Monday, September 10, 2012

Mudding and Priming

Mudding the walls is a time consuming job.  It is done to cover the seams and screw holes in the walls.  Glenn read in depth about how to mud seams to get a smooth finished look. 

We bought a few really big buckets of the mud (which looks alot like muffin batter), added a little water and stirred it all up to a nice creamy consistency. 

The method Glenn learned involves doing 3 layers of mud, letting each dry in between, and using increasingly wider lengths of the blade to spread it on with.

So the first layer used a blade that was 8 inches wide.  Just wide enough to get a nice thin layer of paste to help a length of fiberglass tape adhere to it.  The fiberglass tape has tiny particles of glass in it – so gloves were necessary to handle it.

Here is Glenn spreading mud on the seam in our closet.


It’s important to keep the blades clean as you work, or the mud, which dries out quickly, will not have the right consistency to get a smooth look.  To clean the blade, you just continually wipe it on the edge of the narrow mud pan.  Dip the blade into the pan, get a nice wedge of mud, wipe it on the seam, scrape the excess off the wall, clean the blade, repeat. 



Like I said, it is a time consuming process, especially because we also had to do the ceilings.  After 3-4 days of Glenn working on it by himself, I convinced him to teach me how to do it.  Although I’m still not as proficient as he is, I managed to get quite a lot done while he was at work, and then when he arrived after work, we worked together.  We didn’t necessarily talk a lot, but it was nice just hearing the scrape, scrape of the blades as we worked near each other.

The second layer uses a larger blade – about 10 inches – and you work the mud out a little farther from the seams, thinning it out toward the edges.  The third layer uses a 12 inch blade and you use it to make a final wider coat of mud that when dry, will need almost no sanding because it is so smooth.

I wish I had a few more pictures to show you – but I was working.  Smile  It took a little more than a week, but we finally finished.  I sanded the dry seams and the screw holes to get the excess mud off and then primed the walls with Zinsser Primer 1-2-3.  It is a water (latex) based primer and does a great job covering the walls and dries quickly.

Here is a look at the new wall in the main bathroom, seams mudded and the wall primed with primer.


After all the mudding, sanding, and priming were finished, I painted the ceilings.  The ones which are textured needed a roller brush with a really thick nap – I used a 1 inch – to get in between all the little textured nooks and crannies.  I used a flat white ceiling paint, which worked great!


I know it’s a dark picture, but I wanted you to see the texturing.  This is our bathroom. 

Then it was time to paint the walls!  Yee haw!  I was so happy.  I used the same color as in the dining room because I love the clean, warm freshness of that room.  But, since most of the new area is mudroom, laundry room, etc. – in other words, high traffic areas, I chose a semi-gloss enamel, instead of the usual satin.  I couldn’t be happier with the outcome!  The walls are kind of shiny and reflect the light so beautifully.  Plus they will be a cinch to clean since they are so slick and smooth.  The enamel provides a hardening effect to the paint and is generally used in kitchens and bathrooms.


Something to think about when considering wall paint options – the semi-gloss enamel is shinier, but it will tend to show any inconsistencies or flaws in the wall, like where the mud didn’t dry as smoothly or I didn’t sand as well.  A satin paint will hide more of the flaws, but is not as “clean-able”, still better than a flat paint, which just doesn’t clean well at all.  It comes down to what you prefer– shiny walls that may not look flawless but are fabulous to clean.  Or walls that are harder to clean, but are terrific at hiding flaws. 

So there you have it!  The pictures aren’t as great in this post – I apologize profusely! 

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