Sunday, September 4, 2011

Frugality is my normality.

After having very quickly used up the last gallon of pink drywall compound, and realizing I'd use about two gallons per room from this point forward, I decided to look for a less-expensive alternative.  (I don't like the word cheap because it implies low quality.)  Shopping online at Home Depot, I found a product made by Sheetrock that's not only bubble-resistant but low dust!  It's formulated so that when sanded, the tiny particles don't remain airborne to settle at will, but tend to bind together so they fall straight to the ground for vacuuming.  This makes for a cleaner dust mask and goggles and a much easier clean-up.  Regular drywall dust is like an ex-husband; you think you've totally gotten rid of it but every now and again you still find an aggravating trace.  If most ex-husbands fell straight to the ground and all traces got vacuumed away, life would be much less complicated.  Maybe the court system should work on that.


The Sheetrock mud is great thus far.  I haven't done any sanding to advise on its magical dust properties but I do like its workability.  The only drawback is having to work very, very quickly after it's spread.  It doesn't like being smoothed over too many times nor bothered after it's set for over a minute or so. The consistency at that point is somewhat akin to white, solid, underarm deodorant:  kind of crumbly and powdery.  If you realize a minor mis-swipe too late, deal with it after the coat has fully dried.

A huge difference between the DAP pink stuff and the new Sheetrock stuff is price.  DAP is $15 per gallon.  Sheetrock is $14 for three and a half gallons.  That's my kind of shopping!

I'm still pleased with the metal inside corners.  They provide such a nice, uniform look for only around $2.80 per 8' section.  No worries with accidentally cutting through paper tape when applying the first coat of mud.  I also won't have to look up years later to see a repaired paper corner that's cracked through again.  It's easy to see why some of the newer and less-experienced drywall contractors are flocking to buy them.  It's also understandable why some of the old-schoolers are scooping them up because someone experienced could absolutely fly through a house by using these things.

I'm almost done now with the living room plaster repair and am so relieved.  It's definitely the worst in both the number and severity of cracks.  A downfall is that all the other rooms have one or two cracks that go totally across the ceiling and those are the ones I hate the most.  A walkboard system would make things quicker and smoother but they are very expensive to buy and almost as bad to rent.  I'm stuck working off a stepladder and can only work in about a two-foot length before getting down to move the ladder forward.

I'll post pictures of the living room repairs after they're sanded.  Sitting back and taking a look at all the blotches reminds me of being little and getting dotted with Calamine lotion after unfortunate poison oak/ivy contact.  You know it looks ugly for now but everything will soon be better.

Here's a picture of the boy last week at Lowe's.  He loves going since there's lots to look at and he gets extra attention from other shoppers.  I always put a blanket in the child seat part of the cart so his butt doesn't squish through the leg holes.  Of all the shopping trips he's ever made, this was the first one where he burrowed down into the blanket and made himself all comfy.  I guess he figured it's just as easy lying down and observing than expending extra energy by sitting.  I told him that people were laughing at him but he didn't seem to care.  He really did look cute.

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