Published on February 27th, 2014 | by Grant Barnard


What Type Of Caulk To Use – And Why

Top Gun Caulk LineThere are many different types of caulk that are available. Some are listed by use, while others are listed by type. All of them have crazy guarantees that tout 45 or even 60 years! No caulk will last you 60 year or even 45 years. However if Company B makes a lesser product and  says it lasts 40 years then Company A has to put down 50 years or nobody will buy it.

Plasticizer is what makes the caulk stretch and keep from cracking. Some products use better plasticizers and better methods of joining it with the caulk. Please take our knowledge from years of experience as an Indianapolis painter or contact us if you need a professional painter.

The Types Of Caulk

  1. %100 Silicone Caulk – This is not to be confused with a Modified Silicone.  %100 silicone is clear, NOT paintable. However it will not crack and fall apart like acrylic caulks, shrink when dry or get easily destroyed by mildew and extreme weather.
  2. Modified Silicone – Modified silicones are a newer set of caulks that are decent at just about everything but excellent at absolutely nothing. An absolute great option when you are looking for better bonding with the properties of regular silicone. Lower quality modified silicone caulks will tend to break down and become greasy messes, especially in heat.
  3. Siliconized (Modified) Acrylic – Siliconized acrylic caulks are great for bathrooms or other surfaces where the caulk will NOT be painted. i.e. around the bathroom or kitchen counter. They can be painted but there are better options if you will be painting over the caulk.
  4. Adhesive Caulk – Adhesive caulk is great for some applications where you need the surfaces to be joined together and not just sealed. This is where you may use an adhesive caulk. However you must realize that while these products are made to look like caulk and function like glue, they generally do not hold up to harsh environments.
  5. Acrylic Urethane – Acrylic Urethane caulks are the best caulks for most situations. The caulk takes a long time to dry, but that is about the only downfall. Bonding, flexibility and long lasting are far superior to anything else due to the urethane.
  6. Fast Dry Caulk – You can find several fast dry caulks. Sometimes they are called “high solids”. These caulks are made of several different materials and usually are not the best solution. However, in a pinch these caulks are great for the larger cracks that most caulks will not fill or when you have a missed spot that you need to hit right before painting. Often these caulks can be classified as another resin system but we put them in their own group because of their specific use.

What Caulk To Use Where And When

  1. Top Gun 400 – This caulk is the best caulk to use in most situations. We use this caulk as our #1 go-to product. The application is smooth and it lasts the longest. Its an internally plasticized caulk product so it will last the absolute longest without cracking and failing. We use this caulk for caulking anything on interior painting or exterior painting jobs. The only drawback is the dry time is longer than most caulks.
  2. Top Gun 250 – This is another great product for certain uses. We use this product right before power washing a home. That way the large cracks that will take on large amounts of water can be sealed and protected. We also use this for missed spots because it can actually be painted within minutes of being applied.
  3. Top Gun 200 – Siliconized Acrylic Caulk – This is a great product that we use in all our bathrooms and kitchens. The application is the smoothest by far and the colors are deep and very opaque. So you can caulk after you paint and achieve the best results possible in kitchens and bathrooms.

There are many types and brands of caulk. If we missed one that you love, let us know in the comment section.

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About the Author

Grant Barnard started painting in 2000 and started Grants Painting in 2008. Originally doing business in northern Indiana, the business was moved to Indianapolis and Greenwood shortly after. Today the Grants Painting has blossomed into a reputable painting contracting company with an ever growing extensive website including our How To DIY Articles. Grants Painting covers all aspects of coatings and specialized in epoxy flooring, interior painting, exterior painting and cabinet painting.

  • mm

    You forgot to mention t-gun 300

  • Wm Majerus

    can acrylic urethane sealant be use over gaps of osi quad sealant. Are they compatible?

    • Grant Barnard

      Only thing I can tell you is to try a piece out. You may have by now though…

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