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Sheet Rockin’ Good Times

11th January 2007


For the most part the bath and entry were new construction as far as sheet rock goes. The real fun would start with the patching. I don’t think there was a wall in the entire place that didn’t need at least one patch. Not only were there a lot of patches to be done, there were countless previous patches that didn’t exactly blend in with their surroundings.

The ceiling had the typical 70’s popcorn texture. That was the first to go. Fortunately it’s a snap to remove. I used a garden sprayer to wet the popcorn and it slid right off the ceiling with a 12 inch taping knife. The next time I will go ahead and round off the knife corners. There were a few gouges that could have been avoided. The entire ceiling took less than 2 hours to clean. I just wish it went back up as easy.

The walls had a thick texture knockdown finish. I don’t like the look but it is there to stay. The real problem was that any place that was patched in thee last 25 years showed. Each patch had it’s own version of the knockdown texture. My solution was to make all of the repairs and then re-texture the entire house. I started with the ceiling. I knew I didn’t want to put the popcorn stuff back up but on the other hand I didn’t want to spend the time to completely rework the ceiling. I compromised by putting a thin knockdown (basically an orange peel) texture. I thinned regular joint compound to a consistency of thick soup and sprayed it on with a hopper sprayer. I tried several tools to knockdown the spray , but what I finally settled upon was a spray shield. It was a 2 x 3 piece of flexible plastic on a 2 foot wood pole. After letting the texture set on the ceiling for 5-15 minutes I would wipe the face of the shield over the semi-wet mud. I would make one short sweep and wipe off the excess and take another swipe. I used the same technique on the walls but varied the consistency of the mud. On new sheet rock or patches I used a heavier consistency to try and make it match the surroundings. I then went over the entire house with a thinner consistency. It really helped hide all of the patches. I basically had a top coat of the same texture throughout the house. I’m not going to tell you you can’t find the patches if you really tty, but looking over the wall casually you can’t tell new sheet rock and patches from the old.

I ended up spraying six gallon buckets of thinned mud on the walls. I finished them off with a light sanding and a coat of PDA primer. The top coat of paint would have to wait until all of the trim was up. Sheet rocking is hard messy work. Toting hoppers of mud isn’t much fun either. The worst was over. It was time for trim carpentry. I always enjoy that part of a renovation.

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