Happy weekend! It’s been the kind of week where we started wishing for the weekend on Tuesday. We’ve both been crazy busy with work, but not so busy that we didn’t sneak in a little work on the house.
The Smurf room is completely insulated and drywalled, which means it’s time for taping and mudding. We grabbed our supersized bucket of joint compound and got down to business.
I learned something new: sheetrock is a brand. So it should be capitalized. I also learned that Sheetrock and drywall shouldn’t really be used interchangeably. And that “sheetrocking” is not a verb. In short, I learned that I have no idea what I’m talking about 72.3% of the time. Lets pretend that the last 3 weeks worth of posts never happened, OK? Thank you.
This was my first time mudding, so Bradley showed me the ropes before putting me to work.
He started by scooping some joint compound into his bucket. Not so much that it’s too heavy to carry around. And not so little that he has to go back for a refill every 10 minutes. Not too much, not too little: he Goldilocksed it.
I like to take words that aren’t verbs and turn them into verbs. Don’t judge me.
Next, he scooped a little mud onto his blade:
And he smeared it across the holes where we screwed the drywall to the studs:
At this stage, he was pretty generous with the mud and spread it several inches around the screwhole. Teehee, screwhole! I was trying to avoid saying it. I really was. But it’s so much easier to say than “the holes where we screwed the drywall to the studs.” Screwhole. Sorry, family.
Once all of the screwholes along the stud were covered, Bradley set his blade at an angle at the top of the wall:
And then dragged it all the way down to the floor to scrape up all of the excess mud:
All of our screwholes are filled with mud. …eww.
After Bradley gave me the Mudding 101, I took over the easy jobs — screwholes and small seams that didn’t require as much taping finesse. Bradley handled the harder seams, like the old doorhole we sealed up.
It used to look like this:
Then, for a while, it sat around looking like this:
We were pretty excited about taping, mudding and forgetting that this awkward doorway ever existed. I wanted to make a video of the whole thing. Maybe throw together a quick tutorial on how to tape and mud the crooked seams and big gaps. Unfortunately, when it came time to do the video, Bradley totally shot me down. Mr. Bashful said he felt too self-conscious to do a tutorial video, and that we should just stick to photos.
So I took photos instead of shooting a video. Then I pieced the photos together to make a bootleg
video animated gif of Bradley patching up the doorhole:
See? Motion is way more fun. I’ll convince him to do a video some day.
Here’s how the guest bedroom doorhole looks with one coat of mud:
We’ll need 2 more coats on that before it feels smooth and ready to paint, but we’re getting there!
We finished mudding all of the screwholes and the less complicated seams in the Smurf room:
We still have to give our screwholes a second coat and tape all of the big seams, but at least we’re making progress.
No more blue walls! And — squee! — no more granny wallpaper in the Smurf room closet:
It’s funny to call this the Smurf room now that it’s halfway through a facelift. It feels like a completely different room. Less of a kid’s room and more of an office. And that stunning brick wall definitely turned the whole look around:
We mentioned in an earlier post that we chose a paint color for the Smurf room:
It’s a very soft white — horseradish, to be exact. Our color scheme for the office is a mix of whites and soft greys with yellow accents. I also have my heart set on a white bookshelf with the back painted a bright yellow:
That’s been the plan ever since we got our hands on the house keys: whites, greys, yellows.
After we exposed the brick, though, we weren’t sure how our color scheme was going to work in the room. The red brick seemed so bold. We were worried that it would compete with the bright yellows we wanted. It could end up looking really chaotic.
We considered whitewashing the brick to soften the look. But the more we stared at it, the more we loved the raw red brick. We then considered changing the color scheme for the room. That also ended up being a no-go. We’d been daydreaming about a white-and-yellow room for so long that we were completely lost when trying to come up with new colors.
Finally, after going back and forth for days, we decided to give yellow-and-brick a shot. Maybe they wouldn’t look so bad together. We went to Lowe’s and picked up a bunch of yellow paint swatches. We stuck them to the brick to see the colors side-by-side:
We love it! Turns out our red brick looks just fine with most shades of yellow. The brighter, the better. So we wasted a solid 2 weeks fretting over something that ended up not mattering one bit. In the end, we’re saving a lot of time by not whitewashing the brick, and we still get to keep the color scheme we’ve been loving in our head. Win-win!
What we learned from this project:
- We finally understand why so many people have textured walls — it’s to cover their crappy taping!
- Mudding a ceiling? Get ready for sore shoulders.
- We found that holding our blade at about a 45° angle worked really well for scraping mud. If we held it at too much of an angle, we got streaks.
- Mud dries fast, so you have to work fast. If you need a break, cover up your mud with saran wrap to keep it wet.
- Messed up your mud-job? It’s not the end of the world. You can always sand the excess and apply a new coat or two to get a smooth wall.