Monday, June 30, 2014

Popcorn Ceiling

The first house I bought had that old popcorn ceiling. Some people may like that stuff but to me it doesn’t add appeal to a house. One of the first things I did (before moving in) is remove that ugly ceiling. Here is a How To of what I learned through the years. 

Step 1: Prepare the Room

The first thing you want to do is remove all furniture and items from the room. Clear it completely.  Then you will use two millimeter plastic sheets to seal off the entire room. Hang them from the very top of the wall or from the crown molding if that applies.  Using a window fan is a great way to add extra ventilation.  Also, add a drop cloth with a waterproof backing to cover the entire floor. Note: if your popcorn ceiling was added before 1979 you will need to get it tested for asbestos.

Step 2: Spray the Ceiling

Spraying the ceiling softens the texture and will help break down the adhesive which will make it easier to scrape off. You can use a basic garden sprayer or anything of that sort. You will want to work in a 5 feet square area. You don’t want the ceiling to absorb too much water and damage the paper surface and wallboards underneath.

Step 3: Scrape the Ceiling

After you spray a 5 feet square area, wait 10-15 minutes for the water to soak in. You will then start scraping it off with a ceiling texture scraper. A smaller putty knife is a great way to scrape off the corners and around the crown molding.  

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Utility Faucets: Not Just for Washing Clothes

            I like the outdoors.  I like to go camping, hiking, fishing, and other activities that can be pretty messy.  Sometimes after coming home from my outdoor adventures, the truck wouldn’t be the only thing caked in mud.  My clothes and shoes would get so dirty sometimes that you couldn’t tell what color either of them were underneath the dirt and mud.  A lot of the times I could just change my clothes and beat the mud off of my clothes and shoes, but that didn’t get everything off of them.  My wife had to let my pants soak and scrub off the majority of the mud that was left on them.  I would clean my shoes (my wife didn’t want to come near them since they usually smelt so bad).
            Since I didn’t want to use the kitchen sink to do all this, I would use the laundry room sink/faucet.  With all the stuff that I was cleaning off, I often clogged the sink drains and my shoes started to scratch the sink.  Sometimes it was hard to get the utility faucet we had to reach the clothes and other things that I needed to get clean.  After many years of doing this, my wife and I discussed it and we decided that it would be best to set up a cleaning station for our outdoor adventures out in the garage.

            We found a new sink to go in the laundry room and took the old one out to the garage.  Since we liked to go fishing as a family and eat the fish that we caught, we also decided to get a garbage disposal installed in the garage set-up as well.  To better clean the fish out and the dirty clothes that I would bring home, we got a wall mount utility faucet that had a longer spout on it.  The water put out by the faucet also was better than the small faucet we had in our laundry room.  This made it easier to clean clothes, boots, fish, and other game animals I needed to clean out.  Since the sink was our old one, we didn’t really care about how scratched up it would get.
            Ever since we decided to install this new set-up, everyone has been much happier.  I didn’t have to spend time unclogging the sink drains, my wife didn’t have to deal with me tracking mud in the house and getting the laundry room dirty, and fish guts didn’t have to be cleaned with the backyard hose.  We have also used the garage set-up for other things as well.  At the end of the summer once all the potted flowers have died, my wife uses it to clean out her flower pots so they’ll be ready for the next year.  When I have done work on our vehicles, I don’t have to worry about getting oil and grease all over the door and doorknob when going inside to clean my hands.  These faucets aren't just for washing clothes!