Texture and Paint (and vents, and a lot of cleaning)

Materials:

  • 2-Gal Homax Sand Ceiling Texture – qty 3 – ($84)
  • Paint Roller Covers – qty 2 – ($10)
  • Paint Roller and Brushes ($25)
  • Knockdown Texture Knife ($5)
  • Plastic Drop-Cloths ($10)
  • Painter’s Tape ($10)
  • Ceiling Paint – qty 3 – ($66)
  • Spray-on Primer ($5)
  • Ceiling Vents – qty 2 – ($20)
  • Total Cost – 1 Room – $235

Estimated Project Time: 5 hours

Actual Project Time: 7 hours

Let’s see, where to begin… After finishing with the popcorn removal in the master bedroom and living room on Tuesday, I thought that I would have time to both texture and paint before the move on Saturday. I was originally planning on taking the day off Friday, working on the house in the morning, and packing up the apartment in the evening. Unfortunately, none of my friends were willing to help me pack, either due to ACL or pure laziness, which meant that I was going to have to spend all of Friday packing, with only Wednesday and Thursday to finish up any pre-move work on the house. I did some research on ceiling texture, and the two main options were renting an industrial texture sprayer from Home Depot, or rolling on the texture with a paint roller. Being relatively poor in capital, but rich with cheap labor (my own), I opted for the roll-on option. The main types of ceiling texture are smooth, sand and popcorn. I figured that the smooth would expose too many of the flaws in the ceiling (and my shoddy workmanship), and opted for the sand texture. Once you roll on the texture, you can use a knockdown tool, sponge, or various other implements to create the desired texture. I was originally going to go for the knockdown texture, as it has a nice, clean look, but after seeing the results of the roll-on, decided that was good enough. The roller creates what is commonly referred to as an “orange-peel” texture, guess what that fucking means.

The roll-on texture on the left, and the raw ceilings on the right (if that wasn’t obvious already)

Though I’ve never actually been a rowing slave on a viking ship, I imagine that rolling on ceiling texture is a similar experience. The texture is somewhere in between spackling paste and frozen yogurt in consistency, and takes a tremendous amount of pressure to apply. Being that the material is so thick, the coverage is minimal, and requires constantly returning to the tray for more texture, each swath only covers about 4 sq. ft. of area (compare that to about 9-12 for paint, you sissies). Texturing the 600 sq. ft. living room and office took an excruciating five hours. During which I used three two-gallon tubs of ceiling texture, broke one roller, and covered myself in sand and sweat. That being said, I was actually somewhat pleased with the results, and proud of myself for not quitting 3 hours in and drinking myself into a stupor (which I really, really wanted to do).

The finished product, the dark spots were touch-ups
Orange-peel > Popcorn

After I finished the living room, I realized that there was no fucking way I would be able to texture and paint both the living room and master bedrooms before move-in, seeing as I had only one more working evening until packing/moving day. At that point, I could have either textured the master bedroom, and foregone painting both rooms, or painted the living room and left the master naked (the bedroom, not me). I decided that having one room completely finished would be the better option, and I could always stash my bedroom gear in one of the other rooms until I finished up the En-suite (fucking Canadians). Compared to rolling on texture, painting the ceiling was an almost enjoyable experience. I opted for two coats, in opposite directions, of Behr Premium Plus, in pure white. For some reason, every fucking thing in this house is painted off-white or beige, and I think it looks like shit. I was hoping that the texture would serve as a crude primer, and I could forego the process of rolling on an oil based primer first. There were a few water spots from a previous leak that had bled through the ceiling texture, and I decided to hit these areas with some primer via a spray can, to make sure they didn’t bleed through the top coat.

Once again, shoddy prep-work meant that I had a huge fucking mess to clean up after I finished painting. I neglected to tape the plastic drop cloth to the wall, and ended up with a 6-inch ring of paint splatters around the edge of the room, which I had the pleasure of scrubbing off the hardwood with a towel. Now I’ve never actually scrubbed the deck of a viking warship, but I imagine that this was a similar experience. I also took the opportunity to replace the rusted out, mangled vent registers with some new ones, which had a pretty nice effect on the fresh ceiling. Once again the shop-vac emerged as the hero of the day, and combined with some serious elbow grease, helped to turn the living room into a somewhat habitable space before the move.

Shiny, like the deck of a Viking warship.

I was originally being careful about not getting ceiling paint on the walls, but when I removed the painter’s tape, I found that the Home Depot brand blue tape is not to be trusted, and left a real shit sandwich of a paint line on the ceiling. I took a 2-inch brush and just redid the entire corner joint, applying a liberal amount of paint to both the walls and ceiling. As the walls will be painted in the next month or two, I figured who gives a fuck anyway. After two rounds of sweeping, and a liberal mopping, the room actually looked pretty nice. Ready to be filled with a bunch of shit in two days time.

I did a bunch of other shit too, I’ll post about it soon.