Chicken Little

In other words, the sky is falling.

Yes, I have been working diligently on the scaffold o doom to get off the popcorn texture ceiling crap in the master bedroom, a room which has 12′ vaulted ceilings and a fan that hates me.

Here’s what you saw the last time I updated:


Approximately 700 hours atop that scaffold later and here’s what the room looks like today:


Yes, the ceiling is 95% done, just needs some sanding, some patching, more sanding and then, the lovely paint!

so I suppose now is a good time to give a tutorial, right? Right.

First the supplies:

  • plastic drop cloth
  • spray bottle
  • 4″ and 1″ metal joint knife (aka putty knife)
  • trash can
  • scary tall scaffold

You’ll want a good amount of plastic to cover the floor of the area you’re working in. You may also use gaffers or painter’s tape to secure it a few inches up the wall so no dust settles in by the carpet.

The spray bottle can be any size, just make sure the nozzle is adjustable so that you spray, not squirt, at the ceiling.

I like using two types of joint knives, the smaller one is handy for getting into corners, around the edges and in tight spaces, like this space between the wall and air filter in the hallway:


The larger joint knife is amazing for those larger space when the ceiling is sufficiently wet and you can scrape off large chunks in one sweep.

The basic rule of thumb for me is that if you have to push too hard then it’s not prepared. Wet it again and try again. The metal knife is easier for me to handle than the plastic ones and the metal is sufficiently flexible.

The trash can I use is small and I will hold it up under the section I’m working on. It works to capture 90% of the gunk and the plastic catches the rest.

To give you an idea, I did my first room with no plastic and yeah, the clean up was disgusting. In my second room I laid down plastic and let it all fall. Great for easy clean up but I had to throw away all of the plastic. I find this catch and dump method works best.

Of course the scaffold is optional, a ladder or step ladder would work just as well, as long as you can reach the ceiling and you don’t lose your balance. I like the scaffold because I’m able to cover a larger area without climbing up and down and up and down. But it’s all relative.

The next space to get the scaffold treatment is the living/dining area and you can bet that I’ll hate it once again when I have to do that space which is about double the square footage of the bedroom.

Ready for more pictures?



I’m well aware that it looks like shit right now. There are plenty of spots that need additional sanding or fill to make it a nice, flat surface ready for painting.
(by the way, see what I mean about the ceiling fan? it’s off center and without a cover the bulb is just too bright most of the time.)

And so I’ll soon be back to the scaffold to do finishing work and prepare for painting. Once the ceiling is painted I’ll still need to:

  • temporarily remove the Ikea shelf & wall lights
  • prime the walls
  • paint the walls
  • paint the closet header
  • paint the closet
  • paint new baseboards
  • remove old baseboards
  • install new baseboards
  • touch up paint on the door frames
  • replace 2 outlets & cable port with white covers
  • replace the overhead light
  • reinstall wall lights around wall o frames
  • reinstall Ikea shelf

Here’s a (very) rough vision board of the room when it’s done (hardwood floors included) Photobucket

Since the room will be dark enough with the walls going from white to not-white and I’d eventually like to add dark hardwood floors, the rest of the furniture needs to lighten up.

I can prime and paint my Ikea bookshelf and dresser white, and I’d like to add a paisley design to the bookshelf to incorporate some color. I’ll likely also make the headboard white with accent colors.

The picture frames will remain black because it’s uniform and I want the colors of the pictures to stand out but with the white lamps, new overhead fixture and shelves it should not be dark & dreary.

I’ll keep the closet curtains for now (looking for hold backs) but I am wholly undecided on the issue of the sliding glass door curtains. On one hand I love the blackout curtain effect and it allows me to sleep in regularly on weekends. But it’s a large chunk of wall space and I may decide to lighten it up with a lighter fabric. Of course keeping that fabric clean when you have 3 dogs is a whole other story.


4 thoughts on “Chicken Little

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