I need to paint the interior side of the large, frameless windows of my Eichler. It seems that, in some places, there used to be some kind of caulking (not sure if the previous owner put it or whether original). The question: should there be caulking and if so, what's the best way to clean out whatever is there now and replace it?
Our is a 1972 courtyard, and in general, there is no caulking in the interior . . . the trim pieces are flushed to the glass (single pane). Caulking is for weatherproofing, so knowing Eichler and Calif. homebuilders, nothing was done unless it was absolutely necesssary, and interior weatherproofing isn't necessary.
Interior caulking is strictly cosmetic, so either paint over it, scrape it off and paint, or scape it off & replace if there are gaps & holes to be filled.
I didn't detect any caulking in the exterior (maybe some weather sealing putty that has degraded).
I have scraped the old cracked plastc like grout calk from interior and exterior large windows using an exacto knife and paint scraping razor blade, gentlt firmly chip at the stuff, also, a wire circular brush attachment put on our electric drill has worked wonders on old stubborn paint along seams. be careful though, some glass is not deeply set into the wood trim.
in our 1963 concord eichler, most non-operating windows (i.e.: the big sheets of glass) seem to have old-school glazing putty (or something similar) between the glass and the trim/frame. in addition to weatherproofing, the compound also serves as a bit of a cushion, especially in expansive temperatures. when doing work on the windows, i've carefully scraped out as much of the dried, cracked glazing as i could (vacuums work well, too). i've replaced it with (squeezed it in) either paintable clear silicone or white DAP-"sidewinder" caulk (which is a polymer base -- i'm not a fan or the clear sidewinder with is an entirely different formula than the white... more similar to lexel-brand). i like both of these as they do not shrink when cured as many water-clean-up caulks do (i.e.: alex, dynaflex, etc.).
thanks for offering products that won't shrink! i haven't applied any new caulking into seams, fearful it will mess with our safety film....