Ever start a project, and then a half hour into it realize what you’ve gotten yourself into?
That was me in August, when I first tried to pull wallpaper off our dining room walls. I saw the work ahead of me and ignored the project for the next six months. Now I’m finally at the stage where I can paint. When I think about all the hours I’ve put into this project it depresses me. Probably 12 hours for pulling down the wallpaper, another 2 hours for washing off the glue and residual wallpaper backing, 7 hours for patching the uneven spots with spackling, and now 3 or so hours of sanding. Sanding, that part of the project after which you can make snowmen with the kids – in the living room.
Ever start a project and then wish you’d never been born?
If you’re looking at patching a large portion of wall, or if you’re hanging drywall in your whole house, here are some pointers for when you’re sanding:
- Don’t use much spackling at all. It’s amazing how you think you’re only using a little and then it turns into lots and lots of dust.
- When sanding, wear a hat. When the water from the shower hit my hair, it hardened up like concrete. For a brief moment I thought I was going to have to shave my head.
- Wax all of your body hair off, including eyebrows and eyelashes. Any exposed hair will become a magnet for the dust.
- Purchase a hazmat containment unit for your room to keep the dust from getting out. Now before I can paint I have to wash off the bread and the coffee maker and everything else in the kitchen, as well as everything in the living room.
- If you use an electric sander, purchase an attachment that sucks the dust into your shop vac. Do they make these? That would have been a good thing to use.
- If you don’t want it covered in dust, take it out of the room. You don’t want to see my vacuum cleaner.
I had a fan sitting in the window blowing out, trying to keep the dust from the rest of the house. Here’s what my window screen looks like now:
If you know of methods or techniques that would’ve made my life easier on this project, please keep them to yourself. Unless, of course, you just like being mean to me.