Saturday, March 21, 2009

Living Room Plaster Remastered

We haven't been posting lately, we haven't been idle though, either. We've been removing the low plywood doorways that a previous owner added, the 1/4" plywood off of one wall, and 80 years of wallpaper.

We knew the ceiling was dropped in the living room, we didn't know it was plywood though. It's going to be harder to remove when the time comes. It seems to be these weird plywood boxes, that someone told me they use on theatre sets. It's 2 layers of plywood sandwiching 2x2's. We plan on removing the entire ceiling down to the joists, since there's no way the plaster is good underneath. Then we're going to do a box beam ceiling.

The 4 or 5 layers of wallpaper didn't come off that easily. The room had wallpaper originally, and the plaster has never been painted. I ended up washing the walls 3 or 4 times to get all the paper bits off, and would end up with an inch of glue in the bottom of the bucket each time.

Here's one wall that's already painted, we did that one first, then decided to do the rest of the walls at the same time, since it was taking longer to do one wall at a time. You can see the plaster washers on the one wall. The exterior walls were nearly as cracked as the interior walls.

More plaster washers... and our lovely plywood valence. We can't take it down until the ceiling comes down. Ahh, those lovely 60's makeovers. They even made trim for one of the doors out of 1/4" plywood. How that's better than the original fir trim, I don't understand at all.

The first coat on the cracks. We used concrete fill, which is a fast set drywall compound, with fibre in it. You could use mesh tape as well, but I've found it's unnecessary when using the concrete fill. Now I'll do 2 coats with fast set finishing drywall compound, then it's ready to prime and paint. Most of the time seemed to be taking off the wallpaper, and washing the walls. I found the 6" drywall knife worked the best for removing wallpaper, it has a thin flexible blade, that gets under the paper. We gouged the wall a bit, it's pretty minor, and a little Spackle will fix that.

I started stripping the trim as well. Better to strip it before the wall is painted. I removed 2 of the baseboards. I cracked the bottom of them a little, it's below where the quarter round will be, and I'm gluing the pieces back on as well. I started buying the wood to replace the door frames I had to remove, that were in poor condition, and the baseboards that were removed from one wall. The first place I went to didn't have 6/4 fir, so I'll have to go to another store to get it. They have 8/4 fir, but it seems like a waste to plane it down. They aren't open on the weekend, the other store, but they open at 7:30 in the morning, so I could go before work. We still have a ways to go, but we've made a lot of progress.


StuccoHouse said...

Never ceases to amaze me the trouble people went through to drop ceilings, etc. I had to laugh when I read your PO actually made the doorways smaller. Anyway, I'm sure you house is breathing easier now. It looks great! have you tried using Downy fabric softener int he water removing wallpaper? It was a God send for me.

deb said...

we use an enviro dish soap to help take off the glue- we don't use fabric softener anymore since i found these awesome little "nellie balls"

Jerome said...

Great blog. I'm inspired by your dedication and how you keep plugging away at the project. Nice work on concrete countertops. I tried those also. I noticed you're reference to Lee Valley several times and wondered where you were from. Ha! Fellow Canadians. Not too many house bloggers that are up in the great white it seams. BTW, best of luck with the Canucks and the cup this year. The flames broke my heart last night. for the 4th year in a row.


Derek said...

Thanks for the comments Jerome. Yeah the concrete countertops weren't as easy as I thought they'd be. I'm happy enough with them though. I'm not much of a hockey fan, it's exciting to be in a city in the playoffs, people are so stoked.