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How To Use A Caulker To Patch Your Interior Walls Without Having To Plaster Them
I know it can be a headache for most people, but did you know that sometimes it is possible for the home “DIY” enthusiast as well as the builder to fix those nasty scratches, scuffs and cracks on the walls interiors before decorating them? without having to plaster the whole area again.
Available at many DIY stores, there is an amazing tool called a “Caulker”.
What is a ‘caulk’?
It’s basically a flexible plastic type blade, usually about 10-12″ long and can be used to apply filler to a wall or ceiling surface and also has the flex capabilities so you can plumb (blend: smooth) the filler it spreads thinly over its surface, so it’s ideal for patching.
The “Caulker” is very similar to a “Texturing/Artexing Comb”, except that the commercial edge of the “Caulker” is smooth and flat, not serrated and comb-like, like a “Texturing Comb”.
There are usually two types of “Caulker” plastic. One is an all-in-one plastic design, while the thicker handle is molded into the thinner flexible working edge. The other consists of a wooden handle, while a separate, flexible, thinner plastic working edge has been inserted into the wooden handle.
As well as using the ‘Caulker’ to successfully bond and prepare a new plaster ceiling / wallboard before decorating, it is an invaluable tool to have and use if you are doing your own ‘DIY’.
1: You will be able to scrape the mixed filler out of your bucket and then apply this strip of material to the center of the “Caulker” sheet.
2: Begin delivering the applied “Caulker” filler to the wall surface, resting the flat edge directly over and across the surface at a 45% angle;
3: and as you continue to slide the ‘Caulker’ up against the wall; put the material; slowly close your 45% angle so that you finish your stroke with the edge of the handle closest to the wall, covering small scratches and surface discrepancies as you go.
This “laying method” should be done in a smooth, continuous flow.
4: After you have achieved this, take the scraper and remove any filler material from your “Caulker”
5: And start using the clean ‘Culker’ to feather the edges of the filler and over the good area of your surface.
Like most things attempted for the first time, this all takes some practice.
Preparation is the vital key. Please see my other articles covering all sorts of different surfaces and how you should prepare them before you finish or decorate them.
There is a wide selection of filler materials available on the market that can be used for our “Caulking Technique” and I have experimented with most of them.
I find that the best results were achieved when I mixed about 40-50% skimming/finishing “pink plaster of paris” with a type of white interior surface filler powder in clean cold water.
This ultimately creates a very fine mixture that is ideal for the job.
Once you’ve mixed the filling material, the consistency should be fairly thick, it shouldn’t run out or drip off the scraper once you’ve picked it up. And it should not be so thick that it cannot spread on the surface.
Also make sure you have mixed all the lumps.
Again, it is vital that all your equipment is clean and you use clean water. The reason is that once you have put the filler on the surface, if there are bits of mud in your mix, as you are smoothing the filler onto the surface, you will notice some small scratches in your work.
Many materials that are mixed with water tend to shrink after drying.
Therefore, a second coat of your area after it has dried may be feasible. To do this, you need to place more blended material above, wider and beyond the first layer, completely covering the first attempt.
But before you do this second coat, please read more about preparing interior surfaces before decorating, because now you’ve created a very porous surface, and the new strip of material wouldn’t stick to dry stuff.
This filler mix we created is absolutely wonderful to polish; this may be necessary so that you can further blend the filler material into the wall.
Use fine sandpaper and be careful when using sharp tools, always read package instructions when using building materials and wear a dust mask and take care of your lungs.
You can learn more about how to use “Caulker” to stick a new plaster ceiling/wall on “Texture Revival”.
I hope this article on using a “Culker” to tidy up interior surfaces helps you in your “DIY” quest.
Go ahead, create a craze.
Dale Ovenstone. 2008
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