Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dry Wall Finishing & Paint

A lot has happened, and I want to update, but I also want a placeholder for pics and tips that will likely come to mind.

So, this is it.

Aldrine finished hanging all the dry wall in pretty short order. There were few problems, save for a missed closet light ("Funny bulge in there Aldrine..." "Huh? Oops!) and an under-counter light wire that got drywalled over a stud creating a funny high spot. Aldrine just thought we were REALLY bad framers.

While he ought to know (he made our framing looks REALLY good), we aren't THAT bad. The repair was seamless and invisible.

The end result was beautiful.

There are three tips that I want to pass on:

1) Pay attention to your furring lumber. Just discard racked boards. Later in the process you'll know to do this, but we screwed up our finish because of some boards we put up early and didn't catch until after drywall was up and finished. Most folks won't notice but some will. So, when the lumber comes in, look at every 1X4 down its length. If it twists or is warped badly, pull it. You can cut it into short blocks where the twist or warp won't matter.

2) If your ceiling joists are really uneven, run 1x3's at 90' at 16" intervals all the way across them. We screwed them but you can nail them. You can then adjust them by getting your head up very high s you can look down each run and lower the boards in places where the joists are higher. This creates a nice reasonably level, wide nailing area for your dry wallers. Your ceilings will look MUCH better. We're told that a rolling scaffold works very well, but we managed with just 2 6' ladders.

3) Aldrine insisted upon 5/8" board for the ceilings. He just said, "It's better". I agree. As much work as we did smoothing out the ceiling joists with 1x3's, they weren't perfect. 5/8" hides the imperfections and lays much more smoothly. It looks great.

3.5) Aldrine insisted upon "Straight Flex" to deal with the funky angles up in the attic. If you're a DIYer, try that stuff. He also wanted Durabond 20 for some of the finishing, which he's great with, but he's fast and professional. It does NOT leave you with much time to get it up. They have a slower drying compound that's better for amateurs.

Hopefully, we have some close ups to show.

Once done with Dry Wall, we ran on to paint.

Normally, one primes dry wall, then paints. We were told that if we're in a huge hurry to get in, just spray it with 2 coats of primer (it would pass inspection) and worry about paint later. All well and good.

So we went to ICI and asked about primer. We were told that there's primer and there's primer and then there's paint and better paint. We were told that if we're doing two coats of primer, it'll be OK, but it won't look great and we'll have to paint anyway. Two coats of self-priming good quality paint and we're DONE for not much more.

Both of us hate "half a$$ed" solutions, so we picked a nice neutral high quality latex that we could get lots of 5 gallon buckets of and took that tack. The trick here is we used a standard color. Why? We wanted to buy what we thought we needed and a bit more. If we had 5 gallons left, we could return it--not a custom color.

Next up, get a paint sprayer. We thought about buying one. You can get them fairly cheaply. Alas, they are fairly cheap in outcome. You can also rent a good one. For something like $79 a day, you can rent a serious paint sprayer. Folks, in 9 man hours you can easily paint 2000 square feet with two coats. DONE. Including clean up. How long does it take you to roll out a room?

Painting tips:

Take your time and mask everything off before you get the sprayer. It takes time. Paint before flooring goes in unless you want to have drop cloths.

Make sure you get your walls clean--damp mop off the dust that doesn't vacuum or blow off. It has be recommended that one open up one end of the house and then get a leaf blower and a mask and just blow all the dust out. I have no experience with that, but it sounds fun and ought to work. We used a compressor with a blower fitting. If your compressor is large enough, it should work well. If not (our wasn't) definitely follow up with a damp mop.

Cover up. Wear goggles. I was wiping latex OUT of my eyes by the end. Gross. A mask is a very good idea. Preferably a P-100 respirator.

This is a two man job. Get a helper and make sure that they have a roller. There will be drips unless you are very good. Someone needs to get them immediately and roll them out. Also, the sprayer is heavy, as are the 5 gallon buckets of paint. You don't want to hurt your back changing out your paint. A helper, um, helps.

If you have time, get your trim in first (we didn't). That way, the paint seals it in and saves you a lot of detail work later.

REMOVE (don't just mask or use the "shower caps" that come with) your smoke detectors. Modern smoke detectors are VERY sensitive and they are also all connected so that if one goes off, they ALL go off. Killing the fuse doesn't do anything either. There is nothing like being half way through a paint job at 8:00 at night and suddenly having the din of 7 alarms going off. Why? Because the FUMES set one of the alarms off.

We put a fan on the offending smoke detector, and after a couple minutes, it stopped. We set the fan down and it went off again. Fine. We turned the fan up, and set it on a paint bucket. All quiet. The next morning (with the windows open all night) we turned off the fan and WEEET, WEEET, WEEET!. Take it from me. REMOVE the smoke detectors until all paint vapors have cleared the house.

The outcome on painting with a sprayer is very nice, and very uniform. What paint you do get on you actually washes off more easily, though it gets into every nook and cranny. I figure that the paint sprayer saved about 30 man hours, if not more and could have saved more than that had we had time to get everything in place.

More coming soon and we'll also come back and add some pics shortly.

1 comment:

alan herrell - the head lemur said...

You always want to use 5/8 drywall for ceilings and exterior walls. First is the fire rating, 1 hour vs 45 minutes for 1/2. (In most places it is code also)
Second is the stiffness, in terms of resistance to sagging over time.
Third is sound transfer, 5/8 is quieter.