Sunday, February 25, 2007

The light at the end of the tunnel

What a weekend. Thursday night I stayed up past midnight working on the plaster repairs in the upstairs bathroom. Friday, I took a vacation day from work and spent over eight hours working on the bathroom. Needless to say, I slept well Friday night.

With all the plaster cracks repaired, I’ve moved on to short ceiling by the window on Saturday. This portion of the room is only 4- by 5-feet and is a little over 7-feet off the floor. The great news is I can reach it without the use of a stool or ladder. The bad news is that I’m working above my head all day. That means all joint compound dust falls down in my direction, making a quality respirator a necessity. It also makes for one sore neck and shoulders at the end of a long day. (To get a better sense of the room, read my Upstairs Bathroom Primer post .)

Yesterday I put on three skim coats of joint compound onto that short ceiling. I’m doing this because the paint in that area was crazed and cracked (see my post, Crazed ceiling paint). Before applying the skim coat, I removed any loose paint with a stiff putty knife, then used my random orbit sander to quickly sand the entire ceiling with 120 grit sandpaper. When finished sanding, I vacuumed the ceiling to remove the dust.

With skim coats, you apply a very thin layer of joint compound with the understanding that there will be another coat coming after the first (and most likely after the second as well). Apply the thin coat neatly so you won’t have a lot of sanding to do between coats, if any. You can use either a 10- or 12-inch taping knife to apply the joint compound (see my Drywall and plaster joint compound tools post).

While the coats of joint compound were drying, I swapped out the older bathroom fan for a more powerful model. This meant some quality time up in the attic removing the old fan, enlarging the hole for the new fan, and mounting the new fan. All in all, it wasn’t too bad. A little over two hours worth of work and the results are every encouraging. Once the power was back on I tested the new fan and it’s much quieter than the old fan. Once the ceiling is painted, I’ll add the bathroom fan’s grille.

Today I finished sanding the joint compound and officially turned the plaster walls and ceiling over to the painter (my wife). Now I’ll have time to finish the new wooden light soffit for above the sink. When I’m finished with that, this project may actually be finished... unless I decide to be a hero and address the storage problems in the bathroom’s deep (over three-feet!) closet. We’ll have to see how motivated I can remain; at this point my motivation tank is damn-near empty.

1 comment:

  1. Found your blog (it's great) while searching for a very specific problem I'm working on. This post of yours is almost the exact problem... but in my case, the new ceiling fan is smaller than the existing hole in the ceiling (as opposed to you having to enlarge the hole). I need to shrink the hole in the plaster around the new ceiling fan casing.... any ideas? I considered laying a piece of wood around the opening on top of the ceiling (in the attic) and then filling in the border with joint compound... but there's a good inch on one side of the casing that's open up to the attic when it's installed against the joist. Do you think this would work? Bookmarked your blog too! Thanks.