Painting Over and Under Silicone Caulking

Caulking around bathtub with silicone caulk.

“I am recaulking the area where a shower insert meets a wall that is painted with semi-gloss latex paint. Will silicone caulk stick to the paint? If not, can I use a different type of caulk around a shower insert?” -Kathy

Hi Kathy,
While 100% silicone caulk will stick fine to paint, paint won’t stick to 100% silicone caulk. If you plan to paint over the caulking, use a paintable caulk that contains silicone and resists mildew. If not, 100% silicone caulk is fine to use.

Good luck with your project,



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9 Comments on “Painting Over and Under Silicone Caulking”

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  • Phillip Says:
    September 19th, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    I made the terrible mistake of using GE Silicone 100% calking around a outside door jamb that showed some wood rote at the bottom!!! I hade the tube for a few years and it didn’t say any place on the tube that it wasn’t printable but did say 100 % Silicone. I couldn’t find any thing that would stick to it! Don’t ever use GE 100% Silicone on anything you ever intend to paint!

  • Diana Ward Says:
    April 12th, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Hi I replaced my showers a while back and now I have painted. The latex paint won’t stick to molding where there is caulk. Old molding light brown now all white except a few spots around shower stalls. Please help how do I cover these small spots?

  • Sam Kiefaber Says:
    February 4th, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Hi Danny I would like to install a rain barrel diversion on the drain spout. In my area, some time we really have a lot of heavy rain. Please help,show on how to do It. I am a novice in home repair.

  • JD Says:
    December 10th, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    I always wondered, how can paintable caulk really be possible? The whole purpose of caulking is to expand and contract, so if it’s been painted, won’t the paint simply fall off? Paint is not made to expand and contract. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • sally blanton Says:
    August 5th, 2015 at 5:41 am

    I made this mistake on a kitchen ceiling. I could not get the silicone off without gouging into the drywall where the wall meets the ceiling I put a thin layer of plaster patch over the silicone and used oil based primer on that. it isn’t that pretty but I am hoping it sticks.

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    February 8th, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Hi Bob,
    Paint won’t adhere well if at all to 100% silicone caulk. You roughing it up with sandpaper and wiping it down with mineral spirits then prime it with a shellac-based or oil-based primer before topcoating. But your best best is to try and remove as much of the silicone caulking as possible by cutting it out with a utility knife. Then wipe the surface down with mineral spirits, allow it to dry, then apply a paintable caulk. After the caulk has hardened, prime it and the trim on each side with a shellac-based or oil-based primer. Allow the primer to dry, then topcoat.

  • Bob Visscher Says:
    February 8th, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Hello, I made a mistake and used 100% GE silicone II white on the bathroom wood window frame that I intend to paint. My question is, assuming this material is unpaintable, what is required to paint this caulking? I was thinking about re-caulking this area with paintable white silicone. Will this work or is their a better correction method?

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    June 15th, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Sounds like mold or mildew. If so, there are several products on the market that will kill it, or you can use one part bleach to four parts water with a little detergent added to reduce surface tension. Apply using a pump-up sprayer, allow to remain on for 10 to 20 minutes, then hose off.

  • Julie Says:
    June 14th, 2009 at 11:11 am

    How do you clean outside caulking? The seal around windows that are ten years old have discoloured i.e. are black and sooty.

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Painting Over and Under Silicone Caulking