How to Caulk Without a Caulking Gun

Just call me MacGyver… or a cake decorator.

This post might be a little boring to you, but I’m so proud of my hard work that I just had to show you what I did. Plus, my little adventure here is a testament to how the little things that you do around the house can make you so happy, even though nobody else will notice what you did.

Let me introduce you to the closet of the nursery:

closet before 1

It’s a pretty roomy closet, so we’re fixing it up in order to maximize its space and… to make it pretty, of course. I’ll show you more of this closet later on when we make some more progress, but today I want to talk about caulk.

This house was brand-new when we bought it, but the builders did a BAD job with the caulking. I can’t believe how many cracks we can see in the caulk all over this house.

gap in window trim

It’s ridiculous. Caulking isn’t rocket science. It’s not even freshman biology.

The nursery closet was full of gaps and ugly cracks due to a bad caulking job.

closet support gaps


more gaps in closet


Since this closet will be dedicated to our special baby, I wanted it to be perfect. I also didn’t want to fix the caulk later on after the painting and the decorating. So I decided to grin and bear it and caulk everything NOW.

Out came the caulking gun and the caulk tube that came with the house.

I put the caulk tube in the gun and squeezed. Squeezed. Squeezed some more. No caulk was coming out. I kept on squeezing and squeezing. There was a small pop… Weird.

Squeeze. Squeeze. Squeeze.

Until I came to the end of the caulking gun’s squeezing range. Did that make sense? I mean, I couldn’t squeeze any more. The caulking gun was all squeezed out. And there was no caulk coming out. Huh?

I pulled out the caulk tube and found this…

i broke the caulk tube

Oops. I broke it.

I think the caulk dried up at the top so all my squeezing was for naught and it just pushed through the bottom of the caulk tube. Good times.

I sighed and contemplated asking Nick to buy some more caulk on the way home from work.

I stared at the caulk tube.

The caulk was soft and plentiful. Wasted caulk, wasted money, wasted time.

I squinted my eyes… wait a minute. The caulk itself was still in good condition.

Now this is where the MacGyver (or cake decorator) part comes in. I grabbed a ziplock bag and put a few spoonfuls of caulk in it.

put caulk in zip lock bag

I cut off just a little bit at the tip and tested it out.

caulking the window trim

It was beautiful.

I hate hate hate hate using the caulking gun. It’s messy and it makes me all paranoid because the caulk won’t stop flowing, so I have to caulk with my heart beating fast and then quickly pull the handle on the gun to STOP THE MADNESS.

With this ziplock bag method, I could just caulk at my own pace. The bead of caulk was also tiny, so it was really easy to just wipe it down with my little finger. It felt nice. Relaxing, even.

I think I won’t ever use a caulk gun again.

window trim much better

Much better, right?

I caulked everything and gave the shelf and supports two coats of white paint to cover up the dingy white that was there before. Do apartments and buildings shop at the same paint store? Is the store called Dingy White Paint? Why can’t they use Ultra White? I will never understand their obsession with dingy white.

fixed supports

Better. Ahh. Never mind the white paint on the walls, we’ll paint over that.

much better

Yes, much nicer.

The whole time I was doing this, I felt like I was channeling Benita from Chez Larsson – she does things like this all the time, doing the “little things” and making them all pretty and white.

So that was my caulking adventure!

I’ll tell you more about the closet very soon. I have to go and work on it right now, actually. I’m 38 weeks now and my hands are kind of swollen, so I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe, Baby will come soon. I gotta hustle, people!

A little glimpse at our progress:

ceiling color and wall color

16 Comments on “How to Caulk Without a Caulking Gun

  1. hahaha MacGyver/cake decorator. What a great tip about using the plastic bag. My husband always does the caulking, so I’ve never personally experienced its madness, but it sounds like you found a good solution!

    Thanks for your visit the other day! 🙂

  2. THank you so very much for the tips, YOU ARE GENIUS!!



  3. Well this is a great idea, but the gun (caulk gun) has a little leaver type thing on the back of the handle. Right behind your thumb, on the hand you use to squeeze the caulk out with. That releases the pressure so the caulk stops coming out. In this case your most likly using Dap painters caulk ( just ask for painters caulk for jobs like this, the hardware store you go to will know) witch runs fast cause its a thin material. Place the gun down on a piece of news paper or something similar. After you hit the lever w/ your thumb of course. That stops most of the flowing caulking to stop ( no pun intended lol) on thinner caulks. Also you can still cut the tip of the caulk tube as small as you want. Just use a sharp razor blade… just saying this is still a goo

    • Great tips, thanks for sharing!! You’re right about the lever thing, but it still makes me nervous because the caulk comes out so fast. However, that’s a good idea about cutting the tip of the tube very small. I might give it another try soon!

      • No problem…. yea try it sometime. Also to anyone else. The orange and black caulk gun you see in the pic. Is well worth the ten dollars. (Should still be.) Compared to the three dollar caulk guns that break or pinch you hand as hard as you speeze the handle. So get the better gun, to many pros to list really. And it will last a lot longer. I have one that’s five years old.

  4. Sorry about double post using phone to post this….
    I was gonna say I have used this method to caulk decrotive stone work on nyc buildings. Its tryed n true method of caulking

  5. my poor house has this ‘dingy’ white on the ceilings! I discovered it’s a color called Swiss Coffee and is a ‘standard’ white, ewie! To me it looks like a 20 year old white that collected too much cigarette smoke for it’s own good haha

  6. Hey man, thanks a bunch! I can now continue today sealing the bathtub with out losing money :D. I broke my Caulking gun trying to sieve through the 1-hour ready shower and bath Caulking thats freaking expensive, mainly why the reason the top hardened because no one in there right mind at Canadian tire as a customer would buy this stuff and it was probably sitting there on the shelf for half a year. Jesus! Why can’t my roommates just be considerate and go find another bath tub to shower in for the two days but NO!!!…D:< Though thank you again, You Rock! 🙂

  7. This is not something that you want to come into contact directly with your skin, is toxic and over exposure (as indicated on the label) is cancer causing. JESUS MAN WEAR SOME GLOVES, other than that keep on keeping on.

  8. Fab idea….I’ve just used your method and it’s much better and stress free! Thanks!

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