The 'Rents Visit - Part Two

My father virtually completed the shower by himself, while the rest of us (Brice, Melanie - Brice's sister, my mother, and myself) devoted our time to getting the back addition ready to wallpaper. Many will remember that the back addition was covered wall to ceiling in paneling (Laundry Room Paneling). The only exceptions was were new walls had been added and were made out of drywall. When I bought the house I decided that I didn't like the paneling and would take it out. It wasn't until later that I discovered that the paneling was actually solid wood, tongue and groove, paneling, that was substituted for plaster or drywall. The walls were made out of paneling. And to make it worse, new walls were built over the existing paneling. To take it out and put up wallboard would require very intense labor and a small chunk of change. I really couldn't live with paneling placed horizontally on the floor and ceiling. After a lot of research on the internet, I discovered that there is a whole host of people that would like to get rid of their paneling from the seventies, but for various reasons, they do not want to actually remove it from the wall. Most wanted to paint their paneling, but first needed to fill it in.

I decided that we would fill in the paneling and then paint it. However, my paneling was not seamless, and I was afraid that the joint compound would crack. So after more deliberation, I decided that the best way to hide the paneling was with paintable, textured wallpaper. We would first need to fill in the paneling so that the wallpaper would have something to stick to. I tested several compounds. Wood filler worked great. Ideally wood filler is meant to bond to wood, does not shrink, and would most likely not crack if the wall flexes. However, wood filler is messy and VERY expensive if you wanted to fill in two rooms with paneling. The second compound was spackle. Spackle also work well, but it was messy and still pretty expensive to use for this application. The final compound was joint compound. Although it probably has the highest potential to crack, it is the most affordable and easiest to apply. We made sure to use the powdered kind, since it has a chemical reaction making it bond better and shrink less. We didn't need perfection, but we did need a smooth surface for hanging wallpaper.

After the joint compound was applied and sanded (about two days), we sealed it with primer made for new drywall. Although this primer was made for new drywall, if you coat it too thick, it could successfully remove the joint compound that you had put up. So we applied two coats. It dries very quickly, but has a very strong smell. I have read that ideally you should let the joint compound cure for about a week before applying the primer, but we were in a hurry to use my parents expertise and I am not sure that would make a difference, since wetting joint compound will certainly remove it.

The final day, we started to wallpaper. I begged my parents to start on the ceiling, since I knew I would need the most help with this. We snapped a chalk line on the ceiling so that we could make the lines as straight as possible. This was no easy feat, since nothing in the house is straight and you can't use the walls or ceiling as a reference point. We applied a thin layer of wallpaper paste, even though the wallpaper was pre-pasted. The wallpaper paste has to be brushed on thinly, since it tried to take off the primer layer. While that was drying, we cut the wallpaper to about an inch longer than the required length, wet it, and "booked" it. With three people, we put the wallpaper on the ceiling, smoothed out any air bubbles and held out breath to see if it would stay.

Here are the final results for the small bedroom's ceiling. We weren't able to finish all the walls yet, but so far, everything looks real good. Once it is painted, it will hopefully look a lot like textured drywall.

No comments: