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smooth plaster walls

March 4, 2010

I’m sure you all remember how we turned this bad bathroom before into a less bad bathroom-in-progress, right?

Well, we were left with a bunch of messy, unsmooth walls, and since we’d like to paint said walls, we needed to do something to smooth them out.  Enter our handy, dandy bag of 90 (as well as the other supplies shown in the picture).

We’ve used it a few times to patch holes in plaster (like when we installed a new light and had to repair our kitchen ceiling) and we always get a giggle out of using the bag of 90.  I’m not even sure that’s really what it’s called, to be honest.  It’s just that I tend to be one of those people that other random people like to talk to.  It was kind of a curse while waiting at the bus stop in the big city.  I can’t even tell you how many people carrying suspicious little brown paper bags would stop me to talk to me.  People in airports love me.  I used to* make a new friend every time I flew somewhere.

Anyways, one day, while in a Lowe’s in Kentucky (where we were living at the time), I was looking at paint samples and somehow ended up talking with a short, chubby older man with a slight drawl and a limp.  To be honest, he might have also been really drunk.  He was all muttering and whatnot.  Somehow we were talking about what I was doing – painting plaster walls – and he was telling me how to go about patching any cracks, and by that I mean, he kept muttering, “you need a bag of 90.  bag of 90!”  So I followed this man around Lowe’s in search of the bag of 90. bag of 90! And now every time I use the bag of 90, I think of that crazy man.  How nice he was to tell us what we needed to do in our early home renovating days.  And also?  How creepy the whole experience was.


Back to the bathroom.  Jason sanded the walls, and installed our new, noisy ceiling fan (noisy because the bathroom is near the kitchen and the fan needs to block out any other bathroom noises).  He also replaced the electrical outlet and installed a new junction box for the new bathroom light that we’ve purchased.

I washed the walls with TSP to prepare them to be plastered and painted.

Then, I got out my handy bag of 90 and went to work.  The trickiest part is getting the consistency right.  I like my plaster to be just a little gooeyer than toothpaste.  Here’s where I also note that it’s a great idea to work in thin layers – don’t goop this stuff on!

I did two thin layers in our bathroom, making sure to give each layer enough time to dry.

Then, I used my home-made sanding block (sand paper wrapped around a wood block) and sanded down any bumps with a 120 grit paper.  Next, it was time to prime all of the walls.  I did two layers of primer and then used 3 layers of ceiling paint (on the ceiling portions only).  Which brings us to where we are today:

We’ve got smooth, primed walls that are begging for some beadboard and paint… which happens to be on the agenda for this weekend!

*I never make new friends when I’m with Jason.  He claims it’s because he’s got a perpetual “don’t talk to me look” on his face.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2010 10:47 am

    Is joint compound also called plaster? I always thought it was just the old school plaster and lath that had the “plaster” name.

    Anyways, your walls are looking much better! 🙂

    • March 4, 2010 10:57 am

      You’re probably right – I shouldn’t use the term “plaster” so willy-nilly! 🙂

      • March 4, 2010 11:05 am

        Hee hee, fixed it. Except the title. But I’m not sure “smooth joint-compoundy walls” has the same ring to it. And the walls are plaster (under the joint compound) anyways, so I think it still counts. 🙂

      • March 4, 2010 11:08 am

        Hah! I don’t think it would have hurt anything to leave it as is, I see it all of the time. I was more-so opening up a dialog on if I have been misunderstanding it all this time 🙂

  2. March 4, 2010 10:55 am

    My sister talks to anyone and everyone and I’ve got to tell you, it gets rather annoying.

    I am a person who just wants to go through life quickly and easily; without knowing everything about everyone that I will never see or speak to again.

    Sorry…I sound bitter. 😛

    • March 4, 2010 11:00 am

      I think you and my husband are probably on the same page with this – he rolls his eyes at me. It’s just that when people start talking, I don’t want to be rude and cut them off…

  3. GGG permalink
    March 4, 2010 11:21 am

    Did you ever consider writing a book?!?! (you might even be able to include the moose story in it! and I’m sure you could make it sound funnier than I did) Love your postings!

    • March 4, 2010 4:11 pm

      I’m still working on getting you a blog, GGG, so you can share your own moose stories. (Then, we have to get you a scanner so you can scan your old moose photos and share them with the internet. THEN, we’ll see who gets a book deal! 🙂 )

  4. March 4, 2010 12:36 pm

    That is a million times better and easier than dry walling! Great job!

  5. March 4, 2010 2:06 pm

    The bathroom looks amazing already!

    Also, weird people tend to talk to me, too. Like the guy recently in the grocery store who told me and my husband that they put soda on sale so that you buy it, get hooked on it, and keep buying it. Then he tried to give us a flier of some sort. We declined.

    • March 4, 2010 4:10 pm

      Did you know that Coca-cola used to contain cocaine? Seriously.

      They removed it in the early 1900s, so I’d be hesitant to believe the grocery store man. I mean, Coke funded the olympics so they can’t be all evil, right?

      Gotta love it when random strangers want to share “facts” with you…

  6. March 4, 2010 2:58 pm

    So much better!

  7. Jim permalink
    March 4, 2010 3:12 pm

    Hi, Jen. I know how you feel. If there are 10 people standing around and someone comes along needing directions, I will be the person who gets asked even if I’m not wearing a Rand McNally/Mapquest jacket. I always feel there is some invisible (at least to me) sign over my head that says “ask this guy for directions.”

    Bathroom is shaping up nicely. I can’t wait to see the finished product and the whole house in person next month.


    • March 4, 2010 4:07 pm

      But don’t you usually know the directions!? You’re the first guy I’d ask for directions! (But that’s cause I know how good you are with them).

      Maybe we just look friendly?

  8. Debbie permalink
    March 4, 2010 7:34 pm

    Bathroom looks great already! Can’t wait to see the finished product!
    I like that people find you friendly; tell your husband not to be such a sourpuss.

  9. March 4, 2010 7:46 pm

    Yes, you have a way with creepy people. Lucky you. You also have a way with annoying sleepers (or is that creepy sleepers?). Have you ever mentioned to your hubby that you were stuck sharing a bed with me on all ski trips? I appreciate it tho. Boss would never put up with my sleeping walking, talking, spooning ways.

  10. March 4, 2010 10:39 pm

    Hee Hee, I love that comment about your hubby at the end.

  11. March 4, 2010 11:34 pm

    I am so impressed with your skills! We have tried something similar at our house and failed miserably…the walls were rougher than when we started. Bravo!

  12. March 7, 2010 6:52 pm

    Bathroom walls look great – and I am sure your arms are now aching.

    Did not think your hubby looked TOO unfriendly when I met up with you in Belfast – in fact he looked almost normal!!! (LOL!)


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