Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spent the morning picking old caulking...

Spent the morning picking old caulking ... out of the seam between our kitchen sink and the granite above it.  This was the old fashioned translucent silicone caulking, which is a bit of a pain to remove.  The previous caulking job was pretty bad – the caulking wasn't all under the granite; a sheet of it crept over the stainless steel sink.  Over the years since it was installed, the thin parts had worked loose from the stainless steel, and colonies of alien bacteria lived on the trash and dirty water that had infiltrated. 

I picked all that out with a dental pick, then used steel wool and a lot of elbow grease to get the film of translucent silicone off.  That was surprisingly difficult!  I also used steel wool on the sink itself, followed by a course of Barkeeper's Friend (the best stuff I've ever used for cleaning metal); this cleaned and shined up the sink nicely. 

Then I re-caulked with modern, water-clear silicone – and kept the bead completely under the granite.  I finished it using a trick I learned from the guys who installed our bathroom granite: I spritzed the bead with half water/half isopropyl alcohol, then just ran my finger down the bead.  Perfect finish!  The face of the caulk bead is basically vertical.  When it's cured (tomorrow), I'll get rid of any films of silicone remaining on the stainless steel – and then the kitchen sink will be completely finished!

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