put the tube into the caulking gun.

Using decorators caulk

Once you have the tube and nozzle prepared and loaded into the gun you’re ready to apply the caulk. Gently squeeze the trigger until a little caulk comes out of the nozzle, you are now ready to apply the decorators caulk.

Place the nozzle at the beginning of the crack or gap you’re filling, gently apply even pressure to the trigger as you move the gun along the gap, you will leave decorators caulk along the crack or gap, once you reach the end, remove the gun and release the trigger release lever to stop caulk from continuing to run out from the end of the tube.

Now take a damp good quality sponge (so it doesn’t leave bits in the caulk) or a wet finger and rub it along the crack / gap you have just applied the caulk too, this will push the caulk into the crack but also smooth it out. If you need to apply more because you have missed a bit, do the same as you have just done.

Now you have filled the crack or gap you need to let the decorators caulk time to dry and set, this could be as little as an hour but this depends on how wide and deep the area you have filled. Once dry, decorators caulk can be painted over, wallpapered and lining papered over, but can not be rubbed down.

Cleaning up

Once you’re done you can clean up by using water to wash hands and sponges, take the decorators caulk out of the caulking gun and put a nail or screw in the end of the nozzle, or wrap masking tape of the nozzle to prevent the caulk from drying out too much in the nozzle and tube. Now store the tube in your shed or garage but protect from frost and extreme temperature as this may affect the caulk.


I have done a review on a caulk that doesn’t crack or craze, I have been using it for a while and the results are good.
Read my Review Of Dunlop Pro Decor Flexible Acrylic Filler Caulk here. And if you would like to buy some for yourself you can buy Dunlop Pro Decor Flexible Filler caulk from here.

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Posted in DIY Tips | 30 Comments »

30 Responses to “How to use decorators caulk”

  1. Nathan Lee Says:
    August 25th, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Really useful stuff the old caulk! Used tons of the stuff for our new showrooms at Longtown. We keep all our doorhandles and displays in a pretty tatty looking factory building – BUT we’ve done the customer side of it up to look absolutely splendid. The old walls meant caulk was a useful little finishing off material for the bits that even our craftsmen couldn’t persuade to fit.

  2. Pamela Says:
    September 11th, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Great tips here. Thanks for another heplful tutorial! Caulking is more important than most DIYers know. It makes a huge difference on inside trim the difference between a custom look and an incomplete job. I’m a professional housepainter, and one of the first things I do when painting interiors is make sure all joints, where trim meets the wall, or trim meets trim, are caulked. That means tops of baseboards, around all doors and windows, and the corners of window and door trim. The exceptions are when there is wallpaper or unpainted wood paneling on the walls, or when the trim is stained instead of painted.Thanks again for all the good advice.

  3. Dave Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 11:26 am

    It is refreshing to enter a site that does what it claims to do. Clear information without making the reader suffer vital info gaps. Clear, informative and covers fully the topic. Excellent!

  4. pauline from derby. Says:
    May 27th, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Very helpful tips.

  5. Ian Potts Says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I have had bother with powder type fillers. A decorator we met on holiday told us about caulk. Sounds just the job. This site gives me confidence that I will be able to use it properly. Thank you.

  6. How To Decorate A Room, For Newbies - You Can Do it - Click How To - Click How To Says:
    July 7th, 2014 at 10:20 am

    […] Use decorators caulk to fill any gaps where the skirting boards meet the wall. […]

  7. hil Says:
    July 12th, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Great information.

  8. Admin Says:
    July 12th, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Glad you liked it and thanks for the tip 🙂

  9. Patrick Melvin Says:
    August 11th, 2014 at 9:07 am

    When painted over the caulk’s “plastic” surface is noticeable. Is there any thing that can be painted on the caulk to mask the sheen?

  10. Admin Says:
    August 15th, 2014 at 1:46 pm


    Try using an acrylic primer over the caulk and then repaint the caulk once the primer is dry.

  11. sarah Causer Says:
    October 13th, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Please help have been told to caulk down the corner of wall after wallpapering. However it has caulked fine down the plain painted wallpaper but the other wall paper is darker and has a patterned and the caulk as not left a clean line.
    Please advise. Would you caulk or try and get straight neat finish using the same paint as used to paint wall.

    Thank You.

  12. Admin Says:
    October 14th, 2014 at 5:11 pm


    I don’t understand what the need was to caulk in the corners was? It’s OK for lining paper if it is to be painted over but not ideal for wallpapers.
    I wouldn’t caulk over wallpaper but paint a straight line.

    If you are doing a feature wall, then paint the walls first, then wallpaper last up to the painted walls and cut the paper into the corner.

  13. Steve Says:
    June 21st, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    I have mould on some builders caulk around a window frame, what is the best thing to use, to remove this? Is it best to remove the caulk and then re do it? If so what thing to use?
    Many thanks in advance for any suggestions

  14. Admin Says:
    June 22nd, 2015 at 7:35 am


    As caulk is acrylic cleaning mould of may only get the surface mould off, if it has gone into the caulk it could come back. You could try buying a mould remover or carefully use bleach.
    But the only sure way of removing it for good I guess is remove the caulk and re do it.

  15. John Says:
    June 26th, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Hi – I have sanded all walls and put caulk on all frames. I then went on and painted the whole room (3 coats. Now the issue I’m having is that there is a clear mark of sheen everywhere where I’ve applied caulk. Do you know how to get rid of that? thanks

  16. Admin Says:
    June 26th, 2015 at 2:19 pm


    You could try spot priming the area with an acrylic primer / undercoat and the touching up / recoating the affected areas.

  17. Lee Black Says:
    November 27th, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    I use caulk when painting a feature wall, applying down the edges and ceiling where the walls join gives a professional finish.

  18. jo Says:
    August 7th, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Using caulk with a gun was demonstrated to me by a decorator. It looked so easy as do the video clips on line. Can anyone tell me why I find it so hard to squeeze the caulk out with the gun. I have tried two brands of caulk and found them equally hard work.

  19. Admin Says:
    August 7th, 2016 at 5:27 pm


    It could be down to the size hole in the nizzle you cut, I presume to remove enough of the tube top also.

    Some brands can be harder than others but I use this brand and find it to be OK.

  20. jo Says:
    August 7th, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks for speedy reply. I did try making hole bigger but will try the brand you suggested.

  21. Admin Says:
    August 10th, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    You can buy it from here as not all places stock it as it’s mainly a trade product.

  22. Steve delaney Says:
    May 23rd, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Can you tell me if caulk is porus & requires more than 2 coats of external masonry contract paint.
    Many thanks

  23. Admin Says:
    May 26th, 2017 at 2:35 pm


    Caulk is made from acrylic so is water soluble but once cured and painted is OK. Two coats of masonry paint is typically enough to cover caulk.

  24. Nick Says:
    June 14th, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Is it advised to paint over caulk once it has been applied around the top corners of a room? We have Used caulk to hide the uneven wall surface.

  25. Admin Says:
    June 15th, 2017 at 1:27 pm


    Yes Decorators Caulk should be painted over once dried. If not it will discolour over time.

  26. Colin Says:
    August 23rd, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    The carpenters have left wood spacers in the frames do I remove them or shorten them before I caulk?

  27. Admin Says:
    August 23rd, 2017 at 5:06 pm


    If the spaces are left I assume they are needed, you could shorten them before caulking.

  28. Admin Says:
    August 23rd, 2017 at 5:06 pm


    If the spaces are left I assume they are needed, you could shorten them before caulking.

  29. Review of Dunlop Pro Decor Flexible Acrylic Filler caulk :: Property Decorating Says:
    August 26th, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    […] this problem before on this blog, Tips on using decorator’s caulk, also on Rayfields Interiors, How to use decorators caulk and also Fillers – knowing which one to use and on the Improving Your Property blog, What is […]

  30. What is decorators caulk :: Property Decorating Says:
    September 19th, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    […] caulk is easy to use, we have written a post detailing how to use decorators caulk on our other blog DIY By Design so there isn’t any need to cover it in depth […]

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