Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sanding Ceilings

As if taking down the popcorn treatment wasn't enough ceiling fun, we have now moved on to sanding.  Although taking down the textured popcorn finish was an aesthetic choice, the sanding step is not; In order to paint the ceiling after taking down all of the popcorn, sanding is necessary.  

For one, there is popcorn residue (ew).
  But also, removing the ceiling texture treatment reveals all of the imperfections on the ceiling.  You are, probably, able to see where the main support beams are, where old light fixtures may have been, etc.   Because the texturing of the ceiling hid all of that, there was no real reason for the ceiling to be perfectly smooth or uniform before.  
 Our home had a lot of random things, like hooks screwed into ceilings, or areas where the joint tape was showing through.  Of course we wanted to fill in those holes with spackle, along with the little gouges that were made during the removal process, so we had to sand those areas afterwards anyways.  Overall, the sanding allows the painting process to go a lot smoother and allow the final result to look cleaner.  

It is much easier than taking down the popcorn.
It is much messier than taking down the popcorn.

- a roll of fine grain sand paper
-sanding sponges
- 2 extension poles
-2 ceiling sander attachments
-goggles that seal around your eyes
-face mask or respirator
-Spackling ( we like the kind that starts pink and dries white)
-putty knife

Before we did anything to the ceilings we had laid plastic film over all of the floors.  The popcorn was so messy that we had to take up all of the film to dispose of the popcorn.   So before we could begin the sanding we had to lay plastic down again.  This will be the same plastic we keep on the floors during all of the painting, so the plan is not to have to do this step again.  It is so time consuming!

Our friends Patrick, Diana, and Michael came over last Saturday and helped us lay the plastic, spackle the ceiling, and begin the sanding.  It was a huge help and most definitely a time saver.

The guys were tackling a project in the other room, so Diana and I were left to sand, after all the spackling had dried.

We donned all our safety gear which, in this case, is more for self preservation and stamina than protection from any actual hazards.

  There is so much dust that you would only be able to stand it a few minutes without any face protection on.   Diana and I both felt like we had plaster in our mouths after only a bit of sanding, even with the masks.  Messy stuff y'all. 

I found the whole process easiest if I stood on a step stool and used the extension pole - it gave me a good angle.  No matter the method, ceiling work is a killer on your shoulders, so being able to smoothly  sand back and forth without getting stuck is really a must.  Being 5'2", trying to use the pole while standing on the floor was just not working out. Once I found what worked for me, the whole thing went really quickly.  

The sanding was spread over the course of 2 work days.  It took about 4 or 5 hours (mostly working alone) to sand the dining room, hallway, living room and bedroom.  Nothing compared to taking down the popcorn!

So this is a, rather dark, picture from the hallway that shows the ceiling with dried spackle over cracks and grooves. 

Here is a shot, post sanding.
This is not the same area as the first picture, but this spot looked the same.  The ceiling imperfections are still there, of course, along with the white areas that are now smooth with spackle, but you can really see the difference.  It looks so much smoother and will take to the paint so much better.

  The next step is to wipe down the ceilings so there is not dust.
Then, PAINTING!  woohoo!

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