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.
Step Two: Clean
all surface areas cat thoroughly.
Step Three: Cover the tub drain to prevent any debris from going down the drain. i.e. Let your cat cover it for you.
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.
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…
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…
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.
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…
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…
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.
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~✿