How to Use a Caulking Gun

Whether you have a leaky faucet or a shower in need of sealant, every homeowner will need to apply caulk at some point. A caulking gun makes the process a lot easier. Here's how to use one.

Go back to basics and discover our top tips for using a caulking gun.

Caulk is a valuable home improvement tool. It's affordable, easy to use, and a quick fix for many problems. Although caulk can technically be applied without a gun, it's much simpler to use one. The gun takes on the heavy squeezing so you don't have to. The following tutorial explains how to load, cut, and apply caulk with a caulking gun. You only need a few simple tools and a couple minutes to get started. 

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What You Need

  • Caulking gun
  • Caulk
  • Nail
  • Scissors

Step 1: Load Caulk

Release the gun by thumbing the plunger at the rear of the gun. Pull plunger back and load a tube of caulk into the gun. The nozzle end of the tube goes in first. When the caulk is firmly in place, remove your thumb.

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Step 2: Cut the Tip

Cut the tip of the caulk to fit the size of the area you're caulking. Always cut smaller than you initially intend, as you can make the hole slightly bigger but not smaller.

Step 3: Puncture Seal

Push a nail through the cut opening of the caulk tube. This will puncture any foil seal and allow the caulk to flow freely. Squeeze the trigger a few times until the plunger makes contact with the membrane. Squeeze once or twice more to fill the tip with caulk.

Step 4: Start Caulking

Start caulking at a 45-degree angle. Squeeze the trigger slowly and keep the gun moving at a steady speed with even pressure. Once the trigger is fully depressed, it will automatically spring back. At the end of the bead, release pressure to stop flow of caulk. 

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Step 5: Reload and Smooth

To reload, release the handle when you can't squeeze it anymore. The gun will spring back and you'll be able to keep caulking. Smooth the applied caulk with your finger.


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