An inch of snow

5 04 2007

Mark and his snow machine 

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:

See, I was trying to blow the dust out the window…. 

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.



7 responses

5 04 2007

Heh. You didn’t see the pictures of me from Christmas in Mississippi after sanding the drywall. I looked like a ghost– it was pretty cool! Also, bandanas work a little better than hats for sanding.

5 04 2007

I just want my dining room back.

5 04 2007
Daddy Forever

Sounds like we are both suffering from diy projects. Yesterday, I dug deep, deeeeeeeeeeeep holes for fence posts. I’m still sore.

6 04 2007

Working outdoors would be nice, except it’s too cold here.

7 04 2007

in order to get the dust out, hire a contractor…they’ll take care of the dust too!


11 04 2007
Michele B

Hmmm…Mark, waxing for you would have been too pricey and too painful an undertaking!!!

Babak didn’t come with us for Easter ostensibly because he was going to start working on the subfloor extention in the kitchen. When I got home, nothing looked any different…”it was too cold – I couldn’t get motivated”. Meanwhile I found Dove chocolate walnut cookies in the cupboard, triple chocolate specialty icecream in the freezer, cherry coke in the garage, fastfood remnants and receipts from the video store. Obviously he had a 4 day kid free, junk food, movie watching extravaganza…so much for a jump start on our kitchen renovation…

11 04 2007


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