Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Say No to Crack(s)!

It's about time that I post some pictures of progress in the living room. My plan is to repair all of the walls and ceilings in the living room, dining room, and upstairs hallway during winter break.

Problem #1: Living room duplex removal aftermath: walls and ceiling

During the de-duplexing process I removed a couple extra walls from the living room. The walls still show extra joint compound from the transition from original walls/ceiling to the walls I removed. I've been working on scraping off the extra clumps of joint compound and then using some new stuff to level out the surfaces that were marred by the duplex walls.

If you need a refresher, here's where the walls were:

This is about where the ceiling is at right now. It still needs to have some scraping on the far left part there, then a good smooth coat of joint compound, then some horrible overhead sanding that will undoubtedly leave me with a mouth full of dust. Lookin' forward to this one.

Then come the walls. I finished scraping off any excess joint compound from the walls, then I've laid on a new smooth coat to level off the walls. Just sanding needed here. My favorite.
Problem #2: Stairwell walls

When I removed the paneling on the staircase I was left with lotsa lotsa cracks and nail holes. I've started patching up the cracks already, but haven't gotten too far. Here's some of the work. Please notice the smiley face stick figure I painted for the roomies. I thought it was classy. It might need to be repainted onto the finished stairwell. Or not.

First thing I had to do was gauge out the cracks so they were wide enough for the joint compound to get into. Upon my Aunt Bec's suggestion I used a wood chisel and hammer to widen out the cracks. Here's a shot of some of the widened cracks.
Then she suggested that I use the mesh tape to cover the cracks. I haven't gotten a chance to apply a second coat of mud yet, but after that's done I should be able to sand it down to a smooth appearance. Then I'll just have to texture, prime, and paint.
Problem #3: Living room walls.

I also started repairing the fireplace wall. I'm going to cut a strip of drywall to fill that place where the plaster's missing, then I'll be ready to sand, texture, prime, paint, hang some art!

Since I was already messing with the tape and joint compound I decided to rip out the horrible PO tape job over some of the cracks in the other walls. When the cracks turned, this guy just turned the tape over the crack and didn't care about the kinks that were left in the tape. He also didn't mud under the tape so it was peeling up too. It was bothering me quite a bit so I figured I might as well repair them before I start painting. So that's where I am right now. I won't be doing ANYTHING on the house until after I'm done with finals, so don't plan to be seeing anything amazing for a while. But, when those tests are behind me, look out!


Joe said...

Looks like you've got a lot of work ahead, but it should be mostly easy, highly rewarding work. Once you get the paint on the walls you'll forget about all the labor that went into prep.

For the ceiling sanding, use a pole sander. That way the sanding head will not be directly over your head and the dust won't be quite as bad

Sandy said...

Hope joint compound is different from spackle (I always have to ask for help in the hardware store when I repair something) -- here is a quote in answer to a question about patching plaster that I posed to Craig Schaible on his blog: "Plaster and spackle are as different as tin foil and Iron. Plaster is much more dense and harder. Much more resilliant / crack resistant. You mix it from powder in fairly small amounts as it sets up pretty fast. Also, apply with a bit more care as it is harder to sand smooth than spackle. Spackle should only be used on drywall, never to repair plaster walls otherwise you will be revisiting that crack much sooner than you wanted."

Muskego Jeff said...

Yeah, that painted stick-figure just oozes class.
Watching "This Old House" I saw a method for stabilizing the cracked plaster on lath & plaster walls (which I assume you have in some areas?). They drilled holes all around the cracks into the lath and then injected some adhesive into the holes. Last step was to secure it with some temporary screws. When it dried, it was rock solid and ready for patching that wouldn't crack again. In theory.

kelli.griffis said...

I have a confession to make. This is very hard for me to admit, but... I am really scared of my cracks! I've heard so many bad things about patching a crack and then the wall shifts again and the crack opens back up and gets worse the second time around and if the person who patched it in the first place had just done the job right it never would have happened, and so on... So I've been avoiding patching my cracks. Not only that, but I have actual HOLES to fill in and that's even scarier! I'm not usually this much of a chicken, but dude, this has the putty knife shaking in my fist. I'm reading as much about it as I can before attempting it myself, so seeing your pictures is helping. Baby steps. We're all in this together. :)