Last Updated on September 15, 2023 by Ernest Godia
Caulk is a go-to solution for fixing holes in countless places around the home. This flexible material can seal gaps, cracks, and holes in molding, siding, doors, windows, and more, preventing air leaks that could wreak havoc on your energy bills.
Caulking can also address water and moisture leaks that could damage the wood around your home, putting the structural integrity of your property at risk.
Like any product for treating wood, caulking is available in different formulations. You need the best exterior caulk for wood to seal the holey seams in your home from the outside.
This article reviews twelve products and provides a detailed guide on choosing the best exterior caulk for wood to help you keep your home energy efficient and waterproof.
What is Exterior Caulk for Wood?
Exterior caulk is a thick, viscous solution applied using a caulking gun to seal joints and cracks on a home’s exterior surfaces. The solution can also enhance the appearance of the exterior surface.
The most important consideration when selecting the best exterior caulk is the material on which you intend to use it. This includes wood, concrete, plastics, metal, or glass.
Other factors to consider are the area that requires sealing, the durability of the caulk, its color, and whether it is paintable. Most importantly, the exterior caulk should be high quality to offer optimal protection to the exterior surfaces.
Types of Exterior Caulk for Wood
There are different types of exterior caulk for wood based on the substance used to make them. Each of the types has its advantages and disadvantages, as explained below:
1) Exterior Latex Caulk for Wood
This is the most budget-friendly and easy-to-use exterior caulk for wood. However, the product is only suitable for areas that receive consistent temperatures all year round. This is because, after curing, exterior latex caulk for wood does not expand or contract with the material around it.
Also, while painting on this type of caulk is possible, the paint might peel during extreme temperature changes.
Exterior latex caulk for wood is the least durable type of exterior caulk for wood and therefore requires frequent replacement to remain effective.
2) Exterior Acrylic Latex Caulk for Wood
This exterior caulk for wood is also cost-effective and easy to use but more long-lasting than the exterior latex caulk. It is more water resistant, offering a good seal against moisture that protects your exterior wood.
However, the caulk is only appropriate for use in locations with consistent temperatures, just like latex caulk. You can also paint it, but in extreme temperature changes, the paint will peel off.
This exterior caulk is suitable for filling minor cracks and gaps in wooden trims. You can also use it to fill joints between the wood pieces you plan to paint.
Avoid using the caulk in moist areas unless the sealed wood parts are painted. Even though it has high water resistance, prolonged contact with moisture may shorten its lifespan.
3) Exterior Silicone Caulk for Wood
Many people prefer exterior silicone caulk because of its flexibility. Even after it fully dries, it is still malleable and can expand and contract in response to temperature changes. This property makes the caulk exceptionally durable and water resistant.
This kind of exterior caulk often won’t take paint well, so many manufacturers provide a variety of color options to choose from.
Another downside of silicone caulk is that it is more challenging to use than acrylic latex or latex caulk. Therefore, you should always spare some time and test out its flow before applying the first bead.
Additionally, the caulk may be pretty hard to remove after application.
4) Exterior Polyurethane Caulk for Wood
This type of exterior caulk offers superior resistance to ultraviolet rays. This ensures that you won’t have to see unsightly fading over time on what was previously a clear bead of caulk.
The caulk is also flexible, like the silicone caulk, so it can absorb and resist impact damage and expand and contract in response to changes in temperature.
You can paint this exterior polyurethane caulk to make your home look beautiful since the caulk takes paint well.
The drawback to using this caulk is that it is very thick and could be challenging to use for DIYers without prior caulking gun experience. It is also more costly than other types of exterior caulk.
5) Exterior butyl rubber caulk for Wood
This type of exterior caulk is suitable for commercial and industrial spaces. This is primarily because of its UV resistance characteristic, which helps shield outdoor spaces from direct sunlight exposure.
Also, the considerable flexibility of this exterior caulk makes it an ideal choice for sealing spaces with high moisture exposure and movement activities.
The caulk can be used in a wide range of temperatures. The only drawback to using it is the inability to remove it after application easily.
Best Exterior Caulk for Wood Reviews
Choosing the right exterior caulk for wood is vital to save time and achieve outstanding results. Below are the twelve best exterior caulking solutions for wood to consider:
1. Gorilla 100 Percent Silicone Sealant Caulk – Best Overall Exterior Caulk for Wood
After weighing its advantages and disadvantages against the other caulks, the Gorilla 100 Percent Silicone Sealant Caulk is our best overall exterior caulk.
This product is incredibly flexible. This means it won’t crack since it can absorb damage impact and expand and contract in response to changes in temperature.
The exterior caulk also does not yellow due to its exceptional resistance to UV radiation and is 100% resistant to mildew and water. It comes in two colors: clear and white.
Because it is specifically designed for multipurpose use, this caulk can be your one-stop option for all your exterior caulking needs.
It dries quickly and solidifies once applied. Your siding’s cracks will be airtightly sealed in 30 minutes, preventing drafty winds from blowing cold air into your home.
The main downside to using this product is that it’s not paintable. Also, it produces a pungent smell that can last several hours after application.
- It is multipurpose
- It is highly durable since it is made of 100% silicone
- It does not yellow due to its exceptional UV resistance
- It dries and cures fast
- It does not crack since it remains flexible even after drying
- You cannot paint over this caulk
- It produces an awful smell after application
2. GE Sealants & Adhesives Window & Door Sealant – Best Exterior Caulk for Doors and Windows
If all you wish to seal is your doors and windows, you should try the GE Sealants & Adhesives Window & Door Sealant. This product can withstand the impact of repeated opening and closing of doors and windows since it retains flexibility even after drying.
It is also weatherproof and watertight, offering a dependable seal in locations subject to severe weather conditions.
After being applied, the seal will be ready for rain in approximately 30 minutes. This caulking product won’t turn yellow over time because of its exceptional UV resistance. In places where you don’t want more color, it stays clear and undetectable.
The fact that this product cannot be painted is its main drawback. Additionally, several buyers have expressed concern about the product’s strong odor.
- It does not crack since it can absorb impact damage and expand and contract in response to temperature changes
- 100% waterproof and weatherproof
- Highly resistant to UV radiation
- Compatible with other materials besides wood
- Offers a 10-year mold and mildew protection
- Dries quickly
- Not paintable
- Produces strong fumes
3. Red Devil Premium Elastomeric Acrylic Latex Sealant – Best Exterior Caulk for Trim
If holes or gaps exist on your trim, you should try filling them with the Red Devil Premium Elastomeric Acrylic Latex Sealant.
This acrylic latex sealant will adhere to both unpainted and painted wood. It also has antimicrobial properties that prevent mold and mildew growth in sealed areas. This can significantly reduce the possibility of fungi-related discoloration.
This sealer comes in various shades, including clear, white, black, and others. It also takes paint well, so you can paint it to get your desired look.
Due to the product’s excellent adhesion and flexibility, it won’t shrink or crack after application. Additionally, it is simple to clean up with soap and water.
The sealant can adhere to plaster, tile, metal, glass, aluminum, masonry, and concrete, making it suitable for use in areas where wood attaches to any of these materials.
This product’s main limitation is that it changes color after it dries.
- Offers durable seal on trims and other exterior wood projects
- Highly flexible hence does not crack due to impact damage or changes in temperature
- Offers 100% protection against mold and mildew
- Fast drying
- Available in different shades and can be painted
- It tends to change its color after drying
4. Dap Polyurethane Construction Adhesive and Sealant – Best Exterior Caulk for Roofing
If you want a sealant to use in fixing your roofing woodwork, try Dap Polyurethane Construction Adhesive and Sealant.
This product’s long-lasting flexibility makes it suitable for roof woodwork and other outdoor spaces that take the heaviest beating from the sun and snowfall. You can also use it to fix your gutters, shingles, skylights, ducts, and chimneys because it adheres to metal, aluminum, concrete, vinyl, fiberglass, steel, and brick.
Although this sealant takes longer to cure than other exterior wood caulks, you will be glad you waited. When it dries, it creates a 100% waterproof seal that protects against moisture damage to your home. The seal can last up to 50 years.
- Takes paint well
- It allows you to paint it to match your wood color
- It is highly durable
- Creates a waterproof seal
- Suitable for outdoor areas exposed to extreme temperatures
- It takes four to seven days to cure
5. DAP Dynaflex 230 Sealant – Best exterior paintable caulk with value for money
Suppose you are working on a sizable exterior wood project like replacing the soffit or siding; you will require an inexpensive caulk that offers the needed outcomes without breaking your budget. One such caulk is DAP Dynaflex 230 Sealant.
This caulk comes in a dozen of 10-ounce tubes. This saves you money upfront compared to buying individual tubes at the current market prices.
Also, you can use this bundle’s large volume of sealant to seal up all the cracks and gaps in your exteriors and increase your home’s energy efficiency. Doing so may substantially lower your energy bills by reducing wastage, saving you some cash.
The product has several other advantages, such as being highly flexible, crackproof, and easy to clean. It is suitable for exterior and interior use and can be painted after two hours of application.
The only issue with this caulk is that some customers have claimed they only received a single tube instead of a dozen in the bundle.
- Offers the best value for money
- It is easy to use
- It is flexible and crackproof
- Can be painted
- Some customers claim they only received a single tube instead of a dozen in the bundle.
6. DAP DYNAFLEX Ultra Advanced Exterior Sealant – Best Paintable Exterior Caulk for Wood
If you wish to paint your caulk after sealing the holes and cracks on your exterior wood, the DAP DYNAFLEX Ultra Advanced Exterior Sealant should be your best bet.
This premium product is powered by innovative WEATHER MAX technology that guarantees long-lasting protection in any weather.
You should be happy to know that it becomes paint-ready in just an hour to facilitate quicker project completion. Since it is paintable, you can match it with the rest of your exterior and create a unified, consistent look.
Let the caulk dry for one hour and then rough it up with sandpaper and use your chosen paint to create the desired look.
This sealant resists mildew and mold and is crackproof and shrink-proof. It is also easy to use and clean. Use it on your doors, windows, siding, trim, and other exterior woods for long-lasting soundproofing and air-sealing.
- It is paintable
- It is versatile: you can use it on siding, trim, gutters, doors, and windows to create a seal.
- It remains flexible even after curing
- It is resistant to mildew and mold
- Creates a seal that is 100% waterproof and airproof
- It is available as a single product, so you will spend more money for multiple tubes on a larger project.
7. Flex Shot Rubber Adhesive Sealant Caulk – Best Exterior Caulk for Large Gaps
If your exterior wood has sizeable holes or cracks, you must get a sealant that can expand and contract to fill such holes and cracks fully. A good caulk in such a case is the Flex Shot Rubber Adhesive Sealant Caulk.
Besides its ability to fill large holes and cracks, this sealant is the easiest to use of its type. It allows for easy application without a caulking gun.
With its free extension tube, you can get to even difficult-to-reach areas of your exterior wood. During application, this caulk does not run, drip or cause any other unnecessary mess. All you can expect is a lovely bead each time you use it.
The sealant can adhere to and seal almost everything. This is significant because it allows you to fill in holey seams between your exterior wood and metal, aluminum, concrete, vinyl, fiberglass, steel, or brick.
The only drawback to using this caulk is that it is expensive.
- Suitable for filling large gaps
- Very versatile: it can adhere to almost everything
- Easy to apply even without the use of a caulking gun
- Does not cause unnecessary mess
- It is costly to acquire
8. Gorilla Waterproof Caulk & Seal – Best Non-Yellowing Exterior Caulk for Wood
If you have no intention of painting your caulk after applying it, then you need one that will not discolor over time, interfering with the general appearance of your wood. In such a case, we suggest you try the Gorilla Waterproof Caulk & Seal.
The product comes in clear and white shades and has strong UV resistance qualities that prevent it from yellowing due to sun exposure. This guarantees that your project will have flawless aesthetics for years.
The product is also quite adaptable; you can apply it to almost any outdoor woodwork and get flawless results every time. Because of its weatherproof nature, it will reliably form an airtight and watertight seal that holds throughout the year.
Thanks to its powerful and elastic formula, this sealant won’t shrink, crack, or give in to forceful impact.
The main disadvantage of using this caulk is that it can’t be painted. If you wish to paint your caulk afterward, we suggest you go for the best paintable exterior caulk for wood already discussed in this article.
- It does not turn yellow even with exposure to UV radiation
- It does not crack or shrink thanks to its elastic formula
- It’s very versatile; hence you can use it on any outdoor wood project
- It’s weather-resistant
- It’s mildew and mold-resistant
- Not possible to paint
9. GE Sealants & Adhesives Max Shield Caulk – Most Elastic Exterior Caulk
We advise trying the GE Sealants & Adhesives Max Shield Caulk if you want the most elastic caulk for your door, windows, and other exterior woods that tend to pull away from their attachments.
This product can stretch 800% and seal 3-inch wide gaps with up to 35% joint mobility. After curing, it does not shrink or crack even when exposed to harsh conditions. This ensures that you have a strong seal that will last for years.
Using this sealant is pretty straightforward because it spreads easily and adheres to most building materials. Forty-five minutes after application, you can paint it to achieve the desired attractive finish.
Use it on areas with a lot of moisture, like flashing, siding, windows, and doors.
The only drawback to using this product is that some customers claim the brown color is darker than the product description indicates, especially when it is dried.
- Highly durable
- Suitable for large gaps with mobility of up to 35%
- Easy to use
- 100% waterproof
- Resistant to mold and mildew
- Some users claim the brown hue is darker than the product description indicates, especially after the caulk is fully cured.
10. Sashco Big Stretch Caulk – Most Durable Exterior Caulk
Your doors, windows, and other exterior parts made of wood can move in response to temperature changes, earthquakes, blowing wind, and rainfall. Most sealants available can’t handle these movements; they harden and crack.
That is why buying a sealant such as Big Stretch high-performance water-based sealant that can withstand significant movement, is a good investment.
This product can withstand almost every movement due to its strong adhesive and excellent elastic properties. The quality allows it to stick, compress, bend, twist, and stretch – more than 500% of its original size without ever splitting.
The seal this product creates is paintable; thus, you can paint it to match the color of your exterior wood.
The disadvantage to using this sealant is that it does not hold well in areas with high foot and vehicle traffic. Also, it is not 100% waterproof. Therefore, you should not use it in areas where water collects.
- Highly durable
- It is paintable
- It doesn’t discolor because it is resistant to UV rays
- Suitable for long-term air-sealing and soundproofing
- It cannot be used in areas with high foot and vehicle traffic
- It is not a 100% waterproof
11. Red Devil 0795 Silicone Sealant – Beginner-Friendly Exterior Caulk for WoodSee on Amazon
Red Devil 0795 Silicone Sealant is what we advise using if this is your first time caulking. This high-quality silicone sealer is simple for beginners to apply to any exterior wood you want to make airtight and waterproof.
You will need to clean the area you want to seal before applying this product. After cleaning, you can apply the sealer without requiring a caulking gun. The caulk should then be allowed to set for at least 24 hours.
After application, this product provides excellent adhesion to create solid, water-resistant seals for cracks and gaps. The seal’s high level of elasticity also prevents it from cracking when exposed to high temperatures or impact damage.
The sealer has a minimal odor. People also like it because of its affordable price.
- Easy to use, even for beginners
- It is inexpensive
- It does not shrink or crack thanks to its elasticity property
- It offers an air and watertight seal
- Not easy to paint
12. Dap Inc Acrylic Latex Caulk – Most Versatile optionSee on Amazon
If you are working on a small exterior wood project, you need a caulk that can be used elsewhere if it remains. Dap Inc 18152 6 Acrylic Latex Caulk is a high-quality, versatile caulk that can be used on various surfaces besides the exterior wood.
The product is easy to apply and low in odor. It contains silicone additives that offer excellent adhesion and flexibility, resulting in a long-lasting, completely watertight seal.
The sealant also takes paint well. After 30 minutes of application, you can paint it using oil-based or latex paints. The caulk will not show through or interfere with the color of your paint, guaranteeing superior paint results.
The only issue with this product is though it is advertised as a 12-pack product, many customers complain they only received one.
- Highly versatile; besides being suitable for exterior wood, it can be used on various other indoor and outdoor surfaces.
- Easy to use
- Low odor
- Dries quickly
- Can be painted
- Some buyers complain that this caul is advertised as a 12-pack product, but you only get one.
Exterior Caulk for Wood Buying Guide
Every caulking has its demands. When selecting the best exterior caulk for your wood, you must consider factors such as whether the caulk is durable, paintable, and easy to use, among others.
Below are the factors to consider when choosing the best exterior caulk for wood discussed in detail:
The first thing you must consider when buying an exterior caulk for wood is its usability.
A caulk designed for indoor wood should not be used on outdoor wood. This is because most indoor caulks lack weatherproof and UV resistance properties that an exterior caulk for wood must have.
Due to this, the product won’t withstand the environment well. Therefore trying to use it there would be wasteful.
Also, check to ensure that the material the product is intended for is exterior wood. Some items can be exterior-grade but intended for materials like metals, brick, plastic, or concrete, whereas your project calls for a caulk intended for wood.
The last aspect to consider regarding usability is the ease of use of the chosen sealant. Some caulks are challenging to apply because of their consistency.
Silicone, polyurethane, and butyl rubber products will be challenging to apply because they are thick.
On the other hand, latex caulk and acrylic latex caulk flow out of their tubes freely. This indicates you won’t have trouble applying them to cracks and seams.
You’ll unlikely want to carry out the caulking job every year. Therefore, you should always go for a caulk that will offer a long-lasting seal to your exterior wood.
Acrylic latex and latex caulks are considered the least durable because they do not contract or expand when exposed to extreme temperature changes.
On the other hand, silicone, butyl rubber, and polyurethane caulks are the most durable caulks. This is because the products remain flexible even after curing. This allows them to absorb impact damage, expand, or contract when exposed to extreme temperature changes instead of cracking.
Exterior caulks for wood are available in several colors. These allow you to select the ideal color to match the outdoor theme of your property.
However, most exterior caulks for wood available on the market are either clear or white. Clear caulk would suit any project because it is not easy to notice. However, it would be best to research to ensure it will not turn yellow with time.
Although white is a neutral color, not all applications will work with it.
Making the wrong color choice could affect the overall appearance of your exterior wood. Therefore, before purchasing one, choose the perfect color for your wood.
D) Painting Ability
There are limited caulk colors available in the market. For this reason, you might not always find the caulk color you want.
To compensate for that, manufacturers ensure they produce caulks that take paint well. This allows you to paint the caulk after it has dried to match it with your outdoor theme.
However, not all caulks can be painted. If you paint a caulk that is not designed to be painted, the paint will peel off after some time. Therefore, checking whether the sealant you are acquiring is paintable is always essential.
If the sealant is not paintable, avoid it or select a color matching your exterior theme.
E) Drying and Curing Time
Considering caulk’s drying and curing time is very important, mainly if you must paint it. While some sealants dry and are paint ready in less than 30 minutes, others may take hours or even days.
Panting is one reason you would choose a quicker drying and curing product. The second reason is to make sure the caulking job takes less time so that you can attend to other tasks.
Therefore, always check the product label for information about the caulk’s dry and cure time before buying it.
The brand is the last thing you must consider when buying the best exterior caulk for wood. Many caulk brands are available, but you should always try to buy from the most reputable one.
The less reputable ones may be attractive to buy from due to their low prices, but they don’t always offer the best quality. A good quality caulk is essential since your exterior wood is exposed to many challenges that a caulk must endure.
Recommended read: sealing painted wood for outdoor use.
What is the best caulk for outdoor use?
Silicone caulk is the best for outdoor use. The silicone material is extremely resilient and has superior resistance to extreme temperature and moisture changes.
Silicone remains stretchy when dry, making it excellent for outdoor areas exposed to moisture and extreme temperatures. You can use it to mend seams on exterior trim and baseboards as well as around windows, gutters, and doors.
Best Exterior Caulk for Wood: FAQs
What is the most durable exterior caulk?
Silicone caulk is the most durable caulk. This is because it withstands extreme changes in temperature and can last for more than 20 years.
What kind of caulk do you use for wood on wood?
There are several types of caulk that you can use for wood on wood. This includes latex caulk, acrylic latex caulk, polyurethane caulk, and butyl rubber caulk. The easiest to use is latex caulk, while the most durable is silicone caulk.
What is the strongest waterproof caulking?
The Gorilla Clear Silicone Sealant Caulk offers the strongest waterproof caulking. This caulk is made of pure silicone and can be used on touch-up or heavy-duty projects.
What kind of caulk is completely waterproof?
Silicone caulk is 100% waterproof making it the most suitable for waterproofing. However, there are still specialty caulks that use waterproofing technology that is better than silicone caulk.
Can you use caulking on exterior wood?
Yes. You can use caulking on your exterior wood. However, for exterior caulking, you need a highly durable caulk to withstand harsh outdoor conditions such as UV rays and extreme temperatures.
Is silicone or latex caulk better for the exterior?
When comparing silicone and latex caulk, it depends on what you want. Silicone will be better if you want the most durable caulk. However, this caulk is not easy to use. On the other hand, latex is easy to use but does not offer the most durable seal.
How big of a gap can you fill with caulk?
You should use caulk to fill gaps up to ¼-inch wide. If the gap is larger than this, you should install a foam backer rod into it before caulking.
Best Exterior Caulk for Wood: Final Take
As a DIYer, caulking your exterior wood is essential to make it watertight, airtight, mold-resistant, and mildew-resistant. Caulking also helps enhance the overall appeal of your exterior wood.
However, so many caulking brands are available on the market, making getting the best exterior caulk for wood a challenge.
This guide has reviewed the twelve best exterior caulk for wood. After reading it, we hope you can find the best one for your project.