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How To Easily Paint Over Silicone Caulk Like A Pro

If you’re looking to seal and protect your home, then silicone caulk may be the perfect solution. The product is affordable, easy to apply, and can easily be purchased from your local home improvements store. As convenient as silicone caulk may be for your interior, one disadvantage of using this product is that it’s incredibly challenging to paint over. This means that you either have to make a compromise with your home’s appeal or learn a few tips and tricks on painting over it by using paintable caulk instead.

painting over silicone caulk

4 Steps To Paint Over Silicone Caulk Like A Professional

If you want to boost your interior’s appearance and transform your bathroom or kitchen with minimum investment and effort, one way to do it is to paint over the existing caulk. Just follow these simple steps and enjoy the magical effect. 

1. Sand The Silicone Caulk

Reduce the caulk’s shine and smoothness by sanding it. Unlike wood or other materials, silicone caulk can be sanded using denatured alcohol and a rag. Wipe the surface carefully and apply more denatured alcohol when you feel it has evaporated.

2. Apply Layer of Acrylic Latex Caulk

applying caulk

Use acrylic latex caulk to apply a thin layer over the old caulk. This is the first real step to the painting process as the acrylic latex paintable caulk can stick to the silicone caulk, unlike regular paint. Make sure this newly applied thin bead layer of paintable caulk is thoroughly dried before proceeding to the next stage. 

3. Apply Primer

Buy a primer based on oil and use a brush to paint over the paintable caulk. Depending on the type of primer you’ve selected, you may need to repeat this step and apply a second layer. Alternatively, you can try using a shellac spray primer. It’s an excellent product for the project as it can stick to just about anything.

4. Paint Over The Paintable Caulk

painting over caulk

It’s time for the paint. Make sure you’ve selected an oil-based paint of your choice and use a brush, instead of a paint sprayer, to paint over the caulk. It’s essential to let the paint dry well before exposing your silicone caulk to water or other moisture. If you fail to do this, you might ruin the paint, and you may need to start from the beginning, repeating every step of the process.

Helpful tips to keep in mind during the process

One of the most important things to consider when painting is the choice of paint. Regardless of your working method, not all paint will be able to stick to the material and remain there for an extended period of time. Here are some of the paint types you should be looking for that can be applied over silicone caulk:

  • Oil-based paint
  • Shellac-based paint
  • Latex paint

Another tip is being careful with waterproof silicone. Although this feature is supposed to be advantageous, it could be a real nightmare if you’re looking to paint over it. The waterproof element makes the silicone super shiny and slippery, meaning that paint won’t stick to it. Thankfully, the painting method mentioned above includes a sanding stage, where this is eliminated.

Things you need to know about painting over silicone caulk

Before you start your painting project, it’s worth considering whether the caulk is worthy enough to remain in place or whether you should remove it entirely. You can either cut out all of the caulk and recaulk with a paintable one. However, keep in mind this may be a real struggle if your silicone caulk has been recently cured. Once cured, the caulk becomes immensely difficult to remove, and you may need professional equipment to complete the task. 

Alternatively, you can cover it with a new bead of paintable caulk, creating a second layer. Once the new caulk layer is safely stuck to the one below and fully cured, you can use a suitable paint to change the color and improve its appearance. Just don't forget to buy a quality shellac primer to make things easier. 

Although it might be fun to learn a new skill and paint over your caulk at home by yourself, it may be more beneficial to rely on the help of an experienced professional to do the job for you.

If you're looking to do a much larger painting project, like either painting roof shingles, an entire house using scaffolding or interior walls, read those three helpful resources.

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Nikolay Miloshev

Nikolay Miloshev has been offering his property maintenance services for more than 30 years. During that time, his team has assisted many households with their renovations, outdoor project & various other home services. Nikolay is the owner of Two Lions 11 LTD, a UK-based property maintenance company.