in Renovation Rehab

Renovation Rehab: Sanding Away the Sanity

We learned pretty early that there were several differences between the apartments that would become mine vs. my parents. One of the most obvious ones was the walls. Whatever possessed someone to spray stucco texture all over inside walls I will never understand. It wasn’t just a light texture either, oh no! I was worried from day one that a brush against those walls would result in a bloody scrape. Don’t think it didn’t happen!

This article is presented here as a part of Throwback Thursday, where we revisit some highlights from the archives of both Sabrael D. Carroll and M.E. Garey. This particular piece comes to you from July 2016.

Some Googling told us that we had two options. Option 1 was to tear the walls down to the studs and completely replace the drywall. Option 2 was to sand it down a bearable texture which would likely be similar to knockdown. Just the thought of how long Option 1 would take was enough to convince me knockdown would be fine! I thought, “Oh, a few hours with the power sander and we should be all done! No biggie. I can live with that.”

Look how happy I am about this…

Have you ever used a power sander before? If you have, have you used it for longer that 5 minutes? If not, you cannot possibly understand the agony. Using a power sander is much like how I imagine riding in an old-timey carriage across the country would feel like. It rattles your entire body, starting with your arms, moving up to your shoulders, and then all the way down. After 15 minutes of solid sanding, I was sweating, breathing hard, and could feel a headache radiating out from my teeth.

Did this take the couple hours I thought it would? Of course not! One thing I’ve learned from starting this project is that time estimates are a joke. So far nothing has fit into the estimated time frame. I don’t know why I still keep up the charade. This particular project took 3 days. After about an hour I quickly realized that sanding is just one of those jobs I can’t do. I hated every gritty, jittery second of it. After a small meltdown I passed the job onto Sabrael. I’m not sure if he liked it any better than I did [I did not. — Ed.] but he could at least keep his tears on the inside.

Weird ceiling beams!

I set to working on the ceiling instead while he did that. If you notice in the pictures there are these strange planks that go across the ceiling in stripes. Eventually we would like to fully plank it (those pictures look so nice on Etsy…) but for now, we will settle for it. There were gaps between the planks and the ceiling though so I got some vinyl spackling and started filling those in. I don’t know if it will show up differently in the pictures but in person, it was a little thing that made a huge difference. Once done, I was excited because finally it was time to paint something! Now, that’s a job I like doing! But wait. Can’t paint just yet. That spackling needs to be sanded smooth first…. Nooooooo!

Even if Meagan E. Garey wanted to set down her mint cocoa in her very favorite Kiki’s Delivery Service mug, there is absolutely no room. Scrapbook paper, Perler beads, stationary, embroidery thread, origami birds, and packages of clay litter the small desk. Instead, she opts to stand, put the cup on top of a nearby shelf, and get back to work. Her library haul of the latest YA fantasy, a chunky graphic novel, and some classic that was overlooked in school and moved to the floor to make more room. She pops on a movie to watch while she works. The familiar animated faces make her smile and make the work go by faster as she repeats the well-memorized lines. Don’t worry, she’ll write that next article… eventually.

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