Fun on a Ladder

Over the last couple of weeks I've periodically considered posting pictures of the work we've been doing, but two things have stopped me: a somewhat less than desirable photo processing setup (you will recall I managed to break my laptop), and a small fraction of sympathy for what endless "look at a slightly more plastered wall" posts would be like for you, my dear readers, some of whom have my phone number and are not afraid to call and tell me I'm being boring.

So here's the summary.

This is how I spent much of November:

Up on a ladder, plastering

I covered most of my clothes in dripped drywall mud, and even managed to get some on the ceiling and walls.

So, we started somewhere around here, this picture taken as I decided to stop scrubbing walls and just tape and mud the ceiling. I'll spare you the untaped and fully taped photos and give you a compromise:

Taping the ceiling

I don't work the way the pros do on taping, in part because I've never had a surface remotely as even to work with. So I build up my seams with a light layer of mud, then two to three more thin layers, working towards a smooth surface. It results in a much smoother ceiling than I would get with only two layers, given that some pieces of drywall ended up as much as 1/2 inch proud of the overall surface because of irregularities on the wall behind them. Yeah, the pros would shim it and make it all even beforehand. But I'm not working on a schedule.

First mud on the ceiling

Well, except that somewhere in there our plans to go elsewhere for Thanksgiving fell apart, and suddenly we were having Thanksgiving at our house, in this very dining room.

Second layer of mud

While I was mudding the ceiling and the couple of walls that are drywall, Noel was washing the plaster for me. You can see where I'd been working on it for weeks: that spotless white area up to about six feet off the floor -- that cleaning took me more than a week alone. We finally had to just say good enough was good enough and clean it enough that the mud would stick to it. Noel washed me an area along the seam with the drywall, and I taped it up.

Cleaning the plaster wall

I always put off corners. They're super-easy, and I enjoy them when I get around to them, but I always put them off and hem and haw. But then when they are done, the room suddenly feels like a real space.

Done taping

We wanted to have the room painted by Thanksgiving, but that was just not going to happen if pies and turkey were going to be cooked, but I must say we got more done than we expected, and the room really looked good.

Thanksgiving dinner

Afterwards, we moved the table and chairs back out, and soon I'll be back on the ladder again, finishing plaster repairs and then painting.

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posted by ayse on 11/30/09