M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Friday, January 09, 2009  

Over My Head

Well, the good news on the bathroom ceiling repair project is that it wasn't as bad as I thought. But now I'm starting to worry that it might be worse than I thought.

I should probably back up. Here's what it looked like before I did anything other than clear out the bathroom and pull down an experimental flap of plaster:

Ceiling cat is wishing for a larger hole to watch you shower

Let's take a closer look at that, shall we?

But ceiling centipede is enjoying the headroom, thank you very much

Okay, now the proper demolition begins:

Eee-vah? Who the hell is that guy? aggle-aggle-aggle-aggle...

Oops, sorry. M. Edium, who was supposed to be helping me, instead nabbed the camera and embarked on a lengthy "EVE and shop vac" study. But after he and I finished putty-knifing off all the parts of the ceiling that would come away, here's what I was left with:

Behold the House of Usher

Not really all that major. I was expecting to see ceiling joists by the time I got this far, but as you can see, I only had to go up as high as the wallboard core. Which has a couple of cracks, but is otherwise intact. Nothing a quarter-inch of sheetrock compound couldn't cover up, if not patch.

And so I began spackling the stuff up there. My plan was to do one thin layer at a time, let it dry completely, and then begin the next. That way, I hoped, the final result would be not only more solid, but smooth enough to minimize sanding when the time came. I haven't had many near-death experiences, but as a person with latent asthma and not-so-latent allergies, a shockingly high percentage of them were a direct result of inhaling plaster dust.

Two things I didn't know. The first is that spreading "mud," as they call it, is a lot harder on a ceiling than on a wall. The ergonomics of balancing on the edge of the tub with your head craned back at a ninety-degree angle to see what you're doing are less than ideal. And then you've got this thing called gravity to contend with, and the crap kept falling off into the tub. I decided to quit climbing down to retrieve fallen dollops of goo after…oh, I'd say the first one. And not so much "after" as "during."

But I got the first coat done in an hour or so. Observe:

The healing begins.

I waited 24 hours for it to set, and then applied the second layer, as seen below:

Which is Phobos and which is Deimos?

And here's where it was after three layers.

Damage? What damage?

It's getting there. If you look closely you can see that it's not exactly mirror-smooth, but it's getting to the point where I can almost imagine starting the sanding after another thin coat or two, which will serve primarily to fill in the gouges from my own clumsy putty knife work. But there's one thing that worries me a little. Can you guess what it is?

I'll give you a few days.

posted by M. Giant 3:32 PM 7 comments


that... you patched over the problem instead of fixing it? ;)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 9, 2009 at 7:06 PM  

oh, no, that stuff's not all dried to the bottom of your tub, is it?

By Blogger Annie, at January 9, 2009 at 7:10 PM  

My guess is the way the damage goes right up to the wall :P The little white patch above the tub might be an exploratory into the wall... hope you haven't got wet damage in there, could be a bitch.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 9, 2009 at 8:42 PM  

I second Annie. That stuff is on your tub, isn't it?

By Blogger NGS, at January 9, 2009 at 8:59 PM  

That no matter how good a patching job you did, you're still going to have to go back and paint the whole ceiling so that everything really matches?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 11, 2009 at 12:46 PM  

I'm going to go with you are worried about how you are going to finish the project while also recapping four hours of 24 in one week.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 11, 2009 at 5:44 PM  

You're worried we could have a Cardinal/Raven Super Bowl?

By Blogger Deanna, at January 12, 2009 at 9:33 AM  

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