How to Caulk Like a Pro

How to Caulk Like a Pro

You’ve probably tried caulking before and know that it can be pretty tough to get good results. Caulking is messy, it sticks to your fingers and your clothes and it’s easy to make things look pretty bad. After years of having to caulk everything from tubs to sinks to trim, I’ve finally come across a handful of tips that make all the difference. Let’s dig in.

1 – Choosing the Right Caulk or Sealant for the Job

The first thing we need to take a look at is choosing the right caulk or sealant for the job that you’re doing. When you’re at the hardware store, you’ll see dozens and dozens of different types of caulks and sealants. It really comes down to two main categories. The first is latex-based sealants like Big Stretch. Now like it shows here, you can use this to caulk and seal your windows, your doors, or your siding, internal or external; but I love to use it on trim.

Products from this article:

Big Stretch Caulk
Big Stretch Caulk

When you’re working around areas that have excessive moisture, you’re going to want to use a silicone or silicone alternative like Lexel. This will keep the mildew and moisture away.

silicone caulk
Silicone Caulk

2 – Use a Dripless Caulking Gun


Dripless Caulk Gun
Dripless Caulk Gun

The next tip to get professional results is to get a dripless gun. Here’s why. When you’re using standard gun and you release the handle, the pressure stays on, it continues to squeeze the caulking out of the tube. This doesn’t put you in control, whereas with a dripless gun, when you release the trigger, it backs off just a little bit making it so that material only comes out when you want it to.

3 – Cutting the Tip Correctly

how to cut a caulk tube
How to cut a caulk tube

Our next tip is making the right cut for the gap. The size of the cut that you make in the opening of the tube should depend on the width of the gap that you’re trying to seal. I recommend using a utility knife or a sharp blade to get a nice, sharp and smooth tip. If the opening is too small, cut it again. Just about every caulking gun I’ve seen comes with a tip cutter or spout cutter in the handle. You just squeeze the trigger and you can use it to cut off the tip of the caulking tube.

cut caulking tube with spout cutter
Cut a caulking tube with spout cutter

This is convenient, but you’re not going to get as clean or sharp of an edge as you would using a utility knife. One method for cutting the tip that I prefer is to cut the tip at an angle. The reason I like this method because every time you’re doing some caulking, you’re holding the gun at an angle.

cut caulk tube at an angle
Cut caulk tube at an angle

This prevents it from stuttering and helps you get a nice smooth bead. Take a sharpie and mark the top of the angle. You can always see which direction you’re traveling in.

4 – Smooth the Bead With Your Finger

The final tip is to always use your finger to do the smoothing of the bead when you’re caulking. There are lots of different tools available. The problem is they get nicks and cracks in them, and that transfers directly to the work that you’re doing.

dont use tools to smooth caulk
Don’t use tools to smooth caulking and sealants

I’ve got a sample that I’ve set up and I run the tool along it, and there’s too much stuff left over, it’s pulling the caulking off, and leaves a jagged edge. If I dip my finger in warm water, and smooth it over the bead, it’s going to leave a nice, smooth result.

Tooling caulking with tool vs finger
Tooling caulking with tool vs finger

You can really see the difference between using a tool, and using your finger that’s been dipped in water. The goal is to smooth out what’s there- not to remove any excess.

Results of tool vs finger
Results of tool vs finger

Knowing how much material to use can be difficult. If you use too little, there won’t be enough to fill the gap, and it might pull to one side or the other as things settle. If you use too much, you’re going to ruin the contour of the trim or the two pieces that you’re joining together. Ideally, you want to end up somewhere in the middle, like you see in this diagram.

How much caulk should I apply?
How much caulk should I apply?

5 – Use Painters Tape to Get a Perfect Edge When Caulking

A bonus tip, when you’re using silicone based caulks or sealants, you can use painters tape to get a nice clean line. On this sink application, I’m applying painter’s tape about a quarter inch on the sink and on the counter itself.

Use painters tape for a perfect edge when caulking
Use painters tape for a perfect edge when caulking

For this particular application, I’m using a pretty thick bead of white Lexel. When using silicone or rubberized caulking, be sure to wet your finger in SOAPY water and run it across while the tape is still on. Silicones and silicone alternatives like Lexel are more tacky than latex-based caulks so the soap in the water helps to get a smooth finish when you drag your finger across it. As soon as I’m done with that, I can remove the tape and run my finger across one more time to smooth it all out.

Smooth out with finger while tape is on, and again after
Smooth out with finger while tape is on, and again after

Now that we’ve run through all the steps, let’s put them all together. Start by making the cut on the tip of  the tube, then use the needle that’s on the side of the gun to perforate the seal inside. Load the tube into the dripless gun, then turn the notch rod right side up. Give it a few squeezes, until you see some of the material coming out of the tip. I’d recommend trying to not caulk too large of a section at a time – probably about 3 or 4 feet. If we try to do too large of a section at a time, the material can get tacky, making it hard to smooth out. Dip your finger in warm water, and smooth it right out.

How to Caulk Like a Pro
How to Caulk Like a Pro


Smoothing out with finger
Smoothing out with finger

That’s it! Hopefully you find these tips helpful and feel a bit less suicidal next time you have to do some caulking. It’s really not too bad and can be super gratifying when you see it come out nicely. I highly encourage you to check out my video on YouTube that shows the entire process. Do you have any tips for caulking? Leave a comment and share so we can all learn a thing or two.

How to Caulk Like a Pro Video on YouTube
How to Caulk Like a Pro Video on YouTube

Products from this article:

How to Caulk Like a Pro
How to Caulk Like a Pro

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Sascho's Go Big or Go Back Challenge

How to Earn Passive Income / Money on YouTube

How to Earn Passive Income Money on YouTube

YouTube. It’s a behemoth to be reckoned with. It has become as common-place in our everyday lives as Google, the interwebs and the TV. You’ve heard the mind-blowing statistics, right? “There are over a billion users!” and “Over 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute!” and “YouTube gets billions of views every day!”, and many more. There’s no denying that YouTube is a media giant and shows no signs of slowing down.

For some, however, YouTube is way more than a fun place to waste some time and watch insanely wealthy 25-year-old Swedish gamers play every video game on the planet. Most of those sleep-inducing gamers are using YouTube as a regular source of income and not just any income, but passive income! I’m not a gamer and I don’t have a soothing accented voice to narrate the opening of every children’s toy on Earth, but I do make YouTube videos. And it pays. Last month, for example, I earned over $700 on YouTube and did literally nothing during that month to earn it. It’s all from videos I made in the past (please subscribe!). Let’s talk about what goes into making moolah on YouTube.


Like most content-oriented websites, YouTube only makes money if it gets views and clicks. In short, when you make a video that gets views and clicks, YouTube earns money and gives you a cut.

You’ve seen the ads all over YouTube, right? They come in the form of images, commercials and banner overlays, like these:

YouTube Ads Mean Passive Income for You
Advertisers pay to have those ads in front of your video-meandering eyes. Let’s say, for example, that Acme Company (you know, the guys from the Road Runner cartoons) pays Google/YouTube $1 every time somebody clicks on their ad. When a person clicks on the ad near/on one of your videos (as long as you’ve monetized your video), Google gives you 55¢ (55% of the commission). With any luck, Acme sells a pair of rocket-powered roller skates.

The rules for the pre-video commercials may vary (paid for watching the whole commercial vs paid for clicking on the commercial) but the idea is the same. Viewers click on an ad that shows on/around your video and you make money. If you can get people to watch your videos and, more importantly, to generate the clicks, you’ll start earning.


It depends. Let’s look at a real-life example. In the first six months of 2015, I had1,037,664 views on all of my videos combined. It’s important to note that YouTube doesn’t show how many clicks I had – just views. In that time, I earned $3,322.12from YouTube. If you break that down, it means I’m getting about $3.30 per 1000 views. That’s just the average, though. How much I make depends on several factors.

Payout Factors

  • How likely are people to click on the ads around your video?
  • How much are advertisers paying for each click?
  • Are viewers even seeing ads when watching your video? (Facebook vs YouTube)
  • How many viewers do you have?
  • Subscriber count

Here’s a side by side comparison of two of my videos that have very different earnings even though they both got a decent amount of views. The columns are:Video – Views – Minutes Watched – Earnings.

How much will I earn on YouTube?

Wait – what? The first video earned $75 but had 133k views while the second earned $300 with only 86k views!? Why are they so different? Simple. The Baby Birds Founds in Grass – Rescued video became popular because of Facebook. YouTube’s analytics are pretty handy and showed me that the source of most of the views was from Facebook Shares. Facebook is awesome for getting views on the video but when it’s shared on Facebook, guess how many YouTube ads there are for people to click on? That’s right. None.

The How to Fix / Repair the Hook Timing on a Sewing Machine video received nearly all of its views on YouTube, where all of the ads are present. It also may have had product-related ads that were more likely to be clicked on.

Let’s do a bit more math and see what the earnings per 1,000 views is on these two videos.

Baby Birds: $75 earnings / 133 (133k views) =  $0.56 per 1,000 views

Sewing Machine: $300 earnings / 86 (86,000 views) = $3.48 per 1,000 views

You can see that having a viral video that gets shared off of YouTube is much less likely to earn you money when compared to a video that is primarily watched onYouTube. While there are some factors that are beyond your control, the type of video and its intended audience play key roles in revenues. If you create videos that are less of a quick-watch viral type, and more of an informative or engaging type video, then they’ll likely be watched on YouTube and, therefore, earn you some money. Think about the kinds of videos you watch via social media or via third-party websites as opposed to those you watch on


Everyone has something to share. A talent, a story, a sense of humor or a skill. Heck, the lack of these things has not stopped some people from earning boat loads on YouTube. My advice in this area is simple: Record what interests you. For me, I like DIY stuff and home improvement projects, so that’s what most of my videos are about. If I’m doing something that I think would be helpful or informative to others, I record it. I have a friend that makes science videos and another friend that makes videos about his twin toddlers. They’ve both done well on YouTube. If you think about the fact that “every day people watch HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF HOURS” [emphasis added] on YouTube, there’re bound to be people out there that want to watch what you create.

Need some inspiration? Just do some searches on YouTube for things you like and see what the aut0-suggestion is. See how many results each search has and try to identify niches that need filling. So that’s the what; now let’s talk about the how.



Making videos absolutely does not have to be a major production. Start simple. My brother-in-law called me up the other day because he was going to install one of those sinks that sits on the counter (vessel sinks, apparently) and thought he’d make a video about it because the one he watched was kind of terrible. I encouraged him to do the following:

  1. Use the camera you have. If your best video camera is your smart phone, use your smart phone. If you have a decent camcorder, use it. If you’re fortunate enough to have a DSLR that shoots video, use that. It doesn’t matter all that much so long as you get started. If you like it, you can get a nicer camera.
  2. Use some simple video editing software. I made all of my original videos with iMovie, which is great for most people’s needs. Windows Movie Maker will work just great too. Even without a computer, you can shoot and edit video right on your phone. There are lots of apps for Android, iOS and other OSes that allow you to edit video on your phone, and you can even upload directly from your phone to YouTube. If you simply cannot get your hands on an editor, you can always just upload raw video from your phone to YouTube.
  3. Upload it. Once your video is ready, you can go to the YouTube upload page to put it on the web. If you’re uploading from iMovie, the YouTube mobile app or other enabled programs/apps, you may be able to upload directly within the app as long as you’re signed in.
  4. Monetize it. You won’t make a penny if you don’t monetize your video. YouTube’s interface changes all the time but here’s the gist of it:
    1. Go to the account settings page
    2. Look for the ‘Monetization’ tab and click on it
    3. Click ‘Enable My Account’ and follow the steps listed there. There’s an option to set all of your videos to default to monetized, which I’d recommend enabling.
    4. Once your video is monetized, you should see the happy green dollar sign in the video manager, like so:
      Monetize YouTube Videos


OK, so you have grand plans of world domination via YouTube. Awesome. Before you get too excited, however, consider the following.

  • Plan before you act. Think about what your channel should be named and whether you should create a new channel for your new  idea. I regret not having done this so my personal videos are mixed in with my public videos.
  • Decide what kinds of videos you’ll likely be uploading. If you have a theme and can stick to it, it’ll keep your channel’s subscribers happier. Have very disparate ideas? No problem – just create more than one channel.
  • Think about how you’ll make money and if you’ll want to leave time to talk about requesting subscribers/donations/support at the end of each video. Subscribers are gold on YouTube. Ask people to subscribe and make it easy for them to do so. Also, show them related videos so they’ll want to keep clicking. Remember: more clicks = more money.
  • Interact! If you’re getting comments, be a part of the conversation. People who interact with their viewers are much more likely to have return viewers and subscribers.
  • Assume every video will be wildly successful. If I had known when I made my first how-to video that it would get hundreds of thousands of views, I would have done things differently. Think about what information you’d like (or not like) in your video as well as the items mentioned above.
  • Have fun! If you’re not having fun making the videos, do something you like. Even if you don’t love editing or other aspects, at least have fun doing what you love.
  • Be patient. Don’t expect a million views the first day. Also, don’t expect a pay check immediately. YouTube only transfers money to your bank account when you have earned $100 or more. For reference, here’s a look at my YouTube lifetime earnings. It took a while before anything happened, but once it did, it took off nicely. Don’t mind the decline at the end – it’s because I’m showing a monthly view and we’re only 9 days into the current month.
    My YouTube Earnings

YouTube is an amazing resource for earning passive income. Every day I count my self extremely blessed to be able to make money from it. I’m a bit obsessive about checking how much money I made two days ago (YouTube’s earnings reports are always at least two days behind) and I love calculating my projected monthly earnings based on what I’ve earned so far in a given month. It’s like my personal stock market, except it never crashes.

Do you have questions? Leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help. Thanks for reading!

How to Hide TV Wires for $10

How to Hide Your TV Wires
How to Hide Your TV Wires
How to hide your wall mounted TV wires

Mounting your TV to your wall makes it look great, frees up space and gives you a great view. The wires that hang down, however, look pretty ghetto. Here’s an explanation of how to hide those wires in the walls for only $10.

Caveat 1: This installation assumes you have mostly hollow walls behind and underneath your television. If you’re mounting the TV on an exterior wall, a wall with a fire block, a brick wall or other types of walls that present challenges, extra work will be required.

Caveat 2: In many areas, local code requires that high voltage wiring be installed, not fished through the wall. A separate electrical outlet should be installed behind the TV. To learn how to do this, see my video on adding an electrical outlet for your wall mounted TV.

OK, with that out of the way, let’s get started.

Tools Required: For this job, all you’ll need is

  1. A tape measure
  2. Utility knife (or drywall jab saw)
  3. Stud Finder
  4. Screwdriver
  5. (2) Low Voltage Recessed Cable Plates (I used these, but these are even less expensive)

Step 1: Behind your TV, mark the general area where you’d like the cables to come out of/go into the wall and then the lower location of the receiving receptacle. Keep in mind that the top receptacle should be (if possible) directly above where you’ll be putting the lower receptacle. The lower receptacle should be behind your entertainment center or a/v equipment.

How to Hide Your TV Wires

Step 2: Using the stud finder, check for interferences that may cause difficulty. The easiest method is to place both plates where there are no studs or fire blocks between them.

How to Hide Your TV Wires

Step 3: Use the provided template for the receptacles and draw out the two cuts that you’ll be making.

Step 4: Cut out the holes using the utility knife or jab saw.

How to Hide Your TV Wires

Step 5: Place the upper receptacle in the hole and screw it in the wall so that the tabs flip out and grab the drywall. Make sure they’re on there snug but don’t over tighten. Once in place, feed all appropriate wires from the top down to the lower hole and pull them through the hole.

How to Hide Your TV Wires

Step 6: Feed lower wires through the receptacle, then install lower receptacle in the wall as above. Connect your wires on top and bottom and you’re good to go!

Ready to see the whole thing in action? Check out my video to watch the whole process.

If you have any questions, just leave a comment below. Here are the suggested products from Amazon for this project.

How to Resize a Watch or Adjust a Metal Watch Band

how to resize a watch

Project Time: 20 Minutes • Project Cost: $0-7USD • Project Difficulty: Easy

How to resize a watch

Watch band too big? Here are two ways to get that sweet new time piece fitting perfectly in no time.

Method 1: The Ghetto-licious Way (It’s how we do)

The first method uses items you have around the house and just takes a few minutes.

You’ll Need:

  • Hammer
  • Push Pin
  • Needle Nose Pliers (could be regular pliers, or even tweezers possibly)
  • Scrap wood (a surface to thwack on [yes, that’s the technical term])

Step 1: Put the watch on and determine how many (and which) links you’ll want to remove. You might want to mark the links with some tape so you don’t get them mixed up. Remember to keep things centered; if you need to remove four links, take two from either side.

how to resize a watch - line up the band

Step 2: Place the watch on the wooden block or scrap so that the link that you want to remove is either over a hole in the block or hanging just off the edge.

how to resize a watch - thwack the pushpin

Step 3: Line the push pin up with the first pin that you’ll be removing, then give it a good thwack. You may need to hit it a couple of times but the goal is to get it to peek out the other side, enough that you can get a hold of it with the pliers/tweezers.

how to resize a watch - remove the pinStep 4: On the other side, pull the pin all the way out. Put the pin somewhere safe where you won’t lose it.

Step 5: Take out all of the links you need to.

how to resize a watch - the resized watchStep 6: Now for the glorious finish! Line the trimmer watch band back up and put the pins in part way until you can get them to line up perfectly. A couple more thwacks with the  hammer and you’re good to go! Check both sides to make sure the pins are flush in the band. Pokey pins snag on everything.

If you are feeling wealthy and have a few days’ notice before you have to adjust your new watch, check out method #2.

Method 2: The ‘Tim “The Toolman” Taylor’ Way

If you’re not comfortable thwacking push-pins, it’s time to buy a nice little Watch Link Remover Tool (about $6 USD) or even a Watch Repair Kit (about $7 USD).  I’m linking to ones that are available for Amazon Prime because some of the really cheap ones take weeks to arrive.

Step 1: Refer to Step 1 above.

how to resize a watch with a link removal tool - line up the pinStep 2: Put the watch band in the remover tool and line the pin up with the knockout pin.

how to resize a watch with a link removal tool - push the pin outStep 3: Twist the handle to push the pins out, then pull them out the other side, freeing the links. Save those links – you might need them again after the holidays.

Step 4: Repeat for the other links you want to remove.

how to resize a watch with a link removal tool - reassemblyStep 5: After lining the watch back up, sans removed links, put the pins back in via the same method, just in reverse.

And you’re done! Nice job, you. You deserve a pat on the back. Wear that watch proudly because you made it fit. The video below shows the whole process, using both methods. I hope this was helpful and please feel free to comment, like, subscribe and share.