Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by Ernest Godia
The baseboards’ condition and appearance can significantly influence your home’s overall look and feel. Therefore, caulking worn baseboards and trim can be an excellent way to enhance your home’s curb appeal.
Caulking can also make routine cleaning and maintenance easier, prolonging the trim and baseboard’s service life.
In this guide, you’ll find a detailed review of the best caulk for trim and baseboards (eight products) to guide you in finding the most suitable one for your project.
But first things first, here is a look at the different types of caulks for trim and baseboards you are likely to find on the market.
Types of Caulks for Trim and Baseboards
Below are the different types of caulk for trim and baseboard.
Acrylic Latex Caulks
These are the least resilient and most affordable caulks. They are easy to use and clean with soap and water.
They also readily accept paint and resist the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
The main disadvantage of using these caulks is their limited flexibility. This means they are likely to crack when exposed to extreme temperature changes, requiring reapplication.
Therefore, they are mostly used for indoor applications with relatively consistent temperatures.
Elastomeric Caulk Sealants
These caulking products are highly flexible. This makes them perfect for sealing joints that move a lot. You can use them for both interior and exterior projects.
Like acrylic latex, they also have unique formulas that enable painting, although they are typically more durable.
Elastomeric caulk has great adhesion properties and is very simple to clean.
Silicone-Acrylic Latex Caulks
Silicone-infused acrylic latex caulks are the best caulking products for baseboards and trim. This is because the silicone in this caulk gives it superior flexibility compared to the other caulk types discussed above.
Silicon-acrylic latex caulk performs admirably both indoors and outdoors. You can use the caulk to fill huge gaps, and it will withstand significant joint movement without losing its seal quality.
The acrylic latex component makes the caulk paintable, even though silicone normally does not take paint very well. They offer the best of both worlds as a result.
Advanced Polymer Acrylic Latex Caulks
This baseboard caulk consists of acrylic latex and additional polymers. The polymers make it highly flexible hence you can use it to fill large gaps and expect it to withstand significant joint movement without getting damaged.
Best Caulk for Baseboards and Trim Reviews
Here is a detailed review of the best caulk for trim and baseboards. The section has different caulk types suitable for different projects.
Let’s dive right in.
1. Dap Alex Plus Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone – Best waterproof caulk for trim
Dap Alex Plus is a multi-purpose caulk that you can use on baseboards and trims.
The caulk is low odor, easy to use, and simple to clean with water. After application, it creates a durable seal that will not crack over time. This is thanks to the silicone component in this product that ensures that it remains flexible even after curing.
You can also paint over the caulk 30 minutes after application since its latex component allows it to take paint well. The seal will not shine through or discolor the paint.
The cured caulk is also resistant to water, mold, and mildew.
However, some customers have noted that the caulk cracks if applied too thin.
- Takes paint well and won’t discolor or shine through the paint
- Produces less noticeable odor
- Easy to use
- Resistant to water
- Resists mold and mildew growth
- Highly durable
- Cracks when applied too thin
2. GE Sealants & Adhesives Advanced Silicone Caulk – Best caulk for wood trim
The GE Sealants & Adhesives Advanced Silicone Caulk is the best caulk for trim that won’t crack when exposed to extreme temperature changes. This is because this product is made of 100% silicone, which guarantees both strong adhesion to surfaces and excellent flexibility even after curing.
The product is easy to apply on cracks and gaps and dries quickly. After thirty minutes of application, it creates a watertight seal, allowing you to use it during rainy seasons without worry.
This caulk’s waterproof properties also allow you to use it in areas where many caulk types will fail. This includes tubs, restrooms, sinks, and other moist places, including the outdoors.
After application, the manufacturer also guarantees up to 10-year mold-free surfaces.
The only downside to using this product is that it might be challenging to pierce, particularly for individuals without access to long, sharp tools at home.
- Good flexibility even after curing; hence it will not crack
- Excellent adhesion to surfaces
- Dries fast, allowing you to use it even during the rainy season
- It can be used in moist areas
- The manufacturer guarantees up to 10-year mold resistance
- It can be challenging to pierce
3. Red Devil Ultra 230 Premium Elastomeric Acrylic Latex Sealant – Most durable best caulk for baseboards
Red Devil 0770 Lifetime Ultra 230 Premium Elastomeric Acrylic Latex Sealant is a premium quality, multi-purpose sealant designed to last the lifetime of your home.
The caulk is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. It adheres to unpainted and painted wood, glass, masonry, brick, plaster, aluminum, tile, metal, and concrete.
Use it on baseboards, trim, door and window frames, countertops, sidings, subfloors, bathtubs, sinks, and vents.
It is available in seven colors that include tan, gray, brown, black, almond, and white. The acrylic component of this caulk also allows it to be paintable.
This sealant’s shortcomings include its long drying time and lack of a glossy sheen.
- Highly durable; can last the lifetime of your home
- Highly versatile; can be used on various surfaces made of different materials
- Available in multiple colors and can also be painted to match the color of the surrounding surfaces
- Easy to clean with soap and water
- Takes a long time to dry
- Not glossy
4. DAP Kwik Seal – Best caulk for crown molding seams
If you are looking for the best sealant for crown molding, DAP Kwik Seal is your best bet.
This product features the best waterproofing capabilities; hence you can rest assured it will protect your crown molding against water damage.
Its unique formula includes silicone to ensure it remains flexible even after curing. This prevents the seal from cracking due to extreme temperature changes or impact damage.
Even for beginners, the caulk is easy to use and can be cleaned easily with water. While the manufacturer indicates it dries quickly, users say it takes some time to dry.
However, this is worth the wait since the product not only resists water but also forms a mold- and mildew-resistant seal. The seal can also be painted to match the surrounding surfaces and blend with your interior decor.
The main disadvantage to using this product is that it is only suitable for interior use.
- Creates a seal that is resistant to water, mold, and mildew
- Remains flexible after curing
- Easy to use, even for beginners
- Available in multiple colors
- Best paintable interior caulk
- Only suitable for indoor use
5. Sashco Big Stretch Caulk – Best caulk for trim gaps and baseboards
If your baseboard is painted white, you might want a clear or white caulk for baseboards. The Sashco Big Stretch Caulk is the most recommended caulk for baseboards and is also available in clear and white colors.
More importantly, Sashco Big Stretch remains incredibly stretchy when dry, just as its name suggests. This stretchy quality makes it the best caulk for trim gaps and for patching up large holes in baseboards. The caulk can stretch up to 500 percent of its original size, thanks to its acrylic latex formula with plenty of added silicone.
This product is designed for interior and exterior use. Just as its name suggests, it cures to form a stretchy seal that will not crack when exposed to impact damage or extreme temperature changes.
Its flexibility and durability ensure that you don’t have to do repeated repairs that can be expensive and time-consuming.
The caulk is also easy to use, simple to clean with water, and takes paint well. Avoid using it in places frequently exposed to moisture and high foot traffic.
- Creates a highly durable and weatherproof seal
- Easy to use and clean with soap and water
- Takes paint well
- Not for use in places with high moisture levels
- Not suitable for use in high foot and car traffic areas
6. GE Max Shield Painter’s Caulk – Best painters caulk for trim
GE Max Shield Painters Caulk is a high-quality sealant suitable for oil- and latex-based paint projects outdoors and indoors.
This product creates a 100% watertight seal. The seal offers mold-free protection to prevent the growth of molds and mildew responsible for causing stains.
It can stretch up to 600% and allows 25% joint movement. Use it to fill gaps up to 3 inches wide on your trim, doors, windows, and molding.
The paint-friendly caulk will create a durable seal that resists chalking, shrinking, crumbling, and cracking in all seasons.
The sealant is also easy to use because it guns out easily and works with most typical building materials.
- Easy to paint with oil- and latex-based paint
- 100% waterproof
- Creates a highly durable seal that is resistant to mold and mildew
- Easy to use
- Adheres to most materials
- Best caulk for trim gaps that are up to 3 inches wide
- Long drying time
7. Flex Shot Rubber Adhesive Sealant Caulk – Best caulk for kitchen and bathroom baseboards
Flex Shot Rubber Adhesive Sealant Caulk is an easy-to-use sealant that does not require you to have a caulk gun. The product comes with an extension tube that makes it easy to reach those hard-to-reach areas of your projects.
The caulk is also highly versatile and will stick to almost any surface, so you shouldn’t worry much about the materials used to make your trims and baseboards.
When adequately cured, the sealant retains its flexibility, filling large gaps and remaining firmly in place even with some joint movement.
The sealant is available in multiple colors to match your baseboard and trim color. If the color you want is unavailable, that shouldn’t worry you, as this caulk accepts paint well.
- Easy-to-use caulk that does not need a caulk gun
- Highly versatile caulk; it can adhere to almost any surface
- Available in several colors and still takes paint well
- Remains flexible even after curing
- Produce an unpleasant odor
8. Polyseamseal White All-Purpose Adhesive Caulk – Best Caulk for interior trim
Polyseamseal 2139006 White All-Purpose Adhesive Caulk adheres to virtually any surface. It will stick to wood, metal, plastics, concrete, and plaster.
Use it on your baseboards in the kitchen, sitting room, bathroom, and any other place in your house.
This water-based product produces a less noticeable odor and is easy to apply. After application, it becomes paintable in just two hours. It cures fully after 24 hours, forming a highly flexible and watertight seal.
The cost of this seal is also reasonable. The only drawback to using it is that it is unclear whether you can use the product outdoors.
- Highly versatile; adheres to metals, plastics, concrete, plaster, and wood
- Paintable after two hours of application
- Low odor
- Forms a flexible and watertight seal after curing
- Easy to apply
- Reasonably priced
- The manufacturer does not explain if it can be used outside.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Caulk For Trim And Baseboards
Below are the factors you should consider to ensure that you buy the best caulk for trim and baseboards:
A) Project Type
Your specific project greatly determines the type of caulk you need.
An advanced polymer acrylic latex caulk will be the best option if your baseboards and trims have large gaps. It will perform a fantastic job creating a seal that resists changes in gap size.
These sealants are also weatherproof, making them the best exterior caulk for wood. For interior baseboards and trim jobs, you can always use a silicone-acrylic latex caulk as an alternative.
This caulk type is as flexible as the advanced polymer caulk but cheaper. However, you must always avoid using it in areas exposed to excessive moisture, such as the bathrooms. We advise you to stick to the advanced polymer acrylic latex caulks or use other waterproof sealants in such areas.
If you are working on a tight budget, acrylic latex caulk may be your only option. However, only use this caul type to seal small gaps and joints with little movement.
This is because the caulk is not sufficiently flexible and will crack under pressure or due to movement.
B) Size of the Gap to Fill
Different sealants are suitable for different gap sizes. Thus when choosing the best caulk for your trim and baseboards, it is vital to ensure that it is rated for the gap you wish to fill.
For the smaller gaps, any sealant can be used. However, when it comes to bigger gaps, it is best to use advanced polymer acrylic latex caulks instead of elastomeric caulk sealants or acrylic latex caulk.
C) Caulk Color
Caulking comes in different colors, including clear, white, gray, black, and more. The best caulk color will always depend on the color of your trim or baseboard and the overall design of your home.
D) Ability to Paint Over the Caulking
As already discussed, most caulk types are available in multiple colors.
However, there are some instances you might not get the caulk color that matches your project. In such a case, it is best to choose a paintable sealant to prevent the mended section of your baseboard or trim from sticking out.
This entails avoiding caulks made entirely of silicone. Although they offer excellent flexibility, these cannot be painted.
E) The Product’s Drying Time
If you have limited time to complete your project, caulk drying time is an important consideration. This is especially important if you plan to paint the caulking.
While some sealants take as little as half an hour to dry and become paint-ready in one to two hours, others may require up to 48 hours.
Also, check the cure time if your project is outdoors. This is because you do not want your new seal exposed to harsh conditions, such as rain, before curing, as that could damage it and decrease its durability.
This is a measure of how long the sealant will hold up.
A more resilient sealant will result in a more long-lasting seal, while a less resilient one will require frequent repairs.
Manufacturers frequently give their products a durability rating, and if the sealant doesn’t live up to that rating, you should be able to get a refund.
The rating should serve as a good indicator that the item will probably last longer, even though the refund might be impossible to obtain if the product fails to live up to the rating.
G) The Flexibility of the Caulk
The flexibility of the sealant is a significant factor to consider if you are planning to caulk exterior trim. With the rapid outdoor changes in temperature, a flexible caulk will contract or expand instead of cracking.
Flexibility is also vital if you plan to fill gaps and joints that experience movements.
The advanced polymer acrylic latex caulks, elastomeric caulk, and silicone-acrylic latex caulks are all flexible and will not break due to joint movements or exposure to extreme temperatures.
H) The Caulk’s Water Resistance
A caulk’s water resistance property is essential to consider if you are filling gaps on your exterior trim or in interior areas of your house that are frequently exposed to moisture, such as the bathrooms. For these areas, you must get a sealant that is 100% waterproof.
A completely waterproof product could cost more than one that is only water-resistant. Because of that, it would be ideal to use waterproof caulk only if the project requires it.
You can always get away with using less expensive sealants that don’t have waterproofing qualities but still do the job for any interior trim or baseboards that aren’t frequently exposed to water.
I) Mold resistance
Mildew and mold growth is common in areas occasionally exposed to moisture. Trims and baseboards in places such as the bathrooms and exterior trims are frequently exposed to water.
To be safe, you must choose a mold-resistant caulk to fill gaps in such trims and baseboards.
J) Size of a Caulk Tube
Caulks are often sold in large cartridge tubes and small squeeze tubes. If you intend to fill a small gap on your baseboard or trim, purchasing the small squeeze tube is advisable.
On the other hand, when the project calls for filling several cracks, gaps, or sizable holes in the baseboard, a larger tube comes in handy.
This may seem obvious, but you could be tempted to purchase several tiny squeeze tubes to complete a large project. Unfortunately, this strategy is not the best since it costs more money.
Getting bulky products is frequently a good idea for bigger jobs. You pay less for a greater quantity of the product this way. However, there are certain exceptions to the rule.
For example, a smaller squeeze tube might be preferable if the baseboard or trim you wish to fix is situated in a difficult-to-reach location.
Why Caulking Baseboards is Important
Caulking baseboards may not be the most glamorous home improvement task, but it’s a crucial one for maintaining the aesthetics, energy efficiency, and overall durability of your home. Here is a look at the benefits of caulking baseboards in detail.
Caulking can improve the aesthetics of your home
Baseboards are the finishing touch to your floors and walls. They provide a seamless transition between different surfaces, creating a polished and complete look. However, over time, gaps and cracks can develop between the baseboards and the wall or floor. These imperfections not only detract from the overall appearance of your home but also allow dust and debris to accumulate, making your living space look unkempt.
Caulking helps create a seamless and finished appearance in your home. It fills gaps and cracks between the baseboards and the wall, giving your space a cleaner and more polished look.
Enhanced Energy Efficiency
Caulking baseboards can significantly impact the energy efficiency of your home. Those tiny gaps and cracks may seem inconsequential, but they can allow drafts to seep in and conditioned air to escape. This inefficiency can lead to higher energy bills as your heating and cooling systems work harder to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
By properly sealing these gaps with caulk, you can prevent energy wastage and save on your utility bills.
Protection Against Moisture
Moisture is the enemy of any home. Water damage can lead to costly repairs and health hazards. When baseboards are not properly sealed, they become vulnerable to moisture infiltration. Whether it’s a minor spill, a plumbing leak, or high humidity, moisture can seep into the gaps and cause the baseboards to warp, swell, or even rot over time.
Caulking acts as a barrier, protecting your baseboards from potential water damage and preserving their integrity.
Caulking baseboards is an investment in the longevity of your home. Properly sealed baseboards are less prone to wear and tear. They can withstand the daily rigors of cleaning, vacuuming, and foot traffic without developing unsightly gaps or becoming loose. By ensuring the stability of your baseboards, you contribute to the overall durability of your home’s interior.
Improved Indoor Air Quality
Dust and allergens often find their way into the gaps between baseboards and walls. These hidden spaces become reservoirs of airborne particles that can affect your indoor air quality.
Allergies and respiratory issues can be aggravated in such environments. Caulking baseboards eliminates these hiding spots, promoting a healthier living space for you and your family.
Ease of Maintenance
Caulked baseboards are easier to clean and maintain. Unlike baseboards with gaps and cracks, which tend to collect dirt and debris, smooth, caulked surfaces can be wiped clean effortlessly. This not only saves you time but also ensures that your home always looks its best.
Increased Property Value
If you’re considering selling your home in the future, well-maintained baseboards can make a significant difference in your property’s value. Potential buyers are more likely to be impressed by a home with meticulous attention to detail.
Caulking baseboards demonstrates that you’ve taken good care of your home, which can translate into a higher resale value.
How to Caulk Baseboards and Trims
Now that you know the best caulk for baseboards and trim on the market, it is best to know how best to use one. This section walks you through the process of caulking your trims and baseboards step by step.
- Caulking gun
- A damp sponge or cloth
- Liquid caulk remover
- Cleaning supplies
- Vacuum or broom
Procedure for caulking trims and baseboards
Here is how to caulk baseboards in five easy steps.
Step 1: Clean the section of the baseboard or trim you wish to caulk
Before applying caulk, the surfaces it will be in contact with should be free of dust and debris. This is because dust, old caulk, and other contaminants interfere with adhesion, lowering its ability to maintain a strong seal.
Use soap and water to clean your trims, baseboards, walls, or floor. A diluted vinegar solution can also be used.
Use a liquid caulk remover or putty knife to remove any old caulk.
Before continuing, wait until the baseboard or trim and wall surfaces are totally dry.
Step 2: Load the caulking gun
Caulking guns hold the sealant tubes and control the flow of the caulk. To install the sealant tube on the caulking gun, follow the instructions that the caulking gun’s manufacturer has provided on the label.
Next, gently cut the tube’s tip at a 45-degree angle with a utility knife. Cut off the tube tip by ⅛ to ¼ of an inch.
Step 3: Practice
If it is your fast time to caulk, it is advisable to practice your sealant application skills on an old baseboard or piece of paper. Hold the caulking gun at a 45-degree angle and squeeze its trigger gently to release the caulk.
With the gun’s trigger engaged, run the tip of the sealant tube along the length of the baseboard/paper while distributing a uniform sealant thickness along the line.
Continue practicing until your caulk lines appear even from the beginning to the end.
Step 4: Caulk your baseboard/trim
Once you feel confident using a caulking gun, you can caulk your trim/baseboard. Apply the sealant on the gap between the trim/baseboard and the wall/floor. Apply the sealant over a short length each time, like 30 inches.
Step 5: Smooth the bead line
You should smoothen your bead line before the sealant dries. You can do this by running your index finger along the sealant. Once done, use a wet cloth or sponge to wipe off the excess sealant on the baseboard/trim, wall, and your hands.
Repeat the steps above until you are done caulking your baseboard/trim.
What caulk to use for trim?
Acrylic latex caulk is the best type to use for trim. This caulking type is ideal for multiple projects, including windows, interior doors, and trim projects. It excels at filling cracks in trim and small holes in wood paneling and drywall.
Best Caulk for Trim and Baseboards: FAQs
What is the best caulking for trim?
The best caulk for trim is silicone-latex hybrid or silicone caulk. These two caulk types are especially suitable for the exterior trim since they won’t crack due to impact damage or changes in temperature, thanks to their incredible flexibility.
When to use clear or white caulking for baseboards?
You can use clear caulk on your baseboard if you do not plan on painting the caulk. On the other hand, if your baseboards are white or you plan on painting the caulk, it is better to use white caulk.
What is the best caulk for filling cracks?
Acrylic latex caulk is the most commonly used caulk to fill small cracks. It is cheap and takes paint well. However, this sealant is less flexible, so it will crack when exposed to impact damage or extreme temperature changes.
Avoid using acrylic latex caulk unless you are filling a small crack inside your house that experiences no movement. Instead, go for the other types of caulk.
What type of caulk for baseboards?
There are different types of caulks that you can use on a baseboard. However, the most recommended type is the acrylic-latex caulk with added silicone. This type of caulk adheres well to MDF, wood, and composite baseboards and offers excellent flexibility to prevent cracking.
What color caulk should I use for baseboards?
Many people use white caulk because it creates a clean and appealing contrast. However, you should not be limited to using this color alone. You can also choose a caulk color that matches that of your baseboards or adds to the overall appeal of your home.
Can I paint over caulk?
Whether you can paint over caulk will depend on the type of caulk you have. If you are using silicone caulk, painting over it will not be possible. But painting is possible with acrylic latex caulk, elastomeric caulk sealants, silicone-acrylic caulks, and advanced polymer acrylic latex caulks.
How often should I caulk my baseboards?
It’s a good practice to inspect your baseboards annually and re-caulk them as needed. High-traffic areas may require more frequent maintenance.
Can I use any type of caulk for baseboards?
It’s recommended to use a paintable latex caulk for baseboards, as it provides flexibility and is easy to work with.
Is caulking baseboards a DIY project?
Yes, caulking baseboards is a relatively simple DIY project that can be done with basic tools and materials.
Can I caulk over old caulk?
It’s best to remove old caulk before applying new caulk for the best adhesion and sealing results.
5. Does caulking baseboards eliminate the need for painting?
While caulking improves the appearance of baseboards, it’s still advisable to paint them for a complete and finished look.
Best Caulk for Trim and Baseboards: Final Take
Caulking your baseboards and trim should be top on your home maintenance activities if you want to keep it functionally and aesthetically appealing. However, picking the best caulk for trim and baseboards is not always easy.
This guide reviews the eight best caulks you can use on your home trims and baseboards. It also offers some useful tips for selecting the best baseboard and trim caulk.
We hope this information will help make your next baseboard and trim caulking project successful.