How to paint over silicone caulk

Written by kayar sprang
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Caulk is a useful product to use around the home. It's readily available at hardware and home improvement stores. Caulk is inexpensive, it's easy to use and it does a fantastic job of sealing and protecting your home. Silicone caulk, in particular, works well when you're sealing nonporous surfaces such as ceramic tile and metal from water. One downside of using silicone caulk is that you normally can't paint over it--paint simply won't stick to it. However, if you know a few secrets, you can paint over silicone caulk.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Denatured alcohol
  • Old, clean rags
  • Siliconized acrylic latex caulk
  • Paint brush
  • Oil-based primer
  • Oil-based paint

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  1. 1

    Pour a little denatured alcohol on a rag. Wipe the alcohol across the surface of the silicone caulk. The alcohol acts like sandpaper and will make the caulk less shiny and smooth. Pour more denatured alcohol on the rag as needed. It will evaporate, so there's no need to dry the silicone caulking afterward.

  2. 2

    Apply a very thin layer of siliconized acrylic latex caulk over the silicone caulk to paint over it. This second caulk will adhere to the silicone and make its surface a bit rougher and even more paintable. Allow it to dry thoroughly before you proceed to the next step.

  3. 3

    Paint over the silicone caulk with a brush and an oil-based primer. Read and follow the manufacturer's directions in order to achieve the best results. You may have to apply two coats of primer to be able to paint over the silicone caulking. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly before you proceed.

  4. 4

    Use an oil-based paint and a brush to make the silicone caulk the colour you desire. Read and follow the manufacturer's directions on the paint can. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly before you subject the silicone caulk to moisture.

Tips and warnings

  • Denatured alcohol is also called "shellac thinner." It can be found at hardware, paint and home improvement stores.

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