RV Caulking

Caulk and Paint The Easy Way!

Using a masking tape trick to make caulking easy!

One of the best sealants around, is 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant 5200. Designed to be used above or below the waterline for boats, 5200 works great on RVs.

Do not use silicone anywhere on the outside of your RV, as it does not adhere well. A butyl sealant such as Dicor works well as does Sonneborn NP 1 Polyurethane Sealant.

I no longer recommend the instructions below for caulking an RV window. It is much better to remove the window from the RV, and caulk the inside so that the caulk is between the window flange and the outside wall.

I've maintained this webpage for old time sake. I published it during the early years of my RV experience.

Caulking windows can be a messy job. When you have to paint the caulking, to match your RV, the job can be very difficult. Masking tape can take all the mess out of caulking, and combine the matching paint portion of this job into one easy task!

Here is how this masking tape technique works. In this example, a window is going to be caulked. Apply masking tape to the window frame. When you mask around the round corner, apply small pieces of overlapping tape which approximate the round corner. Trying to mask a continuous piece of tape to a round a corner proved not workable.

Masking tape is applied to window frame in small pieces, perhaps only 1/2" long each.

Masking tape on the wall, is applied about 1/8" away from the frame. A big mistake is made when caulking too wide. Even a 1/4" wide strip of caulk will come out looking messy and unprofessional. A 1/8" strip is perfect.

Here the masking tape is applied to the wall along the straight part of the window frame. Only attach about 1" of tape at a time, moving along inch by inch. Going slowly, will allow you to align the tape so that you maintain the 1/8" wide gap.

Apply only about 1" tape at a time, to maintain 1/8" width gap.

The tape going around the outside corner is applied in small pieces to the wall, the same as the tape on the window frame.

Small tape around the outside.

Before you caulk the masked off window frame and RV wall, the area where the caulk is to be applied MUST be cleaned according to the instructions on the tube of caulk. Worrying about being messy with the caulk is forgotten because the masking tape takes care of all that.

Below is a picture showing the caulk being painted on the masked off window. A spray shield which is only a cardboard with a rectangle cutout for painting is absolutely necessary.

Using a spray shield.

Be sure that your caulk is completely dry before you paint, and the paint completely dry before removing the masking tape.

Finished! Two jobs, caulking and painting with one masking!

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