Posts Tagged ‘screws’

Fixing Drywall Damage From Where Vanity Was Removed

January 20, 2022
The powder room in this 1990’s home in the Houston Heights is being updated, and that means replacing the wall-to-wall vanity. Here the vanity has been ripped out. The areas where the backsplash was adhered to the wall have pulled the top surface of the drywall off. In addition, the plumber had to cut out a section of drywall in order to gain access to the pipes, so he can install the new faucet and handles. You can see the connections roughed in.
You can’t hang wallpaper over this mess. First of all, it way too uneven – all those bumps will show under the new wallpaper. And the outline of the ” trapdoor ” will leave a big square ridge under the paper. Thankfully, the plumber secured the panel with drywall screws – most plumbers just leave you with a chunk of drywall floating in space, or even just an empty hole.
Back to patching issues … in addition, the torn areas of drywall will absorb moisture from the wallpaper primer and / or paste and expand, creating bubbles that will show under the new paper.
I needed to fill in dips and gouges, even out high areas, and prevent bubbling drywall.
Gardz by Zinsser to the rescue! This is a penetrating sealer that soaks into porous surfaces and then dries hard, binding them together and creating a stable surface, as well as resisting moisture from water-based top coatings.
This picture doesn’t look much different, but here the torn drywall is a little darker, indicating that the Gardz has soaked in and dried. The surface is now ready for a skim-coat.
But first, the trap door needs to be addressed. I covered the cut areas with four strips of self-adhesive mesh drywall tape (no photo).
Then I went over everything (wall to wall) with joint compound (commonly referred to as mud ) (no photo).
Because of the thickness of the high and low areas, this had to be a thick coat of smoothing compound, and would take a long time to dry. So I went to the jobsite two days ahead of our install date, to do these initial repairs.
And – no – you can’t use quick set or hot mud or 5 or 20 minute mud to do these repairs. These products are intended for repairs of small areas. Top coatings like primers, paint, and wallpaper paste do not stick well to them. Don’t let a contractor sweet-talk you into letting him use any of these to smooth a large area of wall.
Here is the wall after my first, heavy, coat of smoothing compound. I use Sheetrock brand’s Plus 3.
The bubbles you see just left of center show that Gardz didn’t 100% do its job of sealing out moisture, as a little expansion and blistering has occurred. Not a biggie. These will disappear when the surface is sanded. There is usually not a problem with these re-appearing.
When I got to work two days later, the smoothing compound had dried. I sanded pretty smooth. Then vacuumed up the dust on the floor, and then used a damp sponge to wipe residual dust off the wall. This is important, because no coating will stick to dust.
The wall still wasn’t perfectly smooth, so I did another skim-coat. This was much thinner, so didn’t need a lot of time to dry. I used a fan and my heat gun to speed things along.
Once that was dry, I sanded it smooth, vacuumed and then wiped off all dust. Then rolled on my favorite wallpaper primer Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime. I have the paint store (Murphy Brothers in central Houston) add a little blue tint, so I can see it when I apply it to the wall.
What a transformation! Now this wall is ready for wallpaper!

What’s Wrong With This Picture? Unhappy Mix-Up

September 7, 2021

You are looking down into a paper grocery bag. At the bottom are an assortment of screws, mounting hardware, switch plates, towel bars, escutcheons, and more (some have been pulled out of the bag already).

When I get ready to hang wallpaper, I “undress the room” … meaning, I remove light fixtures, towel bars and toilet paper holders, light switch plates, window treatments, mirrors, etc. I set all the hardware and screws that go with these items near the spot where they will be reinstalled, with all these elements in a certain order, and collated to their respective holes and fasteners and brackets, so it will be simple for me to put everything back in its place, once the paper is up.

But on this job, the wallpaper had to be sent back due to a defect, so it was a couple of weeks before the new paper arrived and I was able to return to finish the job.

In the meantime, the homeowner, understandably, wanted a tidy room, so she picked up these things. And threw them all together into one bag.

Arrrgh!

But not insurmountable. It took a little digging and fitting and futzing, but I was able to sort out what went with what, and I got all the fixtures back in place.

A Screwy Curiousity

May 8, 2019


Light fixtures come with the proper mounting plates / brackets, to attach them to the electrical box in the wall. The plates come with the correct fasteners to attach them to the holes in the electrical box.

So why then, when installing two wall sconces, did the electrician use FOUR DIFFERENT screws to attach the plates to the boxes?

I can only guess that he didn’t cover the drain in the sink, then dropped the screws down the drain, and then went digging for any old screw or bolt that he had lying around in the back of his pickup truck.