I made a big mistake.

Before painting my sun room, I wanted to prep the walls and surfaces for paint (the sun room is three walls made up of cement blocks and windows, and the fourth wall is the old house exterior). So I cleaned them and all that, and the last thing I did was fill in the gaps between the cement blocks and the windows and the siding and window door frame and all that .. with some caulk. So I grabbed a tube of silicone caulk laying around. Didn't think much about it..

It wasn't until AFTER squeezing out and spreading an entire tube of silicone caulk onto the surfaces that about I was about to paint, that I thought to look at the instructions and make sure it's paintable.

Not paintable! Big mistake!

I quickly grabbed a roll of paper towels and tried to wipe it away. I was able to wipe much of it away, but not all of course. I went to the store and bought some paintable caulk and a nylon brush drill-attachment. I first used the drill attachment, together with a painter's 5-in-1 tool, to attack and left-over silicon caulk. It worked pretty well! But it didn't get all of it of course.

Then I used the new tube of paintable caulk (acrylic latex iirc) and applied it everywhere the silicone caulk was. This should do the trick, I thought..

So I began painting. I'm using a latex paint from Shermwin-Williams, very expensive. (A bright, bold yellow called Cheerful Yellow, if you must know. The old paint color was a drab pink, so very different).

Wherever I tried to wipe away the latex caulk, it left a residue on the old painted surface that the new paint will not adhere to! It just slides right off, it's very bizarre.

So, how can I remove the silicone caulk residue? Mind you that the walls now have one coat of expensive paint on them so I would not like to splash paint thinner all over the walls if possible.

  • Use the nylon brush drill attachment some more? This seemed to work pretty well, maybe I just try it some more and this time it will be very obvious where the spots are that I missed
  • wipe with alcohol?
  • steel wool?
  • caulk remover chemicals?
  • a combination of these things?


TL/DR: How do I remove silicone caulk residue on the surface that I need to paint?

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