Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grrr. Argh.

I was wrong. I admit it. I thought that putting drywall up was difficult. No, that's a cake walk compared to taping and mudding it correctly. The most frustrating thing about this whole process has been that just when you think you're done and it looks good, a bubble appears (or twelve). I worked last night on cutting them out and filling the gaps. I finally primed today only to find a million more that popped up that were never there before. Even more frustrating about this process is the fact that you think you have everything smooth and nice and then you prime it and see that it's not all that smooth after all. I'm sure there's some easy and sane way to figure this out before you prime but I obviously do not know what it is.

A while ago I was reading several other housebloggers' sites who talked about hiring out. One even mentioned that they were sure other DIYers would scoff at them for doing so. In fact, I admittedly did scoff a bit. Now that it's all said and done, though, I would hire someone else to do this - well, maybe just the taping. It's certainly an art with which I have not been gifted and knowing my Type A personality, it will probably continue to bother me every single day I live in this house. I can just see it: walking through the kitchen and having my eyes immediately drawn to the bubbled areas on the ceiling. How annoying. The funny thing is that I have come to appreciate the bumpy nature of our old plaster and have left it "natural" instead of skimcoating the walls after I removed the wallpaper. I find nothing appealing about poorly done drywall, however. To me it just reaks of inaccuracy and ineptitude. Oh, blah. I need a vacation.


Gene said...

I haven't done a ton of taping and mudding (bedroom, bathroom, 1/2 my office), but I've never had bubbles after, and I'm trying to puzzle out how you're getting them. Are you putting mud on the seam, then pushing the tape into it with a knife, or doing something else? What sort of mud are you using, premixed or mix-it-yourself? *ponders*

Karen Anne said...

Maybe this link will help:

Sadie said...

While I totally would have hired out for this. I give you my wonderful fall back for frustrating endeavors, "Fuck it. It is good enough."

Susie said...

Thanks for the support, everyone. I've calmed down considerably now that I've left the house and am visiting a friend in Boston. Gene, I used premixed compound and paper tape (which many tell me now was the problematic aspect of the project). I mudded the seams first, then used the knife to adhere the tape, then mudded over it again in three separate coats/three separate days. I did it by textbook - I have no idea how this happened.

Sadie, I'm totally where you are with my fall back. We're putting the lights up tomorrow when I get back and we're officially "moving on." I too will hire out the next time. Fluck it.

Gene said...

Maybe as the link Karen Anne posted talks about, you didn't put down enough mud, or scraped too much off:
If you do not apply enough mud to bed the tape or you have bare spots underneath the tape, the bare spots will create bubbles in your finish. Overwiping the tape will actually squeeze the mud out from under the tape giving the same problem.
But in any event, if you're happy(ier) now, that works :-)

Tanja said...

I don't know what kind of tools you have, but I love my 12" hawk and spritzer bottle. I generally scoop out a couple of handfulls onto the hawk - not too much so it is too heavy or unworkable, and then spritz it with water, and knead it like you would bread with a 4" knife. It gets out the air bubbles and chunks if it is too dry. I keep doing this through out the process until the mud is silky smooth and on the runny side. Like everything else, consistency of the mud is key in an even coat. I switch to a bigger knife 8 or 10" for 2nd and 3rd coats.

I am with you on the OCD and being okay with imperfections in plaster. Funny how that works, right?

That being said doing the ceiling sucks no matter how you cut it. I think I'm going to do plywood for the downstairs ceilings, partly to avoid the avoid that whole ordeal.

Susie said...

All good points. When and if we ever do this again, we will use all of these tips - thanks!