Here’s the truth: I don’t necessarily enjoy DIY projects. I can live without the gratification. I like projects that are D.O.N.E. and done well. But, I also like to save money, and often, the DIY-route is the only way I’m going to get what I want in this decade.
I sometimes feel that since I write this “home blog”, there’s a certain expectation that I should know how to do little—and big—home improvement jobs. I can paint a room. I can hang a picture. I can even strip wallpaper. But, when it comes to the other stuff, I don’t really even want to try anymore. I like to refer to myself around here as “the idea girl”–which is a very different lady than “the DIY girl.”
This whole idea was greatly solidified by the recent popcorn ceiling debacle in our “new” house. Knowing all the ceilings were covered with the cruddy texture, I started researching how to remove them before we ever bought the house. We closed on a Wednesday and by Thursday, I was marching in with a friend and a shop vac, ready to tackle the entire house after watching this wonderfully deceptive YouTube video. (I’m not saying that guy was trying to trick me. I’m just saying this one method does not work for all popcorn removal.)
You all. I made the biggest mess you can imagine. I tried to tape off the kitchen with plastic to no avail. That stuff was in every crack and crevice in the room and on my body. (Yikes!) No amount of vacuuming or scrubbing would get that stuff up off of wood floors. I could taste it, I could feel it and I even got a terrible sinus infection, which I blame completely on the crud going up my nose (even though I wore a mask). And, I was so distraught about the disaster I had created that I could hardly sleep that night. And, to top it off, there was still nothing remotely smooth about it.
This was after I’d already worked on cleaning up for a full day. The kids thought it was fun like snow—until they started sneezing.
So, let’s back up to before I started this process. . . I had called for a quote before we closed on the house. And, because I know you’re wondering, I’ll tell you they quoted me $300 per room to remove, sand and paint the ceilings. My initial thought was “That’s crazy! I could buy lots of beautiful new lighting with all of that money.” Fast forward to two weeks later, and I was wondering why it was such a bargain. . . Lesson learned.
We ended up doing (and by doing, I mean paying someone to do) all of the downstairs ceilings before we moved in. The upstairs is still on our “someday list” (around the same time we rip up the carpet). The result of professional popcorn removal is simply amazing. You would never know those ceilings started out as textured, and I think it took a good 15 years off of the look of the house.
Oh, and perhaps the best benefit of paying someone to do a messy job? The whole thing was cleaned up to perfection.
A little side note on popcorn ceiling dust and our wood floors. . . I dust mopped several times with water and vinegar on my hands and knees, and it continued to come back. It had just gotten too deep within the grain of the wood to mop up. I finally had to pay Stanley Steemer to come out and steam it up. (They have a special process for wood floors.) Just another (expensive) reminder that knowing your DIY limitations from the start is a really, really good idea.
Alright, moral support please. What is your DIY limit? I’m happy to hear your disaster stories. :)