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August 2008
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Removing Silicone Caulk a 12 Step Guide.

Jen over at Dogs and Jen is trying to remove silicone caulk  from her kitchen counter.

There are few compounds that go into remodeling that work better than Silicone Caulk. It is also one of the hardest things to remove. It can be done. Here is a 12 Step Guide

Before starting to hack away, get some cardboard and sheet plastic
and blue painters tape and tape off the counter, to protect it and to
make clean up easier.

[1] First step is use a utility knife and cut into the caulk at 45
degrees, cutting through the caulk into the drywall below the top of
the counter and below the wall line.

[2] Second use a single edge razor blade across the top edge of the
backsplash of the granite. Buy a box of a 100, as they will not go very
far)The backsplash is too wide to use a utility knife blade without
bleeding all over your counter. Use these to cut the caulk loose from
the backsplash. You should end up with a ribbon of caulk, that will
come out in one piece.

[3] Third use a blade (either or) to score the drywall paper just above
the caulk line on the wall. As lightly as possible to keep as much
integrity of the drywall intact.

[4] Fourth use the razor blades left from step 2 to cut the caulk from
the wall edge to below the level of the backsplash. You want to try to
just cut the paper lightly, so the wall repair area is a small as
possible. Remove the wall caulk and see what you have left. Scrape whatever remains off with your blades.

[5] Fifth (Open The Window) use either denatured alcohol or Goof Off on
a small sponge or cotton ball to soften the remaining silicone from the
backsplash top. Try not to get the drywall wet. Nothing will dissolve
cured silicone that you can buy readily, unless you like working with
real toxic compounds. When you have the silicone off, let it dry for a

[6] Sixth use a sharp putty knife to remove any remaining blobs of silicone sticking to the wall.

[7] Seventh, remove the debris, dust and bits of stuff, remove the
cardboard and plastic you used to protect your counter and gently wipe
down the granite.

Take a break, stop swearing and calm down.

[8] Eighth, Put down some fresh plastic on the counter. take your blue
painters tape and tape the backsplash covering it just past the back
edge. Here you want to try to get the wall edge just below the surface
of the granite edge. Put a second layer of blue tape over the first
piece not quite to the wall.

[9] Ninth, we need to spackle the wall where we cut the silicone out. My
personal choices are ’speed set’ drywall compound, or DAP pink spackle.
Mix, apply, let dry. Using the fine side of a foam sanding block, sand
it flat. The second piece of blue tape protects your backsplash as you

[10] Tenth, prime and paint the wall. Let dry.

[11] Eleventh, take a utility knife blade and carefully cut the tape off
the backsplash as close to the wall as you can. Remove the tape
carefully by tugging it off at an angle so the wall edge is a point as
you remove it. Touch up any boo boo’s.

[12] Twelfth, It is silicone time. This is probably a job for one of those small tubes of silicone. Cut the tip on an angle and practice on the inside of a cardboard
box to get a feel for your coverage and flow rate. You do not want to
have to use your finger to wipe down the silicone.

Caulk it, clean up and treat yourself.