Q: I have been replacing rusted and dented HVAC vents and electrical wall receptacles in one of my apartments, but they don’t look right. Some of the walls are not perfectly flat or the texture is bumpy, and there are a lot of gaps between the vents and plates and the walls. How do I make these installations more professional looking?
A: Caulk is your friend and it will hide a multitude of sins! On a job like this, we recommend getting a squeeze tube of painter’s caulk. Squeezable caulk tubes are readily available at any hardware or home center. Make a small, angled cut off the tip of the tube. Best to make the cut about 45 degrees. You want to open the tube just enough to get about an eighth-inch thick line of caulk out of the tube. Run this caulk line all around the vents and wall plates edges. Gently run your finger along the caulk line pressing it into place. Any excess caulk can be removed with a damp paper towel. Once done, your vents and plates will look like they are part of the wall and will look very professional.
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