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How do I paint over not-paintable caulk?

Question:

I've recently had some repairs done to the exterior of my house.  The carpenter caulked the repairs with silicone caulk and now I can't paint it.  Whenever I apply paint to the area it just slides off.  What can I do?

Answer:

This is a common problem as carpenters are not always knowledgeable about finishing techniques. 

If you need to paint over silicone caulk, you have two options.  First, you can carelfully cut or scrape out all of the offending caulk and then recaulk with a paintable caulk.  If the the silicone caulk is freshly cured this can be a major problem as this stuff is very strong and hard to remove.  

The second, and better option, is to simply cover the silicone caulk with a paintable caulk.  The paintable caulk will adhere to the silicone and then you can paint freely over the top. 

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