Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More Boring White Stuff

White Thing No. 1:  Got the paper tape spanning the gap between the left endwall drywall and the sloped ceiling finally mudded and sanded satisfactorily this past Friday the 9th.  Yes, it took me four coats, as usual.

White Thing No. 2:  Primer went on on Monday.   Silly of me to use the passive voice saying that, since I had to put in a lot of work, starting with the adjustable ladder.  Original idea was to set it up on the stairs to get at the sloped ceiling above it, but with the winders I couldn't find a place where the ladder was secure.  I have quite an artistic new set of bruises on my legs from the time I tried to extend one side of the ladder down the stairs, thought better of it, and pulled it back up-- all while trying to keep both legs of the upper side on the slippery, drop-clothed-covered winder. Ended up laying the ladder flat between the landing at the top of the stairs and the ledge on the exterior wall opposite, and using it as a scaffold.  Not ideal: still a lot of reaching and working blind, but better than nothing.

Only thing, I had the ladder down and myself virtually trapped upstairs when I discovered that the remaining primer had thickened up a bit.  I simply did not care to move the ladder to get downstairs for water to mix in, so I used it as-is.  Didn't go very far and didn't go on well.   Wouldn't have gone on well anyway, since that study ceiling is full of dips and curves and irregularities, not a flat surface in the place.  Some of this is by design; some of it is due to the way the rafters have settled over the decades.  None of it made working a roller any easier or more fun.

Of course I had to go back to Lowe's for more primer.  (Ironic, since last night I discovered a practically full can of primer in the basement).  Thanks to more disused muscles and their contortions, finished up the priming and left it to dry.

White Thing No. 3:  First and hopefully only coat of "Pearly White" paint onto the study ceiling and upper end walls.  Best fun here is working with inadequate light.  Couldn't use the ceiling fixture, since it was hanging from its wires and swathed in brown paper.  Couldn't use the floor lamp with its open shade: I already destroyed one three-way bulb last week splashing water on it while wet sanding.  It was draped with a spare shirt jacket.  No, I was restricted to the halogen work light, and the Luxo lamp.  The new color is a little yellower than the previous, so you could sort of tell which parts of the ceiling had been repainted, but it was hard.  More contortions, more working around strange ceiling topography, more sore muscles.  Found myself repeating, "I don't wanna do this, I don't wanna do this!" as I did it anyway.

White Thing(s) No. 4:  No, I didn't get the study ceiling pearly-whited in one coat.  Didn't have enough paint left to do a full second coat (sigh of guilty relief), but kept myself plenty busy this afternoon noticing thin spots and spots where the sheen wasn't the same and so on, and coming to the rescue with roller and tray and another dollop of the "Pearly White."  Of course, one doesn't, on that ceiling, notice the next problem area until one has taken all the tools down to the 2nd floor bathroom and has everything rinsed out and wet.

Still, got in a tiny bit of what was actually on the agenda for today.  The little chair rail/dado trim that separates the white of the ceiling from the yellow of the wall is now painted.  On the east side.  I read on the This Old House website that it can actually help you cut in the wall color if you paint the trim first and lap the paint over a little bit onto the wall surface.  Happy enough to try it, since it removed the need for awkward cutting in in difficult to reach places.  I was doing enough acrobatics balancing myself over the stairwell as it was.

Third and final white thing for today was more primer, this time brushed on walls and woodwork where needed.  Hope I got all the messy spots on the yellow wall on the east.  I really need to get it painted tomorrow.

This all really is Boring White Stuff.  Ever since the ceiling plaster started coming down in 2007, I've been looking forward to having it mended, whole, and repainted.  Now it's done, and I don't feel much of a sense of accomplishment.  Shouldn't it have been like this all along?

I'll likely feel better when all the drop cloths are out and the furniture is pushed back where it belongs.  Hope I will, at least.

A shot of what was there when I first looked at the house, just for fun


Karen Anne said...

Are all the walls up there wallpapered? I'm a little confused.

As to gaps, when I moved into my 1920s bungalow, there was a gap where the ceiling had pulled away from a trim piece that went all around the room right where the walls joined the ceiling. Or maybe the walls had pulled away, who knows.

Anyway, the ground was clay, which expands in the winter rainy season and shrinks in the summer, so the house on its not so great foundation moved a lot. I used a flexible caulk (many tubes) to fill in the gap, and it looked okay for the twenty odd years I lived there.

My next door neighbors, who moved in at the same time, were not so lucky. Their gap was between the walls and the floor, and they had to have some serious foundation work done to fix it.

Sandy said...

Ah, Kate. I do admire you so. I would have thrown in the towel! I thank you for your kind words. You have no idea how much they mean to me. I'm so glad you stopped by.

Kate H. said...

Karen Anne, on the sides the walls're papered up to the little piece of chair rail/dado trim (the part painted yellow in the picture). The entire back end is papered floor (or stair stringer) to ceiling. The front end is papered only above the bookcases, and over and under the window.

I'm visualizing you pumping in that caulk, and pumping it in some more . . . don't you wish there'd been such a thing as spray foam insulation at the time? :-D

Sandy, no option to throw in the towel. Have to go on and get it done. As you will, in your much more serious circumstances.