Misadventures in Caulking

If you read my last post, you know that we had a bit of snow this past weekend.  But what you might not know is, that in addition to my wonderful nature adventures outside, I also spent time inside having a few other misadventures.  In hearing that snow was expected in our forecast, I figured that would be a good time to buckle down and finally try finishing up some of the home improvement projects I have going on around here – one of which being to caulk around the tub/shower and the sink in the upstairs bathroom.  It was a tremendous amount of work for me, but was made much more bearable with the helpful assistance and comic relief of my sister.  And my Mom’s cat, Gus.

In case you or someone you know is considering doing a caulking project with a sister or a cat in the future, I’ve compiled an easy set of step-by-step instructions to help you get started.

But not really.  😉

 

Caulking with Cats: In Three Easy Steps

Step One:  Before beginning your project, be sure to leave the door open for proper ventilation so your cat can come in and inspect the area.

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Step Two:  Clean all surface areas cat thoroughly.

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It is a bathtub after all

Step Three:  Cover the tub drain to prevent any debris from going down the drain.  i.e. Let your cat cover it for you.

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Because it obviously amuses him immensely

Additional Tip:  Even though it’s very distracting and may cause long delays in the final completion of your project, it’s good to allow your cat as much time as he requires to frolic around in the bathtub, as this provides cheap entertainment for you, makes the job more enjoyable in the long run, and ensures a good, positive attitude should difficulties later arise during your project.

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 Which they most certainly will…

 

Because seriously, who knew caulking would be so difficult?  I sure didn’t.  I had never done it before, so I went and watched this YouTube video… “How to Caulk a Bathtub with Beautiful Results”  ‘Beautiful results’ my foot!  The lady on the video made it look oh so easy, but it definitely wasn’t.

The part I struggled with the most was that damn caulking gun –  for the life of me, I couldn’t squeeze the trigger hard enough with my weak girlie hands to get the caulk to come out.  My sister even had trouble doing it, and she’s one tough broad.  After quite a bit of effort on her part, she was able to get it to come out, however, she couldn’t aim it properly and the caulk was kinda going all over the place, so I had to get into the tub with her to help steer the tip along the edge of where I wanted it to go.  It was extremely awkward with the two of us trying to maneuver in the tub with a messy caulking gun, it sorta felt like we were playing a game of Twister, and neither of us is as flexible as we used to be.  It was funny though and we laughed a lot in the process.  My sister always makes things more fun, and I’m so grateful for her help.  ❤

Another problem I had was trying to remove the old caulk, it was easy enough taking off the most recent layer which had greatly deteriorated, but since the layer previous to that hadn’t been removed, it was hardened like cement…

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In the video, the lady used a dremel, and that worked pretty slick, but I didn’t have one of those and didn’t want the added expense of buying one, so I used this totally worthless tool instead…

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I didn’t know it was going to be worthless, it came in a caulking kit I had bought previously, that also included edging tools for sealing the caulk without leaving seams – those were equally as worthless.  Oh well, live and learn, right?  I ended up using the tip of a tiny screwdriver and was able to remove most of it with that, but it was beastly work.

The one tip I was most grateful for from watching the video was that she taped it all off.  I’ve always loved painting a room and enjoy going around and taping over everything beforehand, but I hadn’t thought of taping for caulking.  It really helped with the mess from the excess caulk as I was going over it with the edging tool.  My sister snapped this slightly awkward angled photo with her phone while I was in the tub doing some of the taping.

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We ran out of caulk partway through and had to take a drive to The Home Depot to get more.  I decided I was done working with that damned caulking gun – it was much too difficult to use and I didn’t even want to imagine the messy job we would do with it in trying to complete the finer detailed work I needed to do around the sink area, so I bought small hand-squeeze type of bottles of caulk instead.  They were much easier to work with, but way over priced compared to the tubes that are used with the guns.  That pissed me off a little because it felt like I was being penalized for having weak hands.  Plus, they contained much less of the product, and if there’s less product, it should cost less, not more.

Anyway, I guess it was worth it to me though because everything went real smoothly after that.  Literally.  See the nice, smooth finished line I made with it…

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Unfortunately, I have a lot of other areas that aren’t as smooth, and I’ll need to go back over them and try to fix/touch them up because it got really sloppy in some spots, especially in the corners.  I’m embarrassed even showing the crappy job I did here…

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Smudged up that corner for sure.  Oops!

But in the end, I’m pretty dang proud of myself for tackling this project. And I did a fairly decent job for someone who had no clue wtf they were doing.

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Of course it helped a great deal to have my big sister and my mom’s cat lending me a hand paw.  😉

 

The next thing I want to do in the bathroom is re-grout all the tile, but we may need to hire a professional for that because I’m not sure I could do a good enough job, and I have serious doubts that watching a YouTube video on how to do it would be a true representation of how beautiful the results would really be.  Plus, nearly the entire bathroom is tile and ‘thatsa lotsa mozzarella,’ not only for my weak girlie hands, but also for my knees.

I’ve been working on this bathroom off and on for a of couple years now.  That’s a ridiculous amount of time for such a small room, I know, but I do have other things going on in my world as well.  Also, we needed to hire some painters to fix the drywall underneath the wallpaper I had removed (See: Misadventure and Mixed Pleasures in Wallpaper Removal), and they had to come back several times over the course of several months because they screwed up on some things and needed to fix them, and they kept blowing us off.  That was a nightmare all in its own which I won’t go into, but suffice to say, it’s not just my slow pace that has made this such a long process.

Anyway, thanks so much for taking the time to read about my latest misadventures in home improvement, I really appreciate it, I know it’s different from the things I usually post.  If you’re interested in seeing what else I’ve been doing in the bathroom (I mean aside from the ‘usual things’ people do in bathrooms), you can click the post I linked above or see Remodeling and Redecorating: The Story Continues.

Have a lovely day…

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

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46 responses to “Misadventures in Caulking

  1. I love that kitty ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel your pain!! I’ve been working on the same bathroom for, well, we won’t go there. I promised myself to finish it this year!!! As for redoing the grout, definitely hire someone. That is one messy job! The tub looks great 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dorinda, it’s so good to know that I’m not alone! 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion of hiring someone to do the grout work, I’m curious, is that advice coming from first hand experience – did you try doing it yourself and regret it afterward? Best of luck to you in finishing your own bathroom this year, I hope to do the same here and then move onto the downstairs bathroom here, but it may have to wait until after gardening season. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it’s first hand advice. I am a stickler for perfection, so many times I insist on doing things myself. Lesson learned. While it came out fine, I will NEVER do it again!! lol (it does build muscles)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your good attitude about your cat, mess and work. It’s good to have helpers and friends. 🙂 I tend to do these projects on my own, with much less fun and equal misadventure! Thanks Julie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Brad, helpers and friends really make all the difference, even when they get in your way and sidetrack you with their fluffy adorableness, or when they step on your fresh caulk, which was what my sister did after we finished all that work. I’m so thankful for both of them for making the job more fun. You may not have helpers there, but I bet you can squeeze a caulking gun. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s one very honest and helpful DIY article. One of the best I have read! Thanks for sharing, Julie 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, the result looks neat. Nice toes too

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice job! I did my tub last year. I think there is still some caulk stuck to Tsuki. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Annette Rochelle Aben

    Thank goodness you had a cat there to help you… it could have been worse! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved your story! My sisters cat lies in the tub and waits for a drip of water to come out. Hilarious! I need to re-grout some areas and wonder why the stuff falls out any way? It doesn’t in 100 year old houses and it falls out in my bathroom and isn’t even 5 years old?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Julie, I’m so glad you liked it! That’s so adorable your sister’s cat does that, Gus would have run if we had any water whatsoever in that tub! Both of my other cats seem to like water though, Baby always rubs on my wet warm feet after I get out of the shower, it’s really cute. ❤
      Interesting about your 5 year old grout already falling out – the tile here was put in back in the 70's, and the grout in the small area where we redid some of the tile in 2012 is already chipping away, whereas the older stuff is still intact, they just don't make things like they used to.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I didn’t know a cat could be so helpful with the caulking, he did a great job of blocking the drain so nothing would go done there. I have done a lot of caulking in all the rehabs I have done and I have found that two things can make the caulking gun hard to use and that is buying old caulk at Home Depot. Sometimes they get a case of caulk that has been setting around for awhile and it gets a little hard in the tube. Before buying a tube of caulk always squeeze it to see if it feels real soft. if it feels nice and soft it is good but if it doesn’t squeeze very easy then it has started to firm up. I can’t tell you how many times I have bought old caulk from a store to get it home and to find out it was too firm and hard to get out of the tube easy. One other thing it could be is you have to cut off the tip of the caulking tube nozzle and puncture with a wire inside the tube to brake the seal to get it started. Most caulking guns has a wire at the end of the gun to do just that. Happy rehabbing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for all the tips Gordon, I think maybe it was that the caulk was old – seeing as I bought it like a year ago hahahaha! Guess I didn’t realize it would/could firm up. 😉

      Like

  10. I love your tutorial for caulking with a cat and I love Gus! What a cute, funny guy he is. I think you did a great job. It seems my whole bathroom looks more like the smudged corner than the nice, smooth parts you did.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. OH! If i’d known, I would’ve warned you about the weak hands/caulk gun bit! And YES, that price comparison really ticked me off, too!
    You did a great job once you used the little tube, tho, hmm? 🙂
    I’m always in the midst of some project around the house. It’s never-ending, but for the most part, I enjoy it. It’s satisfying 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had no idea it would be so hard to squeeze that thing! Thanks, yes, the little tube really worked like a charm, but I still had trouble with my corners when I was using the edging tool to smooth it out. I really enjoy doing various projects around the house too, painting is my favorite, and I agree it is satisfying. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Good job Julie despite all the misadventures! You should be proud 🙂 and o what a adorable kitty!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. LOL- good thing you have a good sense of humor. You’ve made it seem funnier than it probably felt at the time. It turned out well despite the misadventures.
    I’ve done a fair amount of DIY in my day, but I DISLIKE it very much! It gets worse the older I get. Painting is on the list and I won’t be running towards that one, to be sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A good sense of humor really goes a long way. 😉 It was a difficult project, more so than I thought it would be, but it really was fun/funny doing it with those two. ❤
      Oh funny, we differ on that, Eliza – I love DIY projects, and painting happens to be my favorite, but I do have to agree and admit that it's gotten more difficult as I've gotten older…

      Like

  14. I love how you are embracing your tools at this stage of life Julie 😻

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Well, Julie–if Parker knew this was a bathtub party, she would have been right over! What is with cats and bathtubs? The smile on the cat’s face in the last picture is a riot! Sorry about the smudgy caulking, but your cat pictures are great!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha it would have been fun to have had Parker over to join in! I was surprised that my Sugar wasn’t in there with us too, she’s always in the middle of every activity going on around here. Yeah, Gus is such a little character, he was having the time of his life in that tub, I could barely catch a clear shot of him as he was scampering around in there! 🙂

      Like

  16. Ha ha – this was too sweet!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thank you for liking “Hello Spring!” and “Spring Equinox.” What a fun post! 🙂 Your mom’s cat is so cute! Some of my cats are curious about work I do around the house too, but they do not really try to help me the way Gus did.

    I have had mixed results from learning how to do repair work with YouTube videos. Most of the time the videos were helpful, but a few times they did not work. It is disappointing when you try so hard and the results don’t turn out the way they do in the video.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure, they were lovely posts. I’m so sure sure Gus was really trying to help either, but I chose to look at it that way because it made it more fun. 😉
      I have often found YouTube videos to be quite helpful in learning how to do various home improvement projects – I was just expecting this to project to be easier than it was after watching the video for it. I’m really glad I had my sister to help. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Have you tried Making Beds With Feline Assistance? Also good for a hoot. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Any type of home improvement project that seems fairly simple always develops a life of its own. I love DIY but you fix one thing and two more break or need attention. LOL A sense of humor is always needed, and it sounded like you had that covered. Looks nice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha yeah, home improvement and DIY certainly do seem to be a never-ending series of projects, I really do enjoy them though, I just wish I wasn’t so limited physically. Thanks Judy, it looks alright, not as nice as I’d like it to, but 10x better than it did. 😉

      Like

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