Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Big Finish

So far this remodeling has taught me one thing. I watch waaay too much HGTV. A couple of episodes of Divine Design, and I think I can single handedly tile a tub and pour a sidewalk. Blindfolded. With a book of matches and a Boy Scout knife. It gives me too much confidence and too many ideas. That’s how we got into the drywall mess.

The new house had that crumbly popcorn finish on the ceilings. We hated the finish, and since I had seen on TV where you can scrape that stuff off, I thought it would be great to have it done before we painted and put down new flooring. Now, I hadn’t really watched them do it on TV. I had only seen them describe how it’s done. I figured it couldn’t be too bad, and when the drywall expert said it would be no problem and shot me a great price I told him to go forth and get to scrapin’. Since several people have asked me about it and seemed interested in it (there are a lot of you out there who hate the popcorn finish), I thought I’d show you what it’s like.

Let me be clear, the drywall man said it would be messy. Really messy. I never dreamed how messy it would be. Basically, they spray water on the ceiling, let it sit there until it softens to just the right point and then scrape it all off. They started last Monday and within two hours Hubby called me exclaiming, “Holy *#@$! That mess is everywhere! It’s in the yard. It’s on the steps. It’s everywhere!” Now Hubby has the Chicken Little gene, so he and I play this dance all of the time. He gets excited about something, and I tell him everything will be okay. Rinse, repeat. Rinse, repeat until everything works out alright, and he moves onto the next crisis. So that morning I reassured him everything would be fine then went home seven hours later and went, “Holy #@$#! That mess is everywhere!” And I mean everywhere.

It falls in big clumps onto the floor.
And anything that isn’t covered up.
Where it sits and dries. This small section of hardwood in the foyer was getting replaced anyway, otherwise I’d be crying right now.
We left the carpet down on purpose so we could haul out most of this mess with the carpet when we got ready to pull it out. (It’s being replaced by wood.) By day two we were panicked about whether or not the red rosin paper would stain the kitchen and bathroom tile and whether the drywall mud would come out of the grout. The drywall man said to relax. We didn’t.

By day three it had started to dry enough that the clumps could be swept into piles. Meanwhile, the workers started smoothing out the ceilings and sanding the new mud.
The job was supposed to take three days. On the third day, we were told it was a trickier job than they had expected and that it would take at least two more days. We worried more. Eventually, it started looking better, especially when they finally started cleaning up the mess.
We could tell the tile was going to be fine, and I quit poking at it and checking it every time I walked by it.

The drywall guys cleaned it up per our agreement, meaning the Hula-gen’s would do some of the cleaning in order to get the good price. They were finally out of there by 10am Saturday.

We still have a lot of cleaning up to do before we can move onto the next project, and we will be dealing with dust for weeks. It covers everything, and the walls will have to be washed down more than once before we can paint.

Bottom line-I’m glad we did it. I’m glad I didn’t know just how messy it would be; otherwise I would have been too scared to try it. I like the ceilings much better now, and for a small investment we made an improvement that will increase the value of the home. HOWEVER, I would never EVER attempt it on a house that wasn’t empty and wasn’t getting new paint and floors. It’s just too messy and would be too difficult in a home filled with furniture. There are also a fair amount of fumes during the first couple of days, and you would not want to live with that. It’s done. We can move onto the next project, but right now I’m waiting for a little rain to wash away all of those pieces of popcorn littering the yard and the steps. And for the next call from Chicken Little.


Kelley with Amy's Angels said...


'nuff said. : )

Jan n Jer said...

Remodeling is fun but very messy too. You just have to focus on the end result. What a mess that job was, glad its over and you can move on to the next step.

A New England Life said...

Oh my gosh, this is inexcusable work. I have to tell you Hula girl, I'm an interior painter and we've scraped many a popcorn ceilings, but we would never, and I mean NEVER make this kind of a mess!!! I would be absolutely livid if it were my house.

They should have at least put some large plastic sheets on the floor first. We wet it down also then scrape with one hand and catch the 'popcorn' in a paint tray with the other hand. Yes, it's neck breaking work, but when we're done the floors are clean.

Honestly, I am totally shocked they could do this to your house.

*shaking my head*

Mia said...

I like mine with butter and coarse salt.

Gin said...

I think I would have turned and ran as quickly as possible if I would have seen that mess! SCARY!

Rink's Ramblings said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry!

Faye said...

Hey Hula Girl! After seeing what you're currently dealing with with this MAJOR remodeling effort, not sure you have time for Fun Monday. But, if you do, just wanted to say the signup is posted over at my place. Topic: "Back to School"--are you taking a class or learning something new, thoughts on lifelong learning. You obviously could tell us a lot about DYI remodeling! Hope you'll join us this week. No tests or grades, promise!

The Church Lady said...

I think I would have put up with the popcorn. I am sure in the end, it will be gorgeous!

Ms. Fiddlesticks said...

I just do not think I could ever do that. Sort of like the commercials on TV where the soda is spilled all over the kitchen and it gets wiped up with a paper towel and a smile. Oh brother, I would have nightmares. Your blog is most a enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing.