Monday, January 9, 2012

dining room project - stage 2... replacing popcorn texture with knockdown

The weekend comes, and so does the hard part of our dining room project. We got the word back from the labs that our ceiling is asbestos-free, so we can continue onward!

Stage 2 consists of scraping off all of the old, popcorn texture (and paint layered on top of it) and replace it with a knockdown-style texture. The easiest way to remove popcorn ceiling texture is to spray it down with water and scrape it off. Unfortunately, since it was painted, it was more difficult than it had to be. We had to get it wet enough to soak through the paint and into the popcorn texture. But before we can do that, we have to prep the room. It's a messy ordeal, and on top of that we have laminate floors which are a bit water-adverse. That means we need to be extra careful to make sure we don't get the floors too wet.

We layered some red rosin paper on the ground, just because it was cheap and kinda easy. Unfortunately, I didn't think it all the way through and realized that it's not a good water-proofing layer. So after that, we added a layer of plastic drop cloth. This turned out to be a good combination. The plastic drop cloth is generally easy to tear holes into, and the red rosin paper was a good base because it was tough and kept most of the stuff off the floor.

Layering red rosin paper on the floor

Once we had the floor setup, we then added drop cloth on the walls to keep them from getting overly wet. Since we're lazy people, we kind of half-assed this part but it didn't end up mattering. The walls got a bit wet on the corners adjacent to the ceilings, but it dried up just fine.

Anyway, I keep getting ahead of myself. Once everything was mostly protected (and removing the fixtures from the ceiling), we were ready to go. I bought a little pressurized sprayer, filled it with water, and started spraying down the ceiling. Since it was painted, it needed more water than expected. This part required the most effort and manual labor. Some places were just stubborn and required some liberal spraying (but without completely soaking the dry wall, of course). The corners were especially stubborn, and ended up being kind of messy looking compared to the rest.

 Plastic drop cloth up, ready to go!

 It's very exciting, I know

 Did  I mention how messy thhis is? Just barely started and there was crap all over the floor already

 Making some progress...

Kinda finished? Some of the drywall still a little damp

Drop cloth and a sheet make cleanup a breeze

That part took a long time, as you'd expect. I'd say about 3 hours for our  10.5x11.5 dining room. The next step is to prepare for the texture sprayer. We had extra red rosin paper, and masked the tops of the walls with that to prevent a lot of the splatter from getting on the walls. Notice that we didn't fully tape the paper. We are putting up crown molding so it wasn't worth all the extra tape to completely protect the top of the walls.

Next step is to get the mixture for the texture ready. For a knockdown texture, all you need is a box of all-purpose joint compound, a bucket, water, and something to mix it all with. I think in total, I used probably 3.5-4 quarts of water and it was still a little on the thick side. I've been told you want it to be like a thicker paint or a soupier pancake batter in terms of consistency. I got a mixer drill tool to make life much easier. I can't imagine having to do it manually.

I don't own the tools to do texture spraying, so I rented them for about $40 a day. It was a setup that was basically an air compressor and a hopper/sprayer attachment. I set the hopper to the biggest opening for the spray and set the air valve to somewhere around 80% of the maximum. The less air you use, the slower it comes out by the more "gloppier". I was having trouble with this particular hopper, and it could either be because it wasn't good, or because my mixture was a bit thick. I had to constantly shake the hopper to get the mixture to come out and even then it wasn't very consistent. In the end, I ended up having a type of mixed texture - something between knockdown and orange peel, having flavors of both. It was definitely more knockdown though. Once you spray the glops (technical term, of course), you want to wait about 10 minutes for it to start drying some. Then you can take a knockdown knife (or just a drywall taping knife) and glide over the glops to knock them down. You don't need to apply very much pressure.

I got all of the above done in one day, somehow. I let it all dry overnight, and did some touch up work in the morning in some places where I didn't get the kind of texture I wanted. In some places it was too misty, and in some places it came out too dense. The dense places, when knocked down, actually smoothed out completely which is not what you want. Lesson learned. I applied a bit of texture on top of the already smoothed out area to at least texture it up a bit more.

I let the newly applied compound dry, and then started priming. After an hour and a half to two hours, I applied the final paint coat. We got this nifty ceiling paint that paints on light purple, but dries to white. Since the priming coat was white, the purple tint was helpful. You can make sure you're getting full coverage because you can see the color you're painting. Once dried, everything looked surprisingly decent for our first stab at doing any of this.

 See the purple tint? This is the ceiling paint going on top of the primer coat

All done, assessing the job on the ceiling

I didn't take a picture, but once the ceiling was done we added a new dining room light to replace the older one. I'll take a shot of that later, since we're not done yet. Now to figure out exactly what colors we want to paint the dining room, and paint (stage 3). Once all the painting is done, we have one final stage... applying the crown molding. That should be interesting.

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