It’s hard to believe how little progress I have made in the last month, but other areas of my life tend to take priority sometimes. The last time I posted, the overwhelming consensus was that I had unwittingly applied moldy drywall compound to my walls. Go me! It sure is a good thing this is a blog, where mistakes are okay, rather than a how-to tutorial! :-)
I was lucky in that a lot of the mud was still wet enough that I could pry it off in large sections with a small drywall knife. This made removal far easier, and a whole lot less messy. I still had to wet-sand a bunch of areas, and ended up taking off some of the paper in a few spots, but it was a lot easier than it could have been!
With all, or nearly all, of the tainted mud and tape removed, I gave it several days to dry out before re-doing all the work. After re-taping, top-coating and sanding, I cleaned the walls and primed with Kilz 2 stain-blocking latex primer. The bare drywall soaked that stuff up like crazy, so I ended up doing two coats of primer. Wow is that stuff bright compared to old drywall!! I still don’t like pure white, though, so I followed up with two coats of Color Place (Wal-Mart) interior latex paint with a satin sheen. The color? “White oak”. :-) It’s basically an off-white, but someone got paid a lot of money to come up with a hundred different names for a hundred different shades of off-white, so I might as well use it.
One of my next projects is to build some corner shelves, which will probably be of more interest to all of you than what I’ve written about so far. At some point it occurred to me that once those shelves are constructed I probably won’t be able to reach the corner when I’m painting the ceiling. So, planning ahead a bit, I went ahead and primed the ceiling in the corner and followed up with some ceiling paint. It looks a little strange now, but will be better when the rest of the ceiling is done.
With the main wall ready to go, I started to put the outlet covers back on and move some things back to the wall. That’s when I realized most, if not all, of my garage outlets are not grounded. :-( Looking in the boxes (they are all plastic) proved a little disheartening. Bare copper wires do exist in all the boxes, and the feed is definitely grounded at the panel, but half of them are simply not attached to the bright green screws clearly intended for a grounding wire—or anything else for that matter. I found one box with three lines in/out. Two of the ground wires are wrapped around each other and shoved into the back of the box. The third ground wire is wrapped around the screw on the receptacle, but not in contact with either of the other two ground wires. Several of the wires (including hot and neutrals) that are connected are not wrapped around the screws; they’re simply stuck under one side and clamped down. It’s going to take some effort to fix all this, especially with some of the worst offenders being on the ceiling, but I think it needs to be done. Oh yeah, many of the outlet boxes are aligned to the studs instead of the drywall, so the receptacles are either shimmed with nuts and/or washers, or simply “floating” semi-loosely. It’s great.
The good news is, there’s some actual construction in the near future. I mentioned some corner shelves, which are going to be 24×48. This is approximately what I’m looking to build:
The walls will be carrying almost all of the load, but I need a support for the front left corner, so I figure a basic 2×4 should work. I’m not sure what, if anything, if I should do to the bottom of that support to protect it from moisture since it will rest directly on top of concrete. The second vertical 2×4, the one next to the wall, is there because I might use some plywood or OSB to “cap” the end. If I follow up with that I will probably do something similar (but with hinges) on the front. That should keep most of the dust out, look nicer, and I could probably add a lock if anything valuable or dangerous goes on those shelves.
One concern I have is that the shorter of the two wall supports doesn’t have a stud near the outer end. I can screw it to a stud real close to the corner, and approximately where the dotted line is near the middle, but that leaves probably ten inches of shelf on the end with no local support. Hopefully it will be okay. I’m looking at using #10 screws for this; should I go bigger?
The other project slated for the near future is moving my extension ladder from the wall to the ceiling. I touched on my intentions in one of HokieMojo's blog entries. Basically, it’s going to look something like this:
The ladder slides in between the 2×4’s and rolls over the PVC pipe. The pipe itself is simply covering a threaded rod that actually bears the weight of the ladder, transferring it to the 2×4’s hanging from the ceiling. It works in theory; let’s see how it works in practice!
-- "How can I be lost if I've got nowhere to go?"