PART ONE: Clown Room: From Horror to Primer...
Rehab house. Cracks on walls. Cracks on ceiling. Clown colored, 2nd bedroom. No frames on windows. Windowsills painted with 17 coats of paint. Carpet full of all sorts of nastiness.
Turns out there was really unique hardwood-floors underneath (BONUS!!!). I'll cover that in a separate entry.
In this project, I'd like to tell you my own experience and not only what to do, but what not to do when restoring an old tired room like this.
No frames on the windows at all. The windowsills were pathetic and covered with every coat of paint and primer ever put down on the walls.
Cracks all over the walls, especially around the windows and door. Cracks across the ceiling, likely along the joint of two sheets of drywall.
Rip it out!
Get rid of that garbage windowsill. Be careful with it though. The more damage you do to your walls while tearing them off, the more work you have to do mudding (and i HATE anything dealing with mudding).
All those cracks in the walls and ceilings.....? MAKE THEM BIGGER!!!! Seriously, take your box-cutter and cut "V-shaped valleys" into them so the mud you put down will have somewhere to affix to.
Now use your drill to drive 1" drywall screws into the studs in the walls and joists in the ceiling surrounding the cracks. You'll probably miss a lot, but you'll find them. Don't worry about the misses, you'll just mud them up along with the hits when you're done.
Remove any stray strands of drywall paper with a knife before moving on.
MUDDING & SANDING:
The Bane of my DIY Existance.
THE GOOD NEWS: No matter how BAD you are at mudding, you can always fix it with sanding. The better you are at mudding, the less you'll have to sand. Mud is CHEAP compared to most other DIY materials per gallon.
THE BAD NEWS:
The more mud you use, the more you'll likely have to sand off. Sanding, especially overhead, is a big drain, physically (be sure to wear a mask).
There are plenty of resources for learning how to mud, tape and sand drywall. Google them. Who knows? You might have the magic touch with the mudding to make this step a breeze. Years later, I still sand off half of what I mud.
But for sanding, make sure you use a hard-backed sander and/or pole sander on the seams, and only use a sponge when cleaning it up. If you just use a sponge, it will look bad when you paint no matter how good you thought you were doing.
Now that everything is taped and mudded and sanded to your liking, it's time to make your fresh canvas.
For painting, I like to use a variety of wool rollers. Not only do they give a subtle "orange peel" effect to the finish coat, but if you don't leave them unattended mid-paint for an hour and you wash them immediately after using them for a room, you can re-use them a hundred times or more.
For primering, I usually just go cheap and lazy. First, buy a 5 gallon bucket if you're doing 2 rooms or more. It's anywhere from 75-90 bucks for the bucket, but way cheaper than 25-30 bucks a gallon.
NO OIL PAINT/PRIMER! It's unnecessary 99.9% of the time and you might as well just throw all the painting tools away since cleanup is such a mess.
Killz 2 is my favorite, but the Menards Z brand is pretty much just as good.
I like using the disposable 3 packs of foam rollers for primer. I can just put a rag over the paint tray and roller between coats if it needs a second one, and just throw away the roller when the work is done.
In a future update I'll go into more detail about some minor electric work and refinishing a hardwood floor.
Thanks for reading!