Scrape, scrape, baby

Here we go, progress report. I posted some of these on facebook, but here are some explanations to go with it.  I started by actually covering the floor this time, scraping oatmeal-like consistency off the carpet was not my idea of a good time.


The first step is soaking the ceiling with water using a deck stain jug sprayer thing. You have to wet the popcorn, wait a few minutes, scrape, scrape, scrape, re-wet some areas and scrape some more. Then the ceiling needs to be spackled, sanded, primed,  grudgingly evaluated that it needs a subtle texture to hide imperfections, painted with a joint compound/water slurry onto the ceiling with a textured roller-twice-, re-primed and then finally painted. After the mess, the work, the strain, the wait times, the exhaustion, and the pretty intense pain in my back, arms, shoulders and especially neck, I have decided I will not be doing this again; that it is worth the weight of texture in gold to have it professionally done.







You can definitely see the difference from one room to the next, having the popcorn gone makes the room so much brighter! And to think, these two rooms used to be the same color. Blegh.

I then started to put up the crown molding; as you can see, there will be two layers of crown, the one I already put up (which is upside down baseboard) and then crown molding on top of that.


I got one piece up and it sat for a few days while I battled a particularly nasty stomach virus. I attempted to restart the process of going around the room with crown. I found out the waviness of the ceiling, the warped board I was trying to tie into the first one with, the fact that my saw blade hadn’t been squared up, and that I was only learning and didn’t really know what I was doing made me want to set the room on fire. Sometimes even I have to throw in the towel. I called one of my installers at work that is a finish carpenter and he knocked it out in 2 hours while I was at the office.



Having the crown finished is SUCH a relief. While I was sick at home, I would wander into the room sporadically, stare at the ceiling and the pile of molding at my feet, and let that project build and build until it was insurmountable. So glad that’s over.

Lessons learned in this room:

#1 removing popcorn is tough work. Yes it can be done, but it is so much more work than I ever would have imagined. Almost everyone I told I would be removing the texture gave me that wide-eyed look saying “wow…I would never do that, do you know how much work that is? Umm… good luck, I guess”.  But, just like a teenager, sometimes I have to do things for myself to learn the hard way

#2 I learn best by observing, asking a hundred questions, finagling under supervision, and then finally achieving. With crown molding, there are so (so so so!) many tips, tricks, techniques, and methods to doing it that I need to learn from someone before I attempt to try it again. Or start on a smaller project that I can figure out without a deadline looming

#3 It is ok as a DIY-er to not do it yourself sometimes. I am learning my limits just like everyone else. Some people have said they would never attempt to paint stripes, change light fixtures, swap out plug-in outlets, replace faucets or build a workbench. These are all things I don’t think twice about my ability to do them. Other things I am still learning: staining wood, making things I build look professional, learning how to not quit a project at 90% completion because I am so damn sick of what I’m doing that I don’t care if its finished <— I particularly struggle with this one. It’s ok to call in for help, or to even have someone else do the work. Worth it in my book.

I think I am FINLLY ready to do the pretties; I’m looking forward to having an organized space to blog, craft, make, create and plan. Hold on to your hats, we’re in the home stretch!


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