Remember how ugly and torn up the end wall in the kitchen was after my father-in-law and I removed the cabinets, and then I scraped all of the paint, wallpaper, and other stuff off? (Not the mention 10-inch-long exploratory hole that I gouged out of the drywall.)
Well, after an entire weekend of taping, repairing holes, skim coating, and sanding, that wall is now super smooth and ready for primer and paint.
I know that probably seems very boring to some of you, but after working on it the whole weekend, it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. 😀
Of course, it’ll be even more so once I get primer and paint on it. I’m hoping to do that today.
So for those of you who may have never done this before and want the details, let me show you how this wall went from a super rough, gouged, and torn up to patched, super smooth, and ready for paint.
I started the other day (I think it was Friday) with just a few smears of drywall mud on the wall, just to see if this whole skim-coating thing would work on this wall. I was using a 12-inch drywall mud pan, and a 10-inch mud knife.
And I always use the pre-mixed drywall mud. You can see the container sitting on the floor in the pic above. A 5-gallon container like that costs under $15.
So I smeared some mud onto the wall in the middle just to test it out. It’s kind of like icing a cake, but the goal is to use as little drywall mud as is needed in order to smooth out all of the rough areas.
I was convinced that it would work, but as you can see, I kind of got ahead of myself. I still had the top edge of the wall (where the wall meets the ceiling) to patch with drywall tape, and I still had a couple of rather large holes to fix.
In order to do the top edge of the wall, I used this paper drywall joint tape. A big roll of it is super cheap.
At the home improvement store, you’ll usually see all kinds of fancy joint tape, like self-adhesive mesh and such. I’ve tried those, and I’ve never been happy with the results. I always come back to this super cheap paper stuff.
I love the fact that it’s pre-scored right down the middle so that folding it along the middle lengthwise is a cinch.
To put it on the wall, I use a little 3-inch scraper/putty knife (sorry…it’s covered in dried mud, but you get the idea)…
…and I smear some mud across the top of the wall, and along the edge of the ceiling — just enough to make the tape stick. Then I put the tape on, use the scraper like a squeegee to get the excess mud out, and then mud right over the top of it to hide the tape.
For holes in the wall, I like to use these wall patches.
They come in three or four different sizes, and because they have a thin metal backing, they’re super strong.
I didn’t take pictures of the actual product or the process, but it’s just a self-adhesive square of thin metal with a mesh over the top. You just stick it to the wall, and mud right over it. It’s very simple and straightforward.
So with all of those repairs done, I was finally ready to skim coat the rest of the wall. It was very time-consuming and then took several hours to dry (I left it to dry overnight with two big box fans running in the kitchen). Then the next day I started sanding.
I’ll admit, I love sanding drywall mud. It sands so easily and smoothly. What I don’t love is the mess it makes. By the time I was done with the initial sanding, I was covered head to toe with white dust. I looked like a ghost. 😀
After the initial sanding, I used a tip that someone gave me on my Facebook page. They said to use a flashlight to be sure that you don’t have any cracks or divets in the drywall. Brilliant idea! So I used my flashlight and held it an an angle so that any uneven areas would cast a long shadow…
and then I used my small 3-inch scraper/putty knife to fill in those small areas. That didn’t take long at all to dry, and I was ready to give it a final sanding.
And the result is a beautifully smooth wall, ready for primer and paint…or texture, if you choose to texture your wall.
One lesson that I’ve learned personally about wall texture is that you never want to count on wall texture to cover or disguise any cracks, uneven areas, divets, or any other imperfections in your drywall. As I was told by the drywall guy who did the texture in our first house that we built in Oregon — texture isn’t a miracle worker! 😀
So even if you’re going to texture, you still want to start out with a wall that’s as smooth as possible.
I’ll eventually be removing the outlets in the wall (or I should say that my brother-in-law will eventually be doing that) and once they’re gone, patching those holes will be quite simple using those wall patches I showed you above. You’ll never know these outlets were there.
But this wall has come a long way, right?
In other news, I got a kitchen sink! I had originally planned on using an undermount stainless steel sink like I had in the condo. But the more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that what my little vintage house needs is an enameled cast iron sink that will bring the white of my appliances over to the sink side of the room, especially since I’ve decided to use a dishwasher that will be covered with a cabinet panel rather than the dishwasher that matches my appliances.
So before plunking down a few hundred dollars on a new one, I decided to see what ReStore had. And they had one that I really liked! Of course, when I got it home, it looked like this…
I didn’t realize it when I bought it, but this is a Kohler Hartland sink, and it retails on Faucets Direct for $322. And I got mine for $35! Score!
I set it in my front yard and gave it a good scrubbing with the hose and a sponge. It cleaned up pretty nicely.
It still has some scratches and discolored areas in the bottom, but I haven’t tried any cleaners on it yet. I’ll try some Barkeeper’s Friend and see if that works, plus I’ve also ordered some Kohler Cast Iron Cleaner, which I’ve heard can work miracles on the scratches. So we’ll see! Either way, I don’t really care. If it’s not perfect, then perhaps it’ll just look original to my house. I’ll just call it “charm.” 🙂