Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Raise the Roof

The ceiling in the addition to our house is a little different. It has rafters that are exposed to the room, which creates a very interesting architectural element, especially with their 9.5 ft height. (the funny part is that this ceiling is only one of six different types in our entire house, but more on that in another post).

Unfortunately, the ceiling in the living room is also the one we see the most often. Between entertaining our weekly group on Sunday Nights (to watch Zombies, Vikings, and Games centered around the procurement of Thrones), and just Scott and I watching our nightly Modern Family and Big Bang Theory, we tend to see it a lot. This wouldn't be an issue if it had been finished correctly.

As it stood, there were some flaws. The first of which was the single layer of paint that was used to cover the dark plywood ceiling and beams. The second of which was the horrible patch job applied to the raw wood that was never sanded. Coming in third would have to have been the yellowing of whatever spackle had been originally used and how in areas, the caulking was pulling away from the wood, leaving small cracks and gaps.

One night, as we laughed for the 100th time as Bernadette Rostenkowski screamed downstairs at Howard Wolowitz's mom, Scott and I both brought up how the ceiling needed a little bit of love. The next day, I ran out and grabbed some caulking and started the very boring task of prepping the 23ftx17ft expanse for it's new eventual coat of paint. 

Some places we couldn't do much about. This dip has been there since we moved in, but was inspected and merely described as, "a dip in the roofing". It was reported to not have any impact on the state of the roofing itself, so we have left it alone. As for the rest of the roof, the 'before' images are pretty revealing.

Other parts were just never painted, like around where the ceiling fan is mounted.

But after everything was patched, the difference was astounding. We haven't painted it yet, but even just having less gaps has brightened the room.

The biggest issue was where an old wood burning stove had previously stood in the corner of the living space. It had been taken out before we even toured the house, but the piece of wood that had been haphazardly placed over the hole was a less than desirable solution to hide it's remnants.

I carefully unscrewed all of the screws (none of which, after examination, matched in the slightest) and pulled down the old piece of scrap. I suppose I should have at least been happy that someone painted it white. The side that had faced the attic looked like this.

I'm guessing that most of the debris is from the old stove pipe (which was only taken out when we had our new roofing installed), but I wouldn't put it past some rodents to have made a little home up there. Ugh.

Once the old ceiling bandaid had been ripped off, it was time to apply a new sterile bandage that would hide the blemish much more convincingly. I grabbed some scrap wood and cut it in half, leaving me with two strips. These strips were going to support the piece of wood I would use to patch the hole. I could have also used a piece of drywall and some drywall mud/mesh, but I used wood so that it would blend in with the rest of the wood textured ceiling. It helps that we also had it in scrap, so this fix cost us nothing.

After cutting a piece of plywood that we had sitting around in the garage to the appropriate size (14in x 14in, how nice!), I then screwed it into the two supports that I had already mounted. (I did spray a coat of white primer on the plywood before mounting it, just to make it a little easier to paint later)


Using a scraper, I tried to take off as much of the extra material that was stuck around the hole as possible Then I patched it the same way you would patch a wall. Mud tape, mud/spackle/sand, add more mud, repeat.

While that dried, I went around and patched any other places that needed a little attention.

When everything had dried, been sanded, and was smooth, I came back to the new patch and gave it a quick coat of some white paint I had in the garage. Check out the difference.

Waaaaaaay before:

Sort of After:


What?! WHERE DID IT GO?! I believe it was a victim of my awesomeness...

We haven't quite gotten to repainting yet. As with anything, it's a process. We are just generally pleased to have most of the eyesores out of the way for when we do paint.

What do you think? Is repainting a ceiling a waste of time "as long as it's white", or do you think a little ceiling paint goes a long way toward cleaning up the look of a room? Let me know in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. This is fantastic work my dear. Good practice for when we redo the old cave room.