I don’t know about you but a lot of people don’t give much thought about buying exterior caulks or any caulks for that matter. They believe whatever the salesman at their local hardware store tells them.
But in the end, they come home with a product that’s not even right for the job. When you’re picking out a caulk for something as specific as exterior trims, you need to consider a number of factors from paintability to drying time.
Without cross-checking each and every box, you probably won’t find the best caulk for exterior trim. That being said, I’ll go through 7 different caulks that were carefully selected based on several criteria.
So, let’s give you the scoop without stretching this any further-
Our Top 7 Best Caulk for Exterior Trim Review
1. DAP 18275 Dynaflex 230 Premium Elastomeric Interior and Exterior Sealant
Ask any DIYer about their experience with DAP products. 9 out of 10 times, you’ll hear positive feedback. Thanks to their years of experience and quality products, DAP is undoubtedly one of the greatest brands in this sector. And their DAP 18275 Dynaflex 230 managed to hold that reputation with its superior quality.
Whether you live in a rainy area or a sunny, this close to perfect formula will seal your exterior trims seamlessly. Speaking of the formula, it’s mostly acrylic latex with a dash of silicone. The acrylic latex lets you paint the caulk if you want and the silicone ensures that it’s as durable as possible.
For areas like exterior trims, you’d expect top-notch waterproofing properties. Even though it’s mostly acrylic latex, the waterproofing is good enough.
Apart from all that, the sealant has little to no odor. However, it contains little amounts of toxicity. So, make sure you inhale it for too long.
- Gets moisture-ready after only 2 hours
- Paintable caulk
- Elastomeric flexibility
- Not ideal for extreme weather conditions
2. Sashco 10016 Big Stretch Caulk
What’s the number one problem with exterior caulks? A lot of the caulk brands can’t withstand the constant movement a house goes through in its lifetime. Eventually, the caulk starts showing cracks after a while.
That’s where the Sashco 10016 Big Stretch Caulk comes in. Thanks to the 500% stretching capabilities of this high-performance caulk, you’d never have to worry about cracks.
The extreme elasticity allows it to compress, twist, stretch, and bend that results in a permanent waterproof solution. On top of that, it has remarkable UV resistance, making it perfect for applications like exterior trims, crown moldings, windows, and doors.
This US-made caulk sealant is capable of withstanding any kind of weather from rain to freezing snow. And the best part? Applying this odor-free caulk is as easy as spreading mayo on a sandwich.
Other than all the awesome factors, it’s a water-based solution. So, you get the option to paint it if you want. However, the only downside is, it dries significantly faster. If you’re new to caulking, be sure to practice a few times beforehand.
- Easy to apply
- Stretches up to 500% of the original size
- Can be painted over
- Dries a bit faster than usual
3. Dap 18128 Alex Plus Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone
When it’s about getting a quick but permanent solution, the Dap 18128 Alex Plus Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone is what you need. Without the need for a caulk gun, you can start caulking as soon as you get your hands on it.
But that’s not even the best part about it. As a matter of fact, this caulk sealant dries in only 30 minutes. And it’s a no brainer that this acrylic latex caulk gets paint-ready in that time too. However, faster drying time isn’t the most concerning factor when you’re putting it in exterior trims.
The adhesion of this sealant is far superior to regular products. On top of that, it stretches depending on the temperature and the movement of the surface.
Although nothing close to the elasticity of the Sashco Big Stretch Caulk, it’s good enough to last you for 40 years. At least that’s what Dap claims. Even if it lasts 10 years, it’ll be worth it.
The only bummer is it’s rather overpriced for a tube this small. But the easy usage, superior quality, and adhesion will make it worth your while.
- Moisture resistant
- Little to odor
- Easy cleanup
- A bit pricey
4. Red Devil 0746 Painters Caulk
Let’s put a warm welcome for the first product from Red Devil on this list, the Red Devil 0746 Painters Caulk. When it comes to value for money at an affordable rate, this product would stay at the top of the list.
While they call it painter’s caulk it’s really a combination of acrylic latex and silicone. Even though most people use silicone caulks for exterior usages, you do need to know you can’t paint over silicone caulks. That’s where this combination comes in. You get the durability and also the paintability.
On top of that, acrylic latex also makes the cleaning process a lot easier. Simply use soap and water to remove the excess caulk and you’ll be done within a few minutes.
Overall, I don’t have any complaints about the quality of this product. If you want a unique selling point, I’d say it’s priced significantly lower than other brands. If you want to save a few bucks along the way, you could give this caulk sealant a go.
- Gets paint ready in 2 hours
- Flexible caulk sealant
- Cleans with soap and water
- The texture is a little thin
5. Gorilla Paintable Silicone Sealant Caulk
It’d be pretty awesome if you could get a hold of a 30-minute quick drying caulk, right? Well, the Gorilla Paintable Silicone Sealant Caulk manages to that and even more. The robust and durable caulk sealant won’t turn yellow after a few years.
On top of that, there’s no need to worry about the caulk getting shrunk. But it’ll surely expand whenever necessary. However, I know what you’re thinking. It’s a silicone-based caulk but the name describes it as paintable. So, what’s the real story?
Despite being made out of silicone, the manufacturer managed to modify the formula to make it paintable.
Although you don’t get as many facilities as acrylic latex caulks where you could paint whenever you’d want. In this case, they suggest you paint within 24 hours or so. And you must use acrylic or latex-based paint.
- Creates a 100% silicone waterproof seal
- Gets paint-ready in only 30 minutes
- Shrink and crackproof formula
- The cleanup process isn’t easy
6. Red Devil 4074 Create-A-Color Caulk Kit
The Red Devil 4074 Create-A-Color Caulk Kit isn’t like your usual caulk sealant. How does regular caulk work? You apply the caulk, let it dry and then you can paint it if you want.
Well, the Red Devil Create-A-Color Caulk Kit cuts of two steps. It comes with standard caulk tubes and a caulk mixer. The process here is as simple as it gets.
You use the syringe to put 2 drops of regular latex paint and mix it until it’s uniformed. You don’t have to put another layer of paint as it’s already mixed.
The only downside I saw is you’d have to wait for at least 24 hours to get the caulk properly dried. Also, when you mix the paint, it’s going to be a shade or two lighter than the original paint.
But after it’s completely dried, you’ll see the original color of the paint. Overall, I’m quite satisfied with it. Although this convenience comes with a price. So, be prepared to spend those few extra bucks.
- Creates whatever custom color you want
- Mixing the paint is relatively easy
- Superb adhesion
- Requires multiple layers as the caulk shrinks
7. DAP Crystal Clear 3.0 Window, Door, Trim & Siding Sealant
Let’s pack things up with one of Dap’s most iconic products, the DAP Crystal Clear 3.0 Window, Door, Trim & Siding Sealant. The ultra-fast drying time makes it perfect for areas where you can’t predict the weather.
Whether it’s in the middle of winter or raining unpredictably, the Kwik Dry technology will ensure it doesn’t wash off. Thanks to a quick drying time of 30 minutes and a moisture-ready time of 3 hours, you don’t need to depend on the weather for your caulking project.
On top of everything else, the caulk sealant won’t shrink regardless of the temperature. But it will expand whenever the structure moves. And not to mention the crystal clear color when it’s dried.
As far as caulks go, the transparent ones give out a light grey color when dried. But when Dap says crystal clear, be sure that it’ll be crystal clear.
- Crystal clear color when dried
- Top-notch adhesion
- Weatherproof permanent seal
- A bit overpriced
Comparison of Our Top 7 Caulk for Exterior Trim
|DAP 18275 DYNAFLEX 230 Premium Elastomeric Interior and Exterior Sealant||2 hours||10.1 oz|
|Sashco 10016 Big Stretch Caulk||4 hours||10.5 oz|
|Dap 18128 Alex Plus Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone||30 minutes||5.5 oz|
|Red Devil 0746 Painters Caulk||2 hours||10.1 oz|
|Gorilla Paintable Silicone Sealant Caulk||30 minutes||9 oz|
|Red Devil 4074 Create-A-Color Caulk Kit||24 hours||9.4 x 2 oz|
|DAP Crystal Clear 3.0 Window, Door, Trim & Siding Sealant||30 minutes||9 oz|
How to Choose the Best Caulk for Exterior Trim?
When it’s about buying exterior caulk, more often than not, it’s a matter of ‘you get what you pay for’. Although those extra bucks pay off as they protect your house from mold, mildew, and other harmful substances.
That being said, here are a couple of factors you need to consider before you a caulk for exterior trim-
Caulks are made with 3 different materials. But simply knowing the names isn’t enough. You have to keep an idea about the benefits and also the drawbacks.
Silicone, acrylic latex, and polyurethane, among these 3, silicone is the most flexible. But it’s not that great at holding on to paint.
For exterior trim and sidings, silicone caulks are preferred because of their enhanced durability. Nonetheless, here’s a quick comparison-
|Lifespan||20-30 years||10-20 years||20-30 years|
|Weatherproof rating||5 star||3 star||5 star|
|Flexibility/ Joint movement||50%||25%||25%|
|Paintability rating||3 star||5 star||4 star|
As you can already see from the table above, silicone and polyurethane caulks are absolute champs when it comes to weatherproofing and durability. But I don’t blame acrylic latex caulks as they were originally made to be painted over. Hence, they received the name painter’s caulk.
Their inability to expand makes them unsuitable for filling cracks. It’s not like they can’t expand at all, but if you do use them for this purpose, they’ll break down significantly faster.
I know this won’t apply to most people but still, it’s something you should consider in case your exterior trims aren’t white. Most of the time, caulks are either transparent or have a white color. So, people don’t have to worry about painting as the trims are already white.
But as I’ve already said, this won’t apply to most people. That being said, look for a paintable caulk if you plan on painting your exterior trim.
Ease of Cleaning
Let’s face it, a huge number of people probably won’t even care about their exterior trims after they’re done with it. Still, you might wake up one day and start cleaning them one day. For those times, you need to make sure the cleanup process is easy.
More importantly, you need to tidy up the area when you’ve finished sealing up the gaps. If it doesn’t allow you at least 10 minutes to do so, then that’s going to be a problem. On top of that, some caulks require rubbing alcohol for cleanup. So, that’s another factor to keep in mind.
Ever looked at an exterior trim that has a different color in the gaps? It’s definitely not a treat to the eyes if you know what I mean.
Now, all of you are smart enough to figure out why this happens. It’s because that person chose a different color from the exterior trim.
The good news is there are 2 ways you can fix this. One is reapplying a new similar colored caulk and the other one is painting the caulk and trim with the same color.
For better consistency, it’s better to paint over the caulk and trim. But as you know acrylic latex caulks aren’t the most durable. Nonetheless, the choice is up to you.
First of all, remember that it’s curing time, not drying. Regardless of the brand, caulks usually take 30 minutes to 1 hour to dry.
But it takes a whole lot more time to get properly cured. And frankly, this might depend on other factors than the brand. The location, moisture level, and most importantly, how thick the bead will play a vital role here.
The best approach is to go through the instructions manual and get accurate information. You might also do a bit of research online, whatever suits you.
Ever since you were a kid, you know it’s better to stay away from paint and glue fumes. Even if the caulk fume isn’t toxic, why go through the discomfort, right? That’s why you should opt for caulks with little to no odor.
Question: What is the best caulk for exterior use?
Answer: The DAP Dynaflex 230 undoubtedly one of the best caulk for exterior use. With excellent adhesion and paintability, it’s sure to support you for many years. But if you’re not concerned about brand value, the Sashco Big Stretch is great value for money that’s well-reputed for its stretching capabilities.
Question: Should you caulk exterior trim?
Answer: If there’s a gap in your exterior trim, you should caulk it, no questions asked. This will benefit you in 2 ways. One, moisture won’t get trapped inside those cracks. And two, the surface will look a lot better when there aren’t any gaps.
Question: How do you caulk exterior trim?
Answer: The process isn’t any different from what you’d do interior trims. First, out the nozzle at a 45-degree angle and start applying with your caulk gun. After you’ve applied each line, smoothen it out with your finger to give it a seamless finish. And then, rub the excessive caulk on your finger with cardboard.
Question: How long should Exterior caulking last?
Answer: As far as exterior caulks go, you can expect them to last for up to 5 years. However, you should do a time to time checkup on the gaps. More importantly, if you see a sudden rise in your electricity, it’s probably a good idea to look into the caulking.
Question: Is there a difference between interior and exterior caulk?
Answer: There’s not really a term called interior or exterior caulk. It’s either silicone or acrylic latex caulk. Silicone being a waterproof material is mostly used on exterior parts of the house. On the other hand, acrylic latex caulk also known as painter’s caulk is preferred for interior usages.
Question: What is the easiest caulk to use?
Answer: Thanks to their easy cleaning process with water, acrylic latex caulks are by far the easiest caulk to use. On top of that, this type of paint is easy to paint on. But in terms of durability, flexibility, and adhesion, they’re far behind silicone or polyurethane caulks.
Gaps in exterior trims are never considered as a treat to the eyes. On top of that, it could very well increase your electricity bill by a lot. If this wasn’t enough to convince you, hidden gaps like these can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
That being said, I hope you could figure out the best caulk for exterior trim that’s suitable for you. If you’re confused about any of the details, leave a comment below and we’ll send in our editorial team right away.