Taking down the popcorn.

19 02 2010

Ah. Now where did we leave off with the story of our little abode?  Right, we just finished up how we obtained such a great starter home *sigh*.  You can catch up here if you missed that posting.

Since I didn’t deem it “livable” in its current state we stayed in our apartment for the first month while we renovated it.  This meant that we would go to work in the morning, work our full day at our jobs, then show up to the “new house” as close to 5:30 as humanly possible.  We would work there until at least 10pm when it would be out of the question to run power tools (remember how we loved that it was a very quite neighborhood?) and if we had quite work to do we might stretch it to midnight before heading back to our apartment to get a little shut eye.  The weekends were devoted to our “new house” as well, so we would generally start at 9am and go until we couldn’t see straight.  We really worked our hinnies off that first month.  And as you will see as we go through this process we weren’t alone in the work.  We had such great family and friends helping us every bit of the way.

John scraping the ceiling

Even Gracie helped with the ceiling scraping, but she got fleas the first night so couldn't "help" until the house got exterminated a couple days later!!

Our first official project on day one in our little abode was to tear down the popcorn, as in the ceiling acoustics.  First, we had it checked for asbestos (during our inspection we stole a little piece from a closet to have tested) and in return  the lab gave us a big thumbs up to get started.  So armed with a borrowed garden sprayer (from our realtor) we sprayed the ceiling with a bit of water, let it absorb for a bit (just a minute is all it takes), then took a large scraper (like they use in drywall mudding) and scraped it off like you would with paint.  Note: If it hasn’t been painted it is quite easy to remove (no matter how many years of smoking tar has been absorbed) however if it has been painted I hear that it is a much tougher project.  Since ours was not previously painted our process was actually quite easy and went pretty quickly.  We had it all over the house except in the bathrooms and the kitchen and it only took us about 6-8 hours to do the whole place with 3 of us working.  The tough part came when we had to sand out the original tape/mud work that was done during construction.  While we started off doing the sanding by hand with a drywall sanding block and a long extender handle (we lasted about a room and a half) we quickly learned how efficient a orbital sander can be to this process.  Just be careful to start while holding the sander to the ceiling plane as to not gouge the drywall.

John and our friend Ian sanding the joints

Me working the orbital sander-don't you just love the slouch socks?!

We made it through the rest of the house without a problem scraping and sanding, but we knew we had a project ahead of us in the master bedroom. At some point the ceiling sustained a couple of leaks that ruined the drywall in areas.  They had been patched but whoever did the patchwork left it pretty noticeable so we weren’t sure how we were going to fix it.  Once we started working we noticed the ceiling appeared to be sagging in places.  Upon further inspection we found that the nails in several areas had become dis-engaged with the supports.  Our first thought was to just re-nail them and call it a day.  So to the hardware store we went, once there we explained what we were doing and they gave us another option.  They said the ceiling would hold the way we had planned to execute the job, but it was always going to appear to be sagging since the drywall was already warped.  So they suggested building a frame out of 1×2 boards on the existing ceiling plane then install 1/8” drywall on the new frame.  Honestly, the way they described it this was going to be the best and easiest solution to our ceiling debacle so we hauled home all the needed goods to get started.  What did we learn?  Drywall is hard to do well when you are a novice.  What should have taken us “about a day” according to the home depot guys, took us close to a week of our tight enough deadline as it was, and taught us that we were not good at the mudding process.  After we finished all of the ceilings, we primed and painted them with a flat finish paint and in the end we have nice, smooth ceilings throughout our entire house to swoon over.  On our next installment of our little abode I’ll go into how we made our 4 bedroom house into a 3 bedroom…

Have you ever been in mid-project, headed to the store to pickup a supply and come home with a completely new direction?  Tell me about your most recent debacle and how you were able to solve it in a jiffy.




One response

12 03 2010
Making our 4 Bedroom into a 3-who says it won’t add value?! « MA-DE

[…] patched the drywall about a week later after we installed the floating ceiling I told you about in this post.  So now that the wall was down we patched in the door since how many doors do you need to one […]

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