Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A dressing room in the making

When we converted our Ugly Duckling back from a duplex to a single-family home, we took the first steps to change the former upstairs kitchen into part of our - someday - luxurious master bedroom retreat complete with dressing room and master bath.

We had the existing kitchen demolished, tore everything out and laid down new sub-flooring. Our wonderful contractor team built a wall to divide the old kitchen up into dressing room and bathroom, our favorite plumber updated the plumbing and outlets and switches were updated and brought to code. It stayed like that for a while, while we worked on other areas, but since we do kind of appreciate the convenience of keeping our clothes on easily accessible shelves and hangers rather than using a hodgepodge arrangement of baskets and bags scattered all over the place it was time to get 'er done.

So last Saturday, after the husband's return from a conference in Arizona and armed with a coupon, we raided the blue box for a Jeep-load of supplies and tackled project "dressing room".

For my first part of the project I picked up this handy dandy drywall kit

[My new sandbox toys]

It was only $4 more expensive than a 8 inch mudding knife and I got a mudding pan and all kinds of nifty putty blades in various shapes and sizes to boot, not to mention a little plastic container with some mud mix (which we didn't use since we had a whole bucket of joint compound left over from the other drywall projects in the house).

Armed with my new toys I set to work. What you are essentially doing is layering mud aka joint compound over the tape that covers the joint of two pieces of drywall to make the seams blend into the regular wall surface. For that you need to apply 2 or more thin coats that feather out to the edges (or else you'd create a bump) with your putty knife. While it's recommended for non-professionals to start with a narrow putty knife and then get progressively larger, I discovered that an 8 inch knife felt just about right, so I stuck with that.

I loaded my mud pan with mud from the bucket and then mixed in some water, slowly and just a little at a time, to make it ...well, muddier. Fresh from the bucket it's a little dry and harder to work but make sure it doesn't get too soupy or you'll just be dribbling all over the place and leave a soggy mess.

Once I was happy with my layering and the mud had dried, sanding was the next order of business. While I'd been careful to create as smooth a surface as possible, a final sanding really did the trick.

It also left me looking like a pasty white ghost :o)

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