Yes, I said Phase One. After taking a break over the weekend and painting the hallway I decided to get back together with the bathroom and finish the job. I needed the room to return to utility. (Read: I needed to kick the kids out of my bathroom. Also my in laws were coming to town.)
So I returned to the wall that was in the worst shape and did another skim coat or two to smooth things over. Do not assume you can fix things in sanding, do as good a job as humanly possible with the skim coat. I had been mostly following the directions here, and her updated tips here, although I didn’t do as many layers as she probably would have suggested. Once I got the hang of things I actually found the task doable.
If I had full spring break days to skim coat I’d have been done in two days, tops, instead of 30-40 minute increments. Oh well. There’s no use wishing for what I couldn’t have. My walls were far from perfect and I worried that I would forever regret not doing just one more skim coat. But I was out of time, I was out of steam, and I was out of joint compound.
I finally returned to sanding. I attached a hand sander to my shopvac to help contain the mess. Drywall dust gets everywhere so do what you can to keep it from invading your house. You definitely do not want to just vacuum it up with your regular vacuum – the dust will clog your motor and void your warranty. Another thing I did to keep the mess down was a lot of wet sanding with a drywall sponge. It was a hot, sweaty, laborious process. I definitely deserved better definition in my arms and shoulders for all that effort! Finally I stopped. My walls were far from perfect and again I worried that I would regret not making them perfect. But I was out of time, I was out of steam, and I had shredded the sanding screen.
I used 1-2-3 Plus to prime the walls. This seals the drywall so the paint doesn’t just disappear into the mud. It also hardens which protects the drywall and joint compound, which are very soft and pock easily. Then finally -FINALLY!- before company came (read: we really needed this hall bathroom to be useable) I painted.
After weeks of hemming and hawing we selected Cloudy Gray from the Magnolia line. It’s very light and bright which was essential for a room with no natural light and only one fixture. I needed to ensure that room would never again feel like a cave. The paint has blue undertones in our room. I liked that because while I wanted the room to be bright I didn’t want it to be white.
It went on nearly the same colour as the primer, making me panic a little, but it dries darker. Once we added in a blue shower curtain the walls looked exactly as I hoped. My bathroom was light, bright, and clean, with smooth walls. Hooray!
Thus ends Phase One. Phase OnePointFive will be to caulk as well as paint the trim and door. But for now I have smooth walls and a brighter room. I often rub my hand on the wall as I pass down the hall. I can’t believe it! Was it worth all that work? Yes. Absolutely yes.
However, as these projects have a way of growing exponentially, this is only Phase One of several phases before this room is complete. Hopefully I can keep the subsequent phases within the budget of my income tax refund. (So much for keeping it cheap – yikes!)