Friday, September 26, 2014

Sealing the Kitchen Sink

The silicon around the kitchen sink looked extremely gross, until a point that our food was coming with a sprinkling of bacteria and a dashing of mold. It was replaced by Bobo about 1-2 years ago, after the contractor gave such a thin silicon layer that while aesthetically pleasing, was useless.

In the summer dearth of American tv, and no longer having cable, I ended up watching anything and everything I could find online. One of which was the Home and Gardens show where this Aussie guy was teaching how to replace silicon caulking along the kitchen wall. He made it look really easy.

I also asked Dad how to do it, hoping that he would say "I will do it for you." Nope, he expected Bobo to do it. He threw shade at me attempting it, but advised that I should use white cement as it doesn't grow mold or bacteria as much. 

I bought the cement (powder?), and methanol (for wiping down the bacteria, and making the sink area dry) from the hardware shop. I asked the lady boss how to mix the cement, she said mix to your own consistency. WTF #1. 

So I went home, thought about it since I was only going to replace the silicon on the next weekend (I would be going to my cousin Man Utd's baby's 1st birthday celebration, which gives me ample time to dry the cement). What if the sink spoils and I need to replace it? Will I be able to remove CEMENT?

In the end, before I went to the birthday celebration, I went to the same hardware shop again, to buy a tube of silicon. The Uncle boss is another one, he asked me whether I needed more than 1 tube. WTF #2. Did he think I was going to caulk an entire toilet? Then he asked me if I needed anything else. I mulled a little, then said no, I don't think so. 
stuff i need for caulking
So armed with the following items, I attempted to replace the caulking. According to Mr Buff man, I needed  (in the following order): a scraper, alcohol (to wipe down residue dirt/germs/mold/bacteria and to make the sink bone dry),  detergent water in a spray bottle, masking tape and my middle finger. Ah yes, I need silicon.

Steps according to him:
(1) Scrape off the caulking with a scraper
(2) Wipe down the area with alcohol
(3) Place a strip of masking tape to gap the sink and keep the silicon in a constant bead. 
(4) Spray the detergent water, then run finger down the bead to press it down smoothly.
(5) Remove the tape.

I used my artist palette knife (no point spending money to buy a scraper right?) to dig at the caulking. After struggling for like 5 min, and with 1 hour to go before the birthday party, I decided to google on my phone.

Noob error # 1 - I need a hair dryer.

Hair dryer melts the silicon very well. Just apply the heat for 30-40s near the silicon and then scrape. Took me about 1 hour (I was late for the party).
applying hair dryer
Wiping the area down with alcohol was easy, but the next step was a killer. I  asked the uncle boss how to use the silicon. His words were: remove the cap, and squeeze out of the funnel. Guess what. When I tried that, I squeezed until I was going to blow up, nothing came out of the funnel. In the end, pop went the back of the tube. It was then I realized I was supposed to push the back inwards to squeeze the silicon from the front. 

Noob error #2 - I need a silicon gun. 

Well, Not everyone is as fit as that buff man. I nearly died trying to push the silicon along the tube, because my fingers are too stubby and short to push it past the middle of the tube. And struggling to push it out, I couldn't maintain a constant bead and the silicon came out in fits and farts. While I was struggling, it was drying.

In the end, I gave up, chucked out the funnel and applied the silicon on with my fingers, as if painting. Sigh.

Noob error #3 - Remove the tape immediately.
tape around sink. remember to remove immediately after applying silicon!
I ran my finger down the line, pushing whatever that went over onto the sink back down onto the gap for a constant seam. Since I applied the silicon free hand, I forgot I should remove the masking tape immediately and push with my fingers again. Instead I only realized the next morning (many hours later) that the silicon has solidified over the tape, making an irregular flap along the sink.

*silent scream*

Had to cut away the excess, and reapply another bit to make sure that the seam is perfectly adhered to the table top, and not flapping away.

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Because Gardening makes me wanna Dance! Thanx for visiting!!!

Because Gardening makes me wanna Dance! Thanx for visiting!!!