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I’m not afraid of getting my hands dirty…

Ok, I don’t like it, but I’ll do it if there’s a prize in it at the end (like a dramatic before and after… and maybe a cookie). Sometimes, getting dirty is just what happens when you least expect it. Take, for example, our downstairs flooring prep.

After we ripped out the old carpet and swept up the dust and grime, I spotted an old (but unopened) tube of caulk in the garage specifically made for concrete. I suspect that it may have been in the box of paint supplies my dad brought over when we first moved in, but until now I hadn’t noticed. At any rate, I thought that it may be a good idea to run a bead of caulk along our baseboards where the sub-floor meets the trim, so that we can better protect the new laminate from having any moisture issues. This could be a completely unfounded theory, but I figure we’re better off trying.

The first evening of applying the caulk went pretty smoothly (bah dum bum). The second night, however, was considerably more difficult. Try as I might, I simply couldn’t seem to squeeze the trigger of the caulk gun hard enough to make anything more than a tiny amount come out at a time. I’d noticed on the first night that this particular type of caulk was a bit thicker than the kind I’d used for our windows, but this was getting ridiculous. It shouldn’t be this difficult. I’d only gotten about a few feet of our living room finished when I finally noticed the problem.

As it turns out, the time this tube spent in the hot garage may have caused a small crack in the side (*Georgia temps have been around a 105-degree heat index for the last few weeks). Or perhaps at some point the tube was dropped and caused the plastic to break, so putting it into the caulk gun and pulling on the trigger made an even wider hole. The pressure from the caulk gun was making the caulk spill out the side instead of from the tip. I probably would have noticed the mess sooner, but the crack was faced toward the inside of the gun.

So, what should one do when faced with a messy obstacle? Well, in my case, when it comes to free caulk, I went with the flow. I was already using my fingers to smooth out the caulk line, so why not just make a bigger mess and use the ooze to finish up?

I may have ruined yet another manicure, but I’m getting tired of the grayish-purple polish anyway. And now we’re one step closer to getting new floors.

So, to recap from our previous caulk lesson:

1. Caulk needs a caulk gun.
2. I’ll take free caulk any day, even when the tube is broken and I don’t know what to use it for (yet).
3. Cracks ruin the pressurized function of a caulk gun.
4. Caulk is the enemy of well-manicured fingernails (and also poorly manicured fingernails – like mine).

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  1. I LOVE getting messy when I decorate. In fact, its a near impossibility for me NOT to get paint/caulk/sheetrock dust etc all over me when I'm in DIY mode. I like to think of it as a sign of all the hardwork that's been done. Wear that caulk and be proud!!

  2. So funny! That is exactly what I would have done – and had caulk all over me, the floors, and everything else! Yes- and forget the manicure while you're renovating – you need those nails to scrape paint off door hinges and such!