Monday, March 5, 2007

Hiatus / failure resurgence

Actually, I’m not sure I’d call it a hiatus, because I was hardly taking a break from the home remodeling. To the contrary, over the past week I’ve done little in my free time except for work on the house. I guess it was just a hiatus from updating the site. Let me bring you up to speed...

In my last post, The light at the end of the tunnel, I mentioned I had finished my portion of the upstairs bathroom project. Talk about jinxing myself! The final phase of the joint compound work was to repair the flaking ceiling paint on the short ceiling (shown to the right). It was a week ago Saturday when I finished the joint compound work in the bathroom and turned the project over to my wife so she could start painting.

That night she put a coat of primer on the walls and ceiling in the bathroom. The following morning we notice the primer had some adverse reaction to the joint compound in a couple of places on the ceiling. Enlarge the photo to the right to see the result. The primer had bubbled up in a couple of small areas. I’m not certain how it happened, so I’m not even going to speculate. All joint compound repairs on the walls were fine, so I think it was a problem in areas where a very thin coat of joint compound went over the old paint on the ceiling. Once the primer went on the thin areas of joint compound, I think the paint primer didn’t adhere for some reason. Again, I am just speculating.

With that paint problem at hand, we needed a solution, and fast because we were having a family party at our house six days later (this past Saturday). Here were our choices:
  • Try to fix the bubbled-up paint: No way. I had already put a lot of time into that ceiling, both skim-coating the small area of the ceiling in the one part of the room, and repairing cracks in the area over by the bathroom fan (read my post Upstairs Bathroom Primer to see the layout of the room). Once the primer was on the ceiling, I had little faith that I could repair the problem spots and then have the subsequent coats of primer not bubble up like the first coat did. In other words, I wasn’t going to put more time in only to wind up in the same spot a day or two later. We were under the gun to get this fixed, for good.

  • Alternative ceiling: Yes. What could we use as a ceiling surface in a Cape Cod home that wouldn’t look like we were trying to hide a blemish, but rather add more charm to the room? Hmmm... we stood there and stared and stared at that damn ceiling. Then it hit us: beadboard! Yes; we’ll go with a beadboard ceiling! We’ll give the bathroom a nice cottage feeling. Why didn’t we think of this a month ago?

With the idea in place, I had to think of a way to install a beadboard ceiling in our bathroom and make it look like it was meant to be from the beginning. I also had to figure out a way to attach it to our rock-hard plaster ceilings with some type of anchors.

In the next few days I’ll share how I did it. For now, I’ll share a photo of the completed ceiling, just to prove that it all worked out.

It all worked out, but it meant we had to stay up past midnight every single night last week to finish the project. The family party went without a hitch and everyone loved the bathroom’s new look. (See the Upstairs Bathroom Primer link above for a before photo, including the nasty old metallic wallpaper.)

Now we just need to finish off the last few little projects that didn’t get wrapped up, including the wooden light box above the sink. More on that and the steps involved with building the new bead board ceiling coming soon.

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