Tool Tutorial Friday – How to Use a Caulk Gun

You know the old saying, “No question is a dumb question.” Well, I have to say that about this tutorial, “No tutorial is a dumb tutorial.”

I realize that a caulk gun isn’t a big scary power tool, and yet I still think learning how to use a caulk gun is a very valuable skill for any handy person.

So, let’s get right down to some Caulk Talk.

A caulk gun is a necessary tool for any homeowner. Sealing gaps in siding, replacing the seal around the tub and shower surround when the old caulk gets dry and brittle is a must. Caulking around the trim around windows and doors will improve your homes energy efficiency and get rid of unsightly gaps. You can also use it for spreading construction adhesive and any other substrate that is sold in tube form. A caulk gun saves your hands from cramping, especially if you have a lot of caulking to do.

A basic caulk gun costs about $10 – $20, but you could buy a power version which run up to $200! Sheesh!

Starting a tube of caulk:

Cut off the tip of your tube by inserting it into the hole at an angle.

Poke the stick attached to the gun into the tube to puncture the seal.

 Loading a caulk gun:

Pull the hooked rod all the way back. Insert your tube base first. Then tilt the nozzle end into the top of the gun.

Rotate the hook so it is facing up and the teeth are facing down.

Pull the trigger and you’re good to go!

Be prepared to pull the hook rod back when you finish or the caulk will continue to flow out of the nozzle.

Watch this video for more details on using a caulk gun (also called a caulking gun) and why it is important to fill any cracks or seams in your siding!

*Thanks to The Real Tim Jones for sharing the secret about how to cut and start your caulk tube! Tim is sooo right, I never knew about this until I saw his video!

And, if you want to find out how to keep your caulk from drying out in between uses, my friend Sandra at Sawdust and Paper Scraps has this tip.

Happy Caulking!


  1. wow! thank u! all these years and I never knew about the hole in the side for cutting :)

  2. Great info! Thanks for sharing! Never knew why the hole!!lol

  3. Thanks so much for this! I had no idea you could cut the tip and puncture the tube all on the gun! I find caulking oddly therapeutic!

  4. Thanks for the info… I’ve been putting off re-caulking around our tub/showers because I was just a little intimidated and not sure how to proceed… thanks again for the help!!

  5. I will be using these tips. I always buy the caulk in the tube because I make a mess of the caulk gun. But this is a great tutorial. Thanks!

  6. Thank you. Caulking was a mystery to me. I think to my husband too, but he would never admit it.

  7. This is so timely. I’m going to be caulking next week and was going to google how to do it. Thank you for the tips!

  8. I’ll be the first to admit that I shy away from the caulk gun because I can’t ever remember how it works! I’ll have to bookmark the tutorial so it’s at my fingertips the next time I have to caulk. Great tutorial!

  9. So that’s what that little hole is for!! You learn something new every day!!! ha ha!!

  10. Just finished re-caulking the tub, and what do I find? You have a post on how to use a caulk gun! Too funny. I’m so thankful for all of your tips and tricks. This time, I got it done all by myself. I’m jealous, though. My caulk gun doesn’t have the cutting hole, or the stick.

  11. Yay, I’m so glad you did this tutorial! A caulk gun was a mystery to me, so I’ve always bought the squeeze tubes. I have a project this weekend that I can try out my new knowledge- thanks! :)

  12. Brittany, where were you last month! :-)

    I attempted to caulk some windows and had an awful time. I even looked around for a tutorial online and found nothing of value. Thanks again for another informative article. You’re the best!

  13. Great tips here. Thanks for another helpful tutorial!

    Caulking is more important than most DIYers know. It makes a huge difference on inside trim — the difference between a custom look and an incomplete job. I’m a professional housepainter, and one of the first things I do when painting interiors is make sure all joints, where trim meets the wall, or trim meets trim, are caulked. That means tops of baseboards, around all doors and windows, and the corners of window and door trim. The exceptions are when there is wallpaper or unpainted wood paneling on the walls, or when the trim is stained instead of painted.

    Thanks again for all the good advice.

  14. I generally don’t respond to posts, but this one totally deserves it. I needed to do some caulking today and, lo and behold, this tutorial popped up on my RSS feed. I have never done a great caulking job, so I was a little paranoid about tackling my kitchen. This tutorial combined with slowing down, resulted in a near-perfect job. Thank you very, very much!

  15. I love your blog!!!! Take a look a mine sometime !!! :)

  16. Pretty sure I couldn’t get through a video of caulking without making some serious cock related jokes.

    Props to you! “Have to fill the gap with caulk-” …that’s what she said. Right? Or is it just me?!

    Great info as always. Have to do this in my bathroom, the tips will come in handy.

  17. To settle the argument its a slotted screw driver. (Sold in stores under that title) Reason being it isnt the driver being referred to in its use its the screw. some slotted screws aren’t flat, but the screw would have a slot, (Slotted screw driver). The term flat head is meant to imply the head of the driver is flat thus fitting a slotted screw. the term flat head screw driver is used to identify the shape as the driver doesn’t have a slot the screw does. Most older (Time relevant) screws had slots. new screw designs now have flat edge holes and you wouldn’t say give me a flat edge hole screwdriver would you. So to end this slyness the author is correct in saying flat head.

  18. That person who made an issue probably calls a caulk gun a caulk gun but in truth its Not used only for caulk so should we start calling it what it is/ a hand held multi material extrusion machine?

  19. Thank you SO much for showing the little metal stick/wire on the side of the gun for puncturing the seal!! I figured everything else out myself, but all the instructions I found just said “puncture seal”, not HOW to puncture the seal! My gun has the little stick, but I never would have noticed it without your tip, and even after reading the text, I still didn’t get it until I looked at the photo. Great tutorial! :)

  20. This may be a super dumb question/problem. I’ve got a tube of adhesive for some cove base I need to repair in my office. I know how to use the caulk gun in theory – I cut off the tip, and then I tried to puncture the seal with the wire and I can’t get through it… I’ve been pressing like really really hard and no dice. I even tried using a screwdriver and driving it in there with a hammer and that didn’t work either. Any ideas on what I can try?

  21. thank yoooooooooooooooooooooooou

  22. thank yooooooooooooou.its good site


  1. […] Pretty Handy Girl – Site contains a focus on how to improve the interior of the home (specifically in the design niche) but is also very resourceful with information such as how to repair a leaky faucet or a caulk gun tutorial. […]

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