Posts Tagged ‘scratches’

Smoothing Textured Walls = Sanding Dust

May 19, 2021

This master bedroom had textured walls that needed to be smoothed before the wallpaper could go up. (Texture looks bad under the new wallpaper, plus it interferes with good adhesion.)

I “skim-floated” the walls with drywall joint compound (what we call “mud”). This is akin to troweling on plaster.

Once that was dry, I sanded the walls smooth. In the first photo, you see the amount of dust that is created!

In the second photo are my “sanding sponges.” Some are coarse, some are fine, and one is angled, all with specific uses. These became available maybe 25 years ago, and are a huge improvement over the sandpaper-wrapped-around-a-block-of-wood that everyone used previously.

The putty knife is used to knock off big globs or high ridges, before hitting the wall with the sanding sponges.

Actually, I used to use a hand-held electric sander. That tool was fast, but it put a whole lot of dust into the air, and it traveled all over the room.

The sanding sponges are hand-operated and don’t throw dust up into the air. Also, manufacturers have made improvements to the joint compound formula which encourage the dust to sink to the floor rather than become air-borne.

You still end up with a lot of dust, though. And it does sift all over the room.

No problem. I simply bring in my Shop Vac (not pictured) and vacuum up all the dust. There’s still residual dust, so I use a damp rag to wipe dust off the floor, and a damp sponge to remove dust from the walls. (Important, because wallpaper will not adhere to a dusty wall).

Note that the photo shows an empty room. In rooms that have furniture, I cover it with painter’s plastic. And in most situations, which are usually one accent wall, I put up a sheet of plastic along the wall, draped from ceiling to floor, which contains dust to the 3′ along the wall, and prevents dust from getting to the rest of the room.

I also want to note that I am a big proponent of drop cloths. The reason you don’t see them in this scenario is because you can’t vacuum dust off a dropcloth, because the dropcloth gets sucked up into the vacuum nozzel. Much easier to vacuum dust up off a solid floor, and then wipe up any residue.

I also want to note that all my ladders wear “booties” / baby socks on the feet, to cushion the client’s floors and protect against scratches.

A/C Guy Trashes My Hardwood Floor

March 14, 2018


I am extremely upset. I had my A/C guy come yesterday to enlarge an air return. They did not bother to put down drop cloths, so we had three 200-lb guys wearing their heavy work boots, stomping and swiveling their feet on my beautiful pine floor, while they climbed up and down the folding attic ladder, for over four hours on Monday.

Look what they did to my floor! The scratches are worse in person than they look in the photos. Some of the scratches are literally 1/8″ deep.

And… two years ago, one of his helpers got banned from my house because he did not protect my antique bookcase from the hinges on the folding stairs as I asked him to, and he put this huge gouge into the wood (last photo).

You’d think that, after damaging a client’s furniture two years ago, they would learn from that and take precautions to protect furniture and floors in the future. As we can see, they clearly did not get the message. Or, I guess they just didn’t give a shit.

I cut these boards, routed the edges, laid them myself, filled nail holes, sanded, stained, and poly-ed, and they were beautiful for 20 years. One afternoon of some clods not bothering to put down a $5 drop cloth and my floor is trashed. Fixing this will require stripping the finish, sanding it all smooth, re-staining, and re-polyurethaning. Which we all know will never get done, because I never have any free time, and when I do, it’s always taken up by other more pressing things (like laundry, or going to the paperhangers’ convention).

This is not something that can be cleanded or filled with a wax stick. It is permanent damage. So pissed.

Thanks for listening to the rant. I just don’t understand being so inconsiderate in someone else’s home. When I am in a client’s home, I am always thinking about protecting surfaces, where my feet are going, preventing splatters from primer, not knocking into furniture or walls, etc. It’s these “bubba type” workmen who just plow through their task, focused on the end result, but never paying attention to the process, or the collateral damage they may be causing. Oh, and they still get their big paycheck when they’re finished.

So pissed!!