How to Paint over Silicone Caulk

How to Paint over Silicone Caulk (Simple Methods)

It’s a major headache to move into a new home or finish a home improvement project, only to be faced with glaring silicone caulk along the walls. 

We’d all love for caulking to blend in with the surrounding paint color, but it often doesn’t work out that way. 

Silicone caulk is especially testy when it comes to blending in. So if you’re looking for how to paint over silicone caulk and get rid of that ugly white sealant look for good, you’re in good hands. 

Read on to discover two super-simple methods for painting over silicone caulk, and a step-by-step guide to accomplishing them yourself.

  • You can’t paint over silicone caulking without first applying a primer.
  • To paint over silicone caulk, apply a shellac primer spray, then paint over it as you normally would.
  • As an alternative, completely remove the old caulk, apply a new paintable caulk, and paint the paintable caulk.

Can You Paint Over Silicone Caulk? 

Before we get into methods for painting over caulking, can you paint over silicone caulk at all? Unfortunately, you can’t really paint over silicone caulk, unless its a siliconized acrylic latex caulk. 

Paint won’t bond to non paintable silicone without a primer. In fact, it can be challenging to get silicone to bond to anything at all!

This presents an issue for homeowners who want their caulk to blend seamlessly with its surroundings. 

Since silicone caulk only comes in clear or white, and can’t easily be painted, trying to hide it becomes a frustrating endeavor.

Fortunately, there’s a secret hack that takes just a few extra minutes. By employing this hack, you’ll be able to paint seamlessly over the most caulk for a clean finish.  

Painting Over Silicone Caulk: 2 Simple Methods

There are two simple, sure-fire methods to painting over silicone caulk. The first method takes less labor. But the second one is good if you want the strongest, highest-quality outcome. Find out which one’s right for your situation. 

Method #1: Shellac Spray & Paint

I just love this simple, quick hack for painting silicone caulk. I would’ve never thought of it myself! 

This method involves applying a priming shellac spray over the silicone caulk before you go in with your paint brush. 

It works so well because shellac spray creates a more adhesive surface over the silicone for the paint to bind to. 

Without a primer like this, you’d be hard-pressed to get any paint to stick properly to silicone. It’ll run off, clump up, or otherwise look just plain bad. 

Follow these three easy steps to make it happen.

Step 1: Spray shellac primer spray onto caulk.

First thing’s first: you’ll need a good shellac primer spray, which usually comes in spray cans. There are plenty of oil based primer sprays on the market, and you can find some at any home improvement or hardware store.

Kilz Interior Primer spray or Zinsser Primer Spray are both a great choice.

Rust-Oleum Corporation 01008 Primer Spray, 13-Ounce, White
  • The product is 13OZ Aero Primer Sealer
  • Easy and simple use kit
  • The product is manufactured in United States

Now that you have your shellac spray, shake the can for at least 5 seconds before spraying.

Then, holding the can about 5-6 inches from the caulk, spray the primer on in quick bursts. Make sure the caulk is completely covered.

Note: Protect anything in the surrounding area that you don’t plan on painting with painter’s tape. 

Step 2: Let it dry for 30-45 minutes.

Step two couldn’t be easier. Once the oil primer spray has been applied to the caulking you want to paint, it’s time to let it dry and cure. 

Fortunately, this process is pretty quick. The spray should actually dry to the touch in about 5 minutes. 

But just to ensure it’s fully cured, I’d recommend waiting 30 to 45 minutes before starting to paint. 

Step 3: Apply paint over the dried primer spray.

Now that you’re done with the priming, it’s time to paint. Grab a quality paint brush and the perfect paint to match the caulk to your walls. Head to your local paint shop if you need help with color matching.

When painting over primer, you can choose any type of paint you want, from latex paint to oil to acrylic paint. 

Apply 1-2 coats of paint over the primer underneath, and let it dry

The great thing about shellac spray is that it dries smooth and flat, and it also adheres to paints beautifully. So you really only need one coat of paint for a nice finish.

Method #2: Paintable Caulk & Paint

If you want to paint over silicone caulk but would prefer redoing the caulk itself, method #2 is for you. 

This may be a little more labor-intensive than the first method, but it offers a much more durable, high-quality finish to last for years. 

It’s the perfect option for old caulking with junky paint that you just want to totally scrap and redo. 

You’re going to need a paintable silicone or latex caulk to apply in place of the existing caulk.

Step 1: Get a paintable caulk and a caulking gun.

Start out by getting your hands on a paintable caulk. You’ll also need a caulking gun for this project. 

There are many paintable caulk brands out there, which are mostly latex. Sashco Lexel is a great option, as well as DAP Dynaflex White Latex Caulk

Sashco 13013-2 13013 5oz Sealants Clear Lexel Adhesive Caulk, 5-Ounce
Sashco 13013-2 13013 5oz Sealants Clear Lexel Adhesive Caulk, 5-Ounce
Paintable & scrubbable; Sticks to wet surfaces; Clear color; Country of origin: United States
DAP Beige 7079818213 DYNAFLEX Ultra 10.1 Oz Raw Building Material, 10.1 Fl...
DAP Beige 7079818213 DYNAFLEX Ultra 10.1 Oz Raw Building Material, 10.1 Fl…
Easy water clean up and low odor.; Exterior/interior use.; 100% waterproof seal

But if you’re really committed to the waterproof quality of a silicone caulk and don’t want to compromise, GE and DAP both sell a paintable silicone caulk formula.

DAP AMP All Weather Window, Door and Siding Sealant, White, 9 Oz...
DAP AMP All Weather Window, Door and Siding Sealant, White, 9 Oz…
All weather sealant is 30 minute rain and water ready; DAP sealant is paintable in 30 minutes allowing for faster projects

Step 2 (recommended): Remove old caulk. 

Remove Old Caulk

Once you have your paintable caulk and caulking gun, consider removing all the old silicone caulk before applying a fresh sealant. This will allow for the strongest, most long-lasting seal. 

If you need help, here are some tips on removing caulk from brick, which can also apply to interior walls.

You’ll need a putty knife or a silicone caulk remover to remove the old caulk layer. Adding more denatured alcohol to the non paintable silicone caulk can also help break the bonds.

While it’s not recommended, you can skip removing the previous caulk. Just apply a thin bead of paintable silicon caulk over the first non paintable caulk.

Make sure that the coverage is slightly wider than the caulk beneath. This ensures the new caulk has a strong enough hold on the surface. 

Step 3: Apply the fresh caulk & let it dry.

In step three, you’ll be applying caulk either to the empty joint, or on top of the previous caulk.

If you’re applying the second caulk directly on top of the previous caulk, make sure you clean the old caulk with a little denatured alcohol first to remove any oil. 

Then, using the caulking gun, squeeze the caulk in a sweeping motion to fill gaps in the joints.

Once it’s fully applied, you’ll want to let it dry and cure. 

How long does caulk take to dry, anyway? Latex and silicone caulking take around 3 hours to dry. But you should wait 24 hours for the caulk to fully cure before painting. 

Step 4: Paint over the dried paintable caulk.

Now, onto the final step! Break out your paint and paint brush. Once the paintable caulk is fully dried, you can apply a thin layer or two of paint over it. 

Cover anything around it with painter’s tape if you don’t plan on painting there.

An important note:if you’re painting over a paintable silicone caulk, you should use an oil based paint for this project. Oil based paints will adhere better than latex paint or acrylic paint.

Also, if this paintable caulk is silicon caulk, consider taking the extra precaution of adding a shellac primer spray first.

If you want to avoid the hassle of getting an oil based paint and adding primer, just buy a latex paintable caulk like Sashco Lexel.

Need more help? Check out the video below!


Can I paint over silicone caulk?

Non paintable silicone caulk can’t be painted over. You unfortunately can’t paint untreated silicone caulk unless it’s primed first, or if it’s a special paintable silicone caulk formula. 

GE and DAP both sell hybrid silicone caulk formulas that can be painted. And Kilz and BIN both sell shellac spray primers that allow you to paint over silicone caulk.

What paint will stick to silicone caulk?

No paint will properly adhere to silicone, but oil paints bond a little better than other types. In general, it’s recommended that you always apply a primer to the caulk before attempting to paint it. 

What is the best way to paint silicone caulk?

The best way to paint silicone caulk is to first apply a shellac spray primer, let it fully dry, then apply one or two coats of paint over it. 

You can also remove the current caulk and apply new paintable caulk, which can then be painted.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, it’s not as difficult to paint over silicone caulk as you might’ve guessed. In just a couple simple steps, the finish will look gorgeous and last years.

All it takes is applying a shellac spray, or some fresh paintable caulk, and you’ll be good to go. I hope you feel confident in accomplishing this project yourself, because I totally believe in you. 

Before you know it, your caulking will be invisible and you’ll never have to think about it again!

Jessica Vaillancourt is a freelance writer and blogger obsessed with the Travel, Wellness, and Personal Development industries.

She has 5+ years of experience helping human-first agencies, global companies, and entrepreneurs crush their content marketing goals, and serve more people. Jessica’s work has appeared on leading websites like,, and

Today, her sole focus (besides finding the world’s best coffee shop) is writing to serve humans, and slow traveling abroad to expand her mind. You can get to know her work at