Finishing Ceilings After Popcorn Removal

So, those unsightly popcorn ceilings are gone thanks to lots of scrapage (tutorial here) and arm strength but now what?  You've uncovered bare drywall and all of the drywall mud (those white stripes) but the ceiling isn't exactly smooth...yet.


If you just painted over the ceiling at this point, you'd see lots of ridges, lines, and shallow craters - the lines of the mud and the craters left behind from halfway filling in the screw holes holding the drywall up.

Not pretty and definitely not the result you want after spending all of that time scraping.


Note:  The following method of finishing the ceilings came after some trial and error, very unfortunately.  We spent a few extra hours doing things the wrong way...or maybe just a less efficient way that I won't get into because it's worthless.  Just so you know...  ;)

Here's how we finished our ceilings - the most efficient (and least messy) way.

#letsroomtogether

So I started something...

It's been something I've been wanting to start for a good long while now and the timing has never been right.  And to be completely honest, I'm a little overwhelmed with the thought of moving forward with it right now but it's all going to be ok, right? 

It's called...


Why?


I've had this nagging feeling for the past couple of years that I've just been in a mode where I complete a room and then I write up the big reveal, throw a few tutorials in there, and call it a blog.  And it's all great!  I know so many of you have found inspiration in my ideas (said as humbly as I can) and it's motivated you to get down and dirty with some DIY in your own space but still, I feel a lot of the time like I'm just "showing off" what I did and because I'm a big secondhand buyer, I can't always jot down all of the links and sources for you to do the same and so sometimes it all feels one-sided.  It's the same with Instagram and sharing over there...even more so sometimes.

So, I wanted to come up with something to involve YOU more in what I'm doing over here.  Something that will provide inspiration and support and just a whole lot of fun.  With our new house and all of the rooms needing attention, it's the perfect time to get everybody in.  :)

Removing Popcorn Ceilings - How We Did It

Popcorn ceilings!  It only took me forever to write about these but hey, the post is here and maybe you care and maybe you’ll just move on but either way, let’s talk all about them!  Specifically, let’s talk about getting rid of them!


It only took us three weeks of plugging away but our new house has 2300 square feet of smooth ceilings to add to it’s resume.  I’m going to tell you all about how we went from popcorn to smooth but first, let’s do a quick Popcorn Ceilings 101. 


What are popcorn ceilings? 

A travesty, that’s what.  Hehe…kidding.  They’re not really that bad and some people probably like them way more than we do and that’s a-ok.  To each his own, right?  Right.  Popcorn ceiling refers to the popcorn-like/cottage cheese texture that some ceilings are covered with, especially in houses built in the 70’s, 80’s, beyond.  Really, they just look like someone sprayed a mixture of teeny-tiny pieces of popcorn stirred up into thick chalk paint up onto the ceiling.


Apparently they have functional value in that they up the acoustics of a room – they make sound stop in it’s tracks and not bounce all over the place (though I can’t say that smooth ceilings really make sound in a room louder).  They are also somewhat of a short cut on the building-of-the-house side in that ceilings don’t have to be “finished” quite as much as walls if they’re just going to get sprayed with popcorn texture.  It covers a multitude of drywall imperfections and we. would. know.  We recently finished (well, almost) making amends with those imperfections and THAT will be a whole ‘nother post.

Why get rid of them? 

Well, there’s nothing super bad about them.  Aesthetically, they’re just not the most pleasing.  The texture creates lots of shadows on the ceiling which in turn makes a room darker.  Light just kind of hits them and stops instead of bouncing off them to what’s below, like it does on smooth ceilings.  They’re also great at holding onto dust and cob webs AND they can harbor allegens.  Oh, and cigarette smoke (lots of fingers pointing to our ceilings).  Let’s not forget about that.  Awesome, right?  But, here’s the thing, they’re almost impossible to clean.  Any amount of light scrubbing or on-contact vacuuming will most likely ruin them/create a ruined spot.  You can attempt to fix spots but getting them to match the original is no easy task.  The main reason that we are getting rid of ours (followed by aesthetics in a v v v close second) is because the previous owner of our home smoked inside and they were stained and held in that ashtray smell.  Case in point, our master bedroom:

How do you get rid of them?

First of all and VERY importantly, if your home was built prior to 1980, your popcorn ceilings might be made with asbestos.  Make sure you check first (you can buy test kits like this one* that note a lab fee) because if they are made with asbestos, you’ll have to leave the removal to a pro or learn to live with them.

You can have them professionally scraped and removed…but it’ll cost ya.  We looked into this in our old house because the popcorn ceiling in our kitchen was discolored and we wanted to remedy that before we put it on the market.  It was sort of a fiasco but in a nutshell, we tried to paint the popcorn, it started falling off with every roll of the paint, and in a panic, I called a local drywall specialist to see how much it would cost to have them removed.  He quoted me $3/square foot so almost $600 for just our kitchen and dining nook.  Ouch.  We ended up scraping what we could and then spraying a knock-down texture instead so we solved our dilemma but, just so you have an idea of pricing, our house is around 2400 square feet so we’d pay $7200 to have our popcorn ceilings removed down to those smooth beauties.  Not a handful of change by any means and in our case, not worth the cash when we knew we could try it ourselves…with success, I might add.  ;)  Cha-ching…in our pockets.
Which leads me to option numero dos – scraping them off yourselves.  I’ll be honest, it’s not nearly as bad as I thought.  I’ll get more into that later.

You can also just cover them up.  Cindy did that with hers and the planks add a lot of character to her space.  (Spoiler alert, we have some covering up plans for the bathroom that had painted popcorn.  I’m dreaming of geometric tiles.)

Another option is to spray or have a professional spray them to create a knock-down texture look.  My sister and her hubby had this done to their entire home and it cost them a small fraction of the cost it would have been to get them scraped.

Let’s get to the fun part though, shall we?  DIYing those ceilings off.  :D


High & Wide

I feel like we're just exiting the "getting settled" part of this move and moving (very excitedly) into the tweaking part.  AKA, everything is moved and, at the very least, everything is in the room that it's going to permanently reside.  But every single one of those rooms is unfinished...very much so.  As to be expected though, right?

We are SO excited to start making this house our home...on the usual small budget, of course.  Our priorities have changed just a smidge since we moved in but I'll update you on that in a different post.  And finish the post(s) about the (now gone) popcorn ceilings.  And get a moved-in house tour up.  Add a few etcs and I think we'll be good.  ;)

Today though, let's talk curtains.  One of my favorite things to do is hang them.  In my opinion, they are the best way to warm up a room.  By just putting up a rod and some fabric, you can change the feel of a whole room - from stark to homey - just like that.  But how you hang them matters.  And really, I'll never tell anyone they're hanging their curtains the wrong way (because once upon a time, I was hanging them "wrong"...check out the master in our first house) but there's a better way - high and wide.  For me, this PSA I found pinned changed my entire curtain-hanging life once upon a time and I'll never look back.

Let's take this window in our master bedroom:


A few things...

Hi!

Once again, I feel as if I've been neglecting the blog.  But really, any neglect isn't intentional and it's just that life has been crazy lately.  Let me explain...

1)  We moved.  Yep, you know.  We are still not completely settled and probably not even halfway there because...

2)  The morning after we moved we got a call that Anthony's grandfather had passed away.  :(  Up until that morning, our kids had been able to walk to, talk to, and hug all of their great-grandparents.  Pretty amazing, right?  So, we loaded up a few days later and made our way to North Carolina where we celebrated his life and got to spend a lot of good time with his entire immediate family.  Bittersweet was the word. 

3)  When we got home and walked into our new house, the flood gates of Overwhelming Dam unloaded on me.  There is A LOT to do.  Anthony keeps having to remind me that this is not a short-term flip.  It's a long-term homemaking.  ;) 

4)   I've since resolved myself to taking it a room-a-day instead of hopping around from this one to that one while thinking about that room three over that really needs a good organization.  Today I tackled the dining room. 

It's hard to see the bare drywall where in my mind I see paint on the walls with a fun wallpaper under the chair rail and art on the walls and curtains and a new chandelier and wood tile floors and and and...

5)  It's a long-term homemaking.  Breathe. 

6)  Last, the writer I used to write my posts with that I absolutely loved went caput on me and so I've been having to publish from Blogger's platform and it's been much less than fun.  Writing a post sounds fun until I remember I have to fanagle with Blogger.  But, I'm weighing my options so hopefully I'll have a better avenue soon.  Don't worry though, I promise it won't keep me from posting.  ;)

7)  I have a really fun idea to share that involves you, yep, YOU, so stay tuned! 

A Modern Farmhouse Entry - Guest Feature

Yep, I’m stillll working on that popcorn ceiling post.

And, we’re still working on the house.  I’ve been trying to post updates on Insta so if you’re inchin’, a scratch is over thataway.

There’s nothing pretty to look at in our new house at the moment but thankfully, there is beauty to be found elsewhere.

For example, my friend Mary’s DIYed entryway.

This one is for all of you modern farmhouse loving folk.  You will LOVE this.

Mary and her husband semi-recently built a house to hold their cute little family and in that house was a small closet in the entry that had been bugging Mary because it just didn't seem to hold its weight of family life.

Curb-Side

Well hiya!  A month long blog sabbatical is NOT what I intended!  A blog post about popcorn ceiling removal is what I did intend, a few weeks ago of course, but I don't have full control over the schedule over here...even though I like to think I do.  That's just life though, isn't it?

While that popcorn ceiling post is sitting pretty in my drafts almost ready for thine eyes, I thought I'd come on quick and give you a glimpse into what, we think, is our most exciting project prospect...that is, what we're most excited to move in and tackle.

Zee front of zee house.



Progress Update

We have been spending almost every minute of free time we can over at the new house scraping ceilings and so far, about 65% of the ceilings are popcorn-free.
(All the plants for all the air cleaning!!  I got this palm yesterday at Sam's for $14!!)

Things Are Looking Up

Here’s the thing about moving in to a rental and spending a little over a year taking it from dated to 2019 – the thought of rehabbing another house next carries with it some high standards.  High standards meaning, well, we completely turned this house around in a year (with lots and LOTS of paint) so surely we can do that again with the next house.  And even though you know this next house needs a lot more work and you have bigger dreams for it because it’s “yours”, that feeling of rushing to the finish line is looming.  Basically, what I’m getting at is that we’ve owned this *new* house for a week and already, I feel like we’re behind schedule…even though there really isn’t a schedule per say and really it’s just those high standards creeping in like a thief in the night.  I’m finding myself having to constantly remind myself (and Anthony always reminding me) that time is on our side.  It’s not hard for me to love our house where it’s at and even embrace it in all of its dated glory, but it IS hard seeing all of the glorious potential and not being able to reach it all at once!  You feel me?  It’s like having a newborn who is the boss of your schedule and sleep and even so, loving that baby with your whole heart feeling as if it may burst but also longing and dreaming about the day when that baby grows up just a little and sleeps through the night.  Sometimes, it can’t come fast enough.  :)

New House Tour

IT’S THE NEW HOUSE, HOUSE TOUR!!!

I SAY HOUSE, YOU SAY TOUR! 

HOUSE…

HOUSE…

Ok, simma Sheena.  But we goin’ have a house tour on the blog today and it’s goin’ to be filled with allllll the before shots.  You ready?

Good.  You may enter through the front.



Basket Case

Last week, a random situation presented itself and after I dealt with it I thought, “Hey!  I should write about that!”  So I will and here it is.  It’s a story of some woven baskets I found last week at Dirt Cheap for $3 each.  I’m pretty sure you can still buy them in store at Target.  I’ve seen them in the Dollar Spot and they’ll run you back $5 a piece there.  Somehow a few of them trickled down to Dirt Cheap…well, somehow in that they were very misshapen from being smooshed somewhere along the line.  In their condition, they could barely stand on their own much less be a drop zone for something. 


But, I tossed them into my cart at Dirt Cheap because I had a plan to take these baskets back to their original glory…a plan I was 95% positive would work.

The Story of a Footboard

Right after our wedding and honeymoon eleven happy years ago, we moved into our first house together and slept on a twin mattress on the floor together because that’s all we had.  I still wouldn’t mind sleeping on a twin mattress with Anthony but I doubt it would be as comfortable now as it was then, with the high probability of a toddler sandwiched between us.  A couple of weeks passed during which we were on the hunt for a queen bed and mattress and that hunt ended with a bed/dresser set we found at a local thrift store in Ohio.  We bought our dining room table and chairs at the same time and paid $100 for one set and $150 for the other.  I can’t remember which was which.  Then we bought a mattress at Big Lots for $500 and finally cashed in on adult status. 

We painted our master in our first house pale blue and then I got to work adding some white – curtains from Walmart, lamps from a clearance rack at Ollie’s, and bedding that was wedding gifted.  It was simple and serene and perfect for us newlyweds.



Master Bedroom: The Reveal

Now that we have our eyes and minds on our new house, it’s good that our current rental looks like the home we wanted it to be.  I am calling it finito.  We are done tweaking this place and patiently (well, usually not so patiently) awaiting our closing date in mid-March.  Even with the closing of our new house though, we’ll still be living in our rental until we can get a few big things done before move-in day (which will probably be May-ish).  While we wait, I’m happy to report that we’ll be sleeping in a master bedroom that no longer looks like a cardboard box with the kind of swag (ahem…curtains) that’s not so appealing…


but rather one that is full on SWAG:


Before I dive into the details, I just want to say that this room is an excellent example of decorating with things you find on sale/secondhand.  As much as I’d love to run into a store, buy a bunch of gorgeous things that all swim together in the same interior design sea all at once, and come home to put a room together in a day or two, that’s just not in the cards for our budget over here.  It takes time (and patience!) to hunt things down that all fit together and make a room feel polished.  But the end result, both the room and the contents of your wallet, are worth the challenge the hunt can be.  Remember that the next time you’re staring longingly down Pinterest’s endless boards of rooms decorated to perfection with the latest and greatest trends.  I know I need to.  ;) 

The very first thing we did to break out of the box was paint the walls white and add a bold green accent wall, which made all the difference in the world in this room.  Or maybe it was taking down those curtains that made all the difference in the world.  Or both.  Yep, probably both.

We Have Some News…

We have some news…






It’s kind of big…







Not too big but big enough…

Master Bathroom Makeover Under $100

Hello!  Who’s in for a master bathroom reveal?  :D
This one won’t win any awards for most jaw-dropping transformation but nonetheless, it’s a transformation for the better and that’s all that really matters, right?  ;)
Before, our master bathroom was laden with that tan paint that coursed throughout the house (while not bad persay, not the best color for this house and it’s characteristics), some frilly curtains, baby blue fixtures, and horrible lighting.

While we weren’t going to dish out the money to change the tile, painting the room white (Pure White by Sherwin-Williams) was an easy way to make the blue feel a little more intentional.  The curtains came down as soon as I could get them off and, since the window itself is frosted, there really isn’t a need for window treatments but I made some anyway.  The full tutorial on that roman shade is here
After all of that refreshing plus some decor on the walls and new gold hardware (leftover from the kitchen makeover) on the cabinet, we are here:

Entry Way - Before & After

I know I said I’d be back with a master bathroom reveal but I’m hop, skip, and jumping over to the entry way today instead…because I’ve been procrastinating taking those after shots of the master bath I so desperately need to ring up a true reveal.  In my defense, we’re fairly certain one of the twins has the flu so I’ve been hunkered down with her.  We’ll get there, right?  You know it.  :D

Anywho, the entry way.  Entry ways are one of my favorite rooms in any house.  Just like I wrote about a back entrance awhile back, they can make or break first impressions of a house being the spot that's seen first.  They can also make or break your mood when you walk in from wherever it is you’ve been.

Here’s what ours looked like before we moved in:
I didn’t take this picture in the brightest part of the day in this room so it was feeling a little dark already and obviously, a pile of boxes doesn’t do much for aesthetics.  It was a real Debbie Downer for sure.

But, BUT, look at it now:

Custom Roman Shade - DIY

While I was in the middle of our master bathroom’s mini-makeover about a month ago, I got this (what I thought was a) great idea about how I could easily make a custom roman shade to liven up the window in there without any sewing.  Fast forward to one morning last week, when I got around to tackling that idea.  All was going swimmingly and I took a ton of pictures to show you and then I hung it up the finished shade and, well, if there was a soundtrack to go with my life, the sound bite at that moment would go something like *womp womp*.  Let me tell ya, it’s one thing when your plan fails halfway through the process and you can just ditch it for Plan B or just ditch it all together.  But when you complete the whole process AND THEN at the very end, when you’re expecting a firework of good emotions, things don’t pan out, it’s heart-breaking (in the most superficial way possible, of course).

Le sigh.

But, there is a good ending at the end of this even though my sorry roman shade had to be jimmy-rigged.  I’ll explain later.

Here’s that finished roman shade:

It looks real good in pictures but as we all know, pictures can lie in a social media world.  #amiright  #oramiright

The window in our master bathroom is frosted and our backyard is large and very private so there’s really no need for curtains or shades or anything like that except for aesthetic reasons.  And I like aesthetics so I decided on a shade.  After hunting around on some secondhand sites and online for a small, bamboo shade and coming up empty, I found this little guy* on Amazon Warehouse.  I was trying to find something under $10 and he rang in $3 over so not too bad but the magnetic feature was super cool, I thought, especially since this shade wouldn’t need to function.  The magnetic feature assured there wouldn’t be any strings to hide so I was sold.  Plus, I had further plans for it.  Read on.

One way I like to add color and pattern to a space is in the window treatments.  When you get tired of the current pattern you can swap them out pretty easily and somewhat affordably (especially if you’re talking sewing your own or using no-sew hem tape to make some).  I wanted to add some fun to our bathroom and the magnetic shade wasn’t going to do that on it’s own.  Nope.  It needed a little help. 
After a little bit of a search, I found this fabric and knew it would be the perfect match to our new shade.

A little bit of hot glue later and BAM, pattern right where we needed it.


Let me go into the process of how I went from plain to patterned because the process is gold, and then I’ll dive into where it all went wrong and how you can take the successful route instead.


Upcycled Hanging Planter - DIY

I’ve been using plastic bottles to make wall decor again – guilty.  Instead of a body spray bottle this time though, it’s a lotion bottle.  I’ve been holding onto this empty bottle of baby lotion for a good long while so that I could repurpose it and I just got around to it last week.  If you want me to write a post all about how you can idealize a project and not actually DO IT for months, let me know. 



Can you spot it?




A Lighter & Brighter Laundry Room

Hi friend!  I kind of took an unintentional blogging break (but intentional social media break so I guess it just kind of follows?) over the holidays and so now here we are toe-deep into 2019!  To backtrack, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!  We stayed home this year (our usual has been to travel to family every year) and we just had a grand old time.  It was care-free, so very peaceful, and so good for us in preparing for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.  How was yours?  Did you travel?  It’s always a brave undertaking to travel during Christmas, right?  We did get a few things around the house done too – we painted our master bedroom and bathroom!  I’ll have more updates on them later but things are looking so much better!!

Today, I’m just going to jump right back into it and show youl what’s changed in our laundry room. 

Here’s what it looked like right before we moved in:

IMG_6827I took this picture in the afternoon, when the lighting is the darkest in here but even so, this room is bright for the first part of the morning and darker throughout the rest of the day.  We brought our own washer and dryer with us and the two that were left were pretty old and dirty so it was nice to get ours up and running again (our previous, temporary rental had a washer and dryer so we stored our beloved Frigidaires in the garage for that six months and I missed them dearly).