Patched, Primed and Ready to Go!

Progress, Progress I tell you! My house is now almost plaster dust free. After a month straight of this stuff (backed up to 2-months of bathroom renovations) I’m ready to screaaam from the rooftops and do a happy dance or two while I’m at it. Wootie Wootie, tootie fruitie. See, I’m HAPPY!! You see, while we had the mud out for the patching of our hole from the wall removal, I got all motivated to tackle another, lingering, old house problem. Pillowing plaster, ever heard of it? Me neither, until we moved into this fine establishment.

How to remove pillowing on plaster
Pillowing Plaster

It is kind of hard to see in the picture above, but our entire house has a small crease every foot and a half or so, that is about the size of a pillow. Can ya see it? After lots of research, we found that this issue is totally non-structural, and results when the final coat of the plaster is put on prematurely, which leads to the pillowing effect as it dries. Not the ugliest thing, many would say, old house – adds to the charm! But while we had the trowel out I figured let’s just dominate this room and bust this beast out. Here is a more intense version of the pillowing, it is only cracked like this in a few locations.

How to remove pillowing from plaster
Removing Pillowing

Since we knew we would have to paint the living room anyway (since it is connected to the dining and kitchen), we figured now was the best time to rid the house of the plaster pillowing. It’s a big pain in the rear to skim coat every surface, sand it, and then (often) skim coat it again, but in the long run, I think it is going to be worth it.

How to fix pillowing of plaster
Fixing the Pillow

We came through and added a skim coat along the lines we found the most offensive. We didn’t go after every single crease, rather we tried to go for the ones that we knew were the most glaring to the eye, namely ones directly above a lighting source, since the creasing led to shadows on the wall that made the lines look even more pronounced.

How to remove plaster pillowing
Sanding Wall

Here is the wall against our couch after the first round of sanding. See what I mean with the 1″ coat of dust around this joint. For real people.

We knew that it would be super important to come back over each coat of mud with a thorough coat of primer, since the joint compound really sucks up the paint. If you don’t do this, it will make your paint coat look very uneven and the joint compound section will have a different texture from the rest of the wall. No good, amigo.

How to seal drywall joint
Priming Wall

We had some places to patch up in the kitchen as well. Under the window sill (where there was some backsplash tile) we had some patching to do. The rest is going to get the subway tile treatment, so we left it unpatched.

How to patch plaster holes
Sanding Mud

While we were at it, we decided to paint the kitchen ceiling, too, to get the room ready for it’s coat of paint. Just saying that makes me giddy. I can’t fa-reaking believe that we are going to be painting soon, now THAT feels like progress. We definitely had a rainbow effect going on in there. See all the different colors up on the ceiling. It’s high time to take this melting pot and turn it into one lovely shade of crisp, white, ceiling paint.

How to paint ceiling
Paint Ceiling

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