Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's the Stupidest Shut Up Day of My Life

That's what Henry says when he's having a bad day.  Today I said the same.

First, let's go back to yesterday before the stupid or shut up.

I woke up and did two things I hate doing.  Sanding & Scraping.

The Crack Before
The Crack After

Yup, these are exciting pictures, alright.  Of a crack.  I'm posting them for those that know how much it sucks to scrape ceiling texture, layers of paint and plaster off of a concrete/plaster based ceiling.  For those of you that don't, believe me when I tell you: it sucks.

But, even after I almost gave up, I got enough exposure around the crack to get a proper fix in place. 

Before the Fix

Enter Rick S., the man who is saving the day for me countless times (after only 3 days).

Special Spackle

He used a special heavier compound to patch a 2" strip of fiberglass mesh in place. 

One Long Roll

I became his apprentice so that the mesh would be one long piece instead of strips.  That is my "I have no idea what I'm doing" face with a little bit of a "I hope I don't fall off this extension plank" look.

The Master at Work

At the end of the plank, I cut the mesh to the length of the wall and Rick finished the spackling.  I don't know what compound he used, but it's in that can in the photo.  It stinks but it WORKS.

Here's the crack after Rick put up the mesh and then after he returned yesterday evening to bulk it up.

First Layer
Final Layer

Dare I say it, that spackled crack is the best looking part of the whole darn ceiling.

Now for the stupidest shut up part.

I woke up this morning gritting my teeth and raring to go with more sanding.

Started in the bay window:


If you can see the difference, you win a prize.  I just posted these pictures because the amount of elbow grease I used and serious covering of spackle dust in my hair and on my arms was insane.  In fact, I probably should have taken a picture of that instead.

Then I sanded the crack and got moving on to priming.  Yes!  Priming! 

Then this happened.

Oh God.

Want to see more of that?


Yup.  Remember the guy who installed the metal tracks with 4" wood nails?  He's the same guy who tried to patch the ceiling with a layer of texture to hide the big crack...but didn't prime the ceiling FIRST!

So now, my primer is bonding to the 20+ year old patch/texture and literally peeling off the ceiling. 

I wanted to cry.  So did the guy who installed it.

Enter Rick S.  He came over, took a look and said I should just keep peeling it.  Scrape it.  Get it off as much as I could until it stopped.  Then he'd come by and do some patching. 

He also said, "You know what this is...this is THE biggest challenge in painting."  Seriously?  I don't need this challenge.  I just need a primed ceiling.

A few awful hours later, I ended up with this.

I Don't Have a Funny Line for This

To be honest, I think the primer dried and so the pieces stopped peeling.  I was picking at every edge I could.  Until I thought I was going to go crazy.  I even thought of quitting.  But then what?  Who would finish the job?  The guy who put in the unprimed texture and nails???

So I heeded Rick's final words, "If you can't get any further or you think you've reached the edge, just prime it.  See if more comes off.  If it doesn't, it will at least seal the original ceiling to the old texture & layers of paint.

So I did.

Primer Round 2

Nothing peeled.  Amazing.

Then he came over later to patch it up, making the edges disappear.

More Patching

Another prize for you if you can see the edges disappearing.  But trust me, they do.  It's another special kind of compound that dries extremely hard and doesn't sand easily.  Something about it contracts, too.  So he's swinging by bright and early for a 2nd application of something else to smooth out the rough spots, which I'll be able to sand later in the morning.

More shots:

After My Peeling & Priming
After Rick's Super Special Hard Compound

See?  No more ridges?  Or hardly any?  At this point, I'm just hoping my parents aren't wishing I never touched the bad tile.  Seriously.

So, to make myself feel better and because I love before and after shots, here is how far we've come in three days. 

Before - With Tiles
After Removing Tiles
(see yellow texture patch on left - nemesis)

With any luck, the sand texture paint will roll on the ceiling tomorrow afternoon.  And if all goes according to plan, it will look fantastic.

It better!

1 comment:

  1. Keira @ The Bennett HouseThursday, July 12, 2012 6:04:00 am

    Wow! That is a lot of work and the reason why old homes can be so frustrating. Nothing ends up being an easy job! Ceiling work is so hard, too. Your neck hurts, you get stuff in your face all the time... Looking great now, though. It will be worth it.