Friday, January 22, 2010

Don't Look Up!

Listening to The Dogs "Rot And Roll" (Iowa), not to be confused with The Dogs (Detroit), The Dogs (Chicago) or Dogs (France).

The ceiling in our soon-to-be-finished office has been nagging me. This room has not been painted since we moved in and I noticed a few patches of ugly flaking paint here and there. I didn't worry about it too much thinking I would simply scrape the flakey paint off, spackle if needed, and paint as usual.

Those pesky mulitple layers of paint had finally been eradicated from the molding/doors/baseboards, and it was time to start painting. Of course, the ceiling of a room is the thing you paint first so it was time to prep and paint. A simple job. Loose paint should be totally removed before repainting. I climbed up the ladder with my trusty paint scraper and proceeded to remove all the flakey ceiling paint. I scraped and scraped and scraped some more and to my horror this flakiness stretched much farther across the ceiling than I had imagined. I ended up removing more than a couple of layers of ceiling, and about 1/4 of the entire ceiling span. My heart sunk as more and more of this crap scraped off and fell to floor. But the worst was discovering the drywall underneath was discolored and brown from water damage that happened who knows when. It looked like we were going to have to replace entire ceiling.

The drywall beneath had been damaged by water and painted over at some point before we bought the house. We have never had a water leak and the roof is only a couple of years old so obviously this damage happened awhile ago. The stained ugly drywall stared down at me. How depressing. But, hey, it seemed to be intact and strong. Then Dan and I went snooping around in the attic to see what was going on on the other side. Under the insulation we found water stained drywall, but it was bone dry, strong and intact. No mold, no dampness at all. And no evidence of recent leaks! This is good. We happily decided we wouldn't have to replace the drywall and we could salvage the office ceiling with a little patching and sanding.

I decided to patch the bald spots I had scraped into the ceiling with simple premixed spackle. Done, but not very fun while standing on a ladder, with your arms over your head and your head wrenched all the way back so you can see what your doing. Ouch, neck cramps. No wonder Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel while lying on his back on a scaffold.

After drying for 24 hours I tackled the sanding portion of this job. We have a hand held power sander, and with large grit sandpaper smoothing out the dry spackle wasn't too bad - with the exception of almost going into respiratory failure by breathing in all that dust. I should have worn a mask, but I am really lame sometime and I didn't. I also did not take pictures of myself covered in white powder.

Now with the new ceiling spackle all nice and smooth, I slapped on a couple of layers of Kilz primer.

And here is the ceiling after painting! Finally done! My ceiling is no Sistine Chapel, but it looks pretty great. Here, too, is a little sneak peek of the dark gray walls.

And here is a picture of my honey changing out the a/c outlets. He wasn't having too much fun but dang if he did get 'em all done!

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