I know it can be a headache for most people, but did you know that it is sometimes possible for the home ‘DIY’ enthusiast, as well as the builder to sort out those nasty nicks, scratches and cracks on interior walls prior to decorating, without having to have the whole area re-plastered.
Available in many ‘DIY’ stores is an amazing tool which is called a ‘Caulker.’
What is a ‘Caulker’?
Basically, it is a flexible plastic type blade, usually around 10-12″ long and can be used for applying filler to a wall or ceiling surface and it also has the flexible capabilities for you to be able feather (Blend in: Smooth out) the filler finely out onto your surface; thus making it ideal for patching in.
The ‘Caulker’ very much resembles a ‘Texturing/Artexing Comb’ except the business edge of the ‘Caulker’ is smooth and flat, not serrated, and comb like, such as a ‘Texturing Comb’ is.
There are usually two types of the plastic ‘Caulker.’ One is an all in one plastic design whereas the thicker handle is moulded onto the thinner flexible working edge. The other consists of a wooden handle whereas a separate, flexible and thinner plastic working edge has been inserted into the wooden handle.
Beside using the ‘Caulker’ to successfully tape up and prepare a new plaster/wall board ceiling prior to decorating it is an invaluable tool to own and use if you do your own ‘DIY.’
1: You will be able to scoop up mixed filler from your bucket by using a scraper, and then apply this band of material onto the centre of the ‘Caulker’ blade.
2: Commence to offer the filler applied ‘Caulker’ to the surface of the wall, resting the flat edge directly onto, and across the surface at a 45% angle;
3: and as you continue to slide the ‘Caulker’ up against the wall; to lay the material on; slowly close your 45% angle so that you end your stroke with the handle edge nearer to the wall, covering the minor scratches and surface discrepancies as you go.
This ‘laying on method’ should be done with one continuous smooth flow.
4: After you have succeeded in this, take your scraper and scrape off any filler material from your ‘Caulker’
5: and commence to use the clean ‘Caulker’ to feather the edges of the filler onto, and over the good area of your surface.
Like most things attempted for the first time, this all takes a little practice.
Preparation is the vital key. Please look out for my other articles which covers all kinds of various surfaces and how you should prepare them prior to making good, or decorating.
There is a wide selection of filling 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 around 40-50% of skimming/finishing ‘pink gypsum type plaster’ with a white powdered type of interior surface filler into clean cold water.
This finally creates a very fine mixture which is ideal for the job.
Once you have mixed your filler material, the consistency should be quite thick, it should not run off, or dribble from the scraper once you scoop some up. And it should not be so thick that you can’t possibly spread it out onto the surface.
Also make sure that you have mixed all of the lumps out.
Again, it is vital that all of your equipment is clean, and you use clean water. The reason being that once you have laid your filler onto the surface, if there are any bits of muck in your mixture, as you are smoothing the filler onto the surface, you will noticed some minor scratches in your work.
Many materials that are mixed with water tends to shrink back once dried.
So it may be feasible to second coat your area once it has dried. To do this, you must lay more mixed material over, wider and beyond your first coat, totally covering the first attempt.
But before you even go about this second coat, please read more concerning preparing your interior surfaces prior to decorating because you have now created a very porous surface and the new band of material just would not adhere over the dried stuff.
This mixture of filler that we have created is absolutely marvelous for sanding down; this may be required so that you can further blend in the filler material onto the wall.
Use fine sandpaper and please take care when using sharp tools, always read the package instructions when you are using building materials and please use a dust mask and look after your lungs.
You can learn more concerning how to use the ‘Caulker’ for taping a new plaster/wall board ceiling in ‘Texture Revival.’
I do hope this article concerning using a ‘Caulker’ to sort out your interior surfaces will help you in your ‘DIY’ quest.
Go on, Create a Craze.
Dale Ovenstone. 2008