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How to Caulk a Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink: 7 Easy Steps

How to Caulk a Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
Written by Lewis Turner

Caulking your sink may seem like a hard task, but it’s actually quite simple. Plumbers may charge you a lot of money to do this. Caulk is cheap and available at any hardware store. You don’t need a lot of materials to do the job.

Here we’ll show you how to caulk your stainless-steel kitchen sink and share some tips to make sure your caulk job looks like a professional did it.

How to Caulk a Stainless-Steel Kitchen Sink?

Things you need

  • Silicone caulk – Silicone caulk is cheaper and lasts longer than latex caulk. In addition, it provides a better seal. Silicone can withstand higher temperatures than latex, so it’s perfect for the kitchen.
  • Caulking gun – Caulk comes in pre-packaged tubes that is impossible to squeeze with your hands. The gun also provides more stability for you to apply the caulk evenly.
  • Clean cloth – You will need to clean up the kink of any excess caulk. Caulk is very difficult to get out once it dries.
  • Rubbing alcohol – Silicone caulk needs a solvent to remove the tougher bits. Rubbing alcohol works perfectly for this step.
  • Piece of wire or another spacer – When you remove the caulk of a sink, the sink will become loose. The wire is used to keep the sink in place.
  • Razor blade or knife – The old caulk will be stuck in and needs to be removed before you apply new caulk. A thin blade works best because you can slide it along the caulk, making removal fast and easy.
  • Painter’s tape – Use the tape to cover any areas you don’t want caulk to get onto.
  • Surface cleaner – Before you add new caulk, you’ll need to completely clean the sink area. Any surface cleaner works, however, most won’t work well caulk. To remove the caulk, use rubbing alcohol.
  • Caulk scraper (optional) – Usually, you can use your finger to smooth the top surface of the caulk. If you want to keep your hands clean, you can use a caulk scraper.

Step 1: Clean the Countertop

  • First remove the old caulk from the sink. Grab a razor or box cutter knife and delicately run the blade along the caulk.
  • Take a set of pliers and gently pull the calk out.
  • Use rubbing alcohol to clean any caulk reside left over.
  • Mix the surface cleaner with water, then scrub the countertop until it is completely cleaned. Make sure the countertop is completely dry. It’s best to wait overnight because if any moisture gets into caulk, the caulk won’t stick properly.

Step 2: Insert Caulk into The Gun

  • Cut the end of the caulk tube. Angle your cut so it’s easier to apply to the sink.
  • Break the seal of the caulk tube with a thin piece of metal.
  • Insert the caulk tube into the gun tip first.
  • Pull the plunger of the gun all the back, then fit the rest of the tube in.
  • Squeeze the trigger a few times until the caulk reaches the end of the tube.

Step 3: Trace the Sink Outline

  • Point the caulk gun against the edge between the countertop and the sink.
  • Pull the trigger and guide the caulk gun all along the edge. Don’t pull the trigger too hard or the tube will overflow.
  • If you need to stop, always start on top of where you stopped. You can wipe away the excess later.
  • Once you’re done, remove the tape. We do this before the caulk dries so it doesn’t get stuck and pull the caulk out.

Step 4: Keep the Sink in Place

While you are caulking your sink, it can become loose and out of place. This will lead to uneven caulking and drying. To keep your sink in place, you’ll need some thin metal wires to tie the sink in place.

  • Press the sink down against the underside.
  • Take some metal wire and tie one piece to the faucet and another to the drain under the sink.
  • Make sure you tie as tight as you can.

Step 5: Trace the Sink Again

You will need to go over the first layer of caulk to fill any gaps or go over some mistakes. It should be easier since the first layer is there to guide you.

  • Point the caulk gun against the edge between the countertop and the sink.
  • Pull the trigger and guide the caulk gun all along the edge. Don’t pull the trigger too hard or the tube will overflow.
  • If you need to stop, always start on top of where you stopped. You can wipe away the excess later.
  • Dab a finger in some water, then run your finger along the caulk line. This is done to provide a seal and smooth out any uneven lines. If you don’t want to use your fingers, use a caulk scraper.
  • Wet a paper towel and clean up any caulk that went over the line. Make sure to check under the sink for any caulk that leaked toward the bottom.

Step 6: Let the Caulk Dry

Caulk takes between 24 to 72 hours to dry completely. It’s better to wait longer to be sure. If you try to use the sink before the caulk dries, the caulk will crack and slip off.

Step 7: Check the Finishing

Once the caulk is dry, make sure to look over it to see if there’s any missing spots or uneven drying. If you need to add more caulk, add some. However, you will need to wait again for the new caulk to dry.

Tips

  • Although silicone caulk is used, the best option is to buy kitchen and bathroom caulk. This type of caulk has water-resistant materials added to it so that it ensures the best seal possible.
  • If you don’t have painter’s tape handy, masking tape will work as a substitute.
  • If you only need a little bit of caulk, squeeze some caulk on your finger and apply it manually. This helps avoid overdoing it with the caulk gone.

Warnings

  • Anything that gets in the caulk will mess up the curing process, leading to wet and unstable caulk. Make sure your workspace is completely clean and dry before starting.
  • Silicone caulk has a strong smell, so it may be best to wear a mask if you can’t handle the smell.
  • Caulk should not be used to fill any gaps bigger than 3/4 of an
  • Caulk doesn’t last forever. If your caulk is unopened, it should last about a year or two. If it’s opened, you only have three months to use it. Always check the date of a caulk tube before buying.
  • Leaving your caulk in sunlight will cause the caulk to heat up and dry in the tube. This makes the caulk unusable. Store your caulk in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

FAQs:

Q. Can I use Silicone on Stainless Steel?

Yes, silicone works great on stainless steel. Stainless steel is non-porous, so there’s no risk of silicone getting in and destroying the sink.

About the author

Lewis Turner

Market Researcher

Lewis has been a contributor to FaucetsReviewed for the last five years. After graduating in Marketing and Business Administration, he joined a multinational farm that used to be a leading manufacturer of plumbing fixtures and appliances. His professional experience opened doors for him to the diversity of the industry. His deep insights and product analysis add to the site’s authenticity. He is an avid reader and spends most of his past time studying. Lewis is also a trained photographer. He does the most photography of the site. His in-depth reviews are highly informative and insightful.

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