ted j

Getting a good finish on silicone sealant
One of the things that seems to be hard for even the most competent DIY'er, is using silicone sealant, so I thought I'd pass on a few tips I've learned over the years. 1- don't cut the end of the nozzle unless the gap to be sealed is pretty big (most joints can be filled with the 1/8th of an inch or so, that will come out of the tube "as it comes"). 2- when sealing a bath/kitchen worktop etc always use masking tape. Try to get the tape about1/8th of an inch (on the tiles) away from the bath/worktop, and the same distance away from the tiles on the bath/worktop. Then apply the sealant all the way along the joint (don't worry if you miss a bit, just put a bit more over it) , then wet your finger with either soapy water or good old fashioned spit(sorry), and GENTLY run your finger along the joint. When you feel the silicone building up on your finger, wipe it on toilet paper or cardboard, and continue. Then peel off the tape that is on the tiles first (don't know why, but it's easier to get a better finish this way) remember, you'll have a long length of tape to dispose of, so have a bin handy. Then gently "stroke" the sealant to blend it too the wall, (again with wet finger as before) then peel off the remaining tape and blend it to the bath/worktop. If you're a bit wary of joining it in the corners, do one length a day(that way the sealant will be easier to"mate" without pulling the original out). Another tip is to seal upright jonts the day before grouting (as in corners) because even if you are good enogh to do an "L" joint without pulling the sealant, a "Y" joint is a lot harder to. And if you're re-sealing anything, make sure you get all the old sealant out first. Use a stanley knife and one of those plastic scrapers that hold a stanley knife blade (the type for scraping excess paint off windows) . Finally, remember you'll only have a short time before the sealant starts to"skin" so if in doubt about doing corner joints, just finish them the day after. Ted
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