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.  :)

With all of that though, there is one time crunch involved here.  We decided shortly after we wanted it to be ours that the first thing we would do to this house is remove the popcorn ceilings.  The previous owner smoked in the house and that scent of smoke bowls you over when you walk through the door.  Sad but true.  The owner moved before listing the house and had the carpet replaced, the ducts cleaned, and some rooms repainted, we think, in hopes to remediate the smell but nope.  It’s still there.  So, partly to further get that smell out and partly because we just don’t like them, the ceilings are going smooth.  Since we are able to live in our rental for a couple of months (we want to be out at the end of May) we have those months, while the house is furniture and obstacle-free, to tackle the ceilings – removing the texture and painting.  Once they are done, we’ll move in and start the lengthy process of reaching the potential of the rest of the house.  On the same hand flip side, we only have a little over two months to scrape and paint 2400 square feet of ceiling...ourselves.  Gulp.

Last week and into this one, the ceilings of the master got scraped. 

Our master bedroom literally smelled like an ashtray.  The ceilings were stained brown around the edges of the room (you can see the staining in the house tour).  Ironically, the texture that came down upon scraping looked like tobacco.
Gross, right?

Scraping the ceilings was actually a lot easier than I thought.  Most of the time during the process is spent waiting for the water we sprayed on the popcorn to soak up and in before we scraped.  We’re trying a few different ways to get the popcorn down and once we’re all finished, I’ll write a whole post about how we did it, what worked, and what didn’t.  Plus, we have some hacks up our sleeves to make the mess a little less, well, messy. 

In the master bathroom, I made the horrible decision (in hindsight) of only laying plastic down on the floors, thinking I’d just let the texture fall onto the counter top and into the bathtub where I could easily sweep it or wipe it out later. 

Let me say this once, there is no sweeping or wiping removed popcorn texture .  Only wiping, and wiping, and scrubbing, and scrubbing.  And STILL, there is a haze.  Next time I will use allll the plastic.

Which I did when I scraped the master closet…

The mess was minimal though the corners of the room had me frustrated just a tad.

And that is our progress thus far.  We’re hoping to get some bedroom + closet ceilings done over the weekend.  After that, the plan is to prep all of the scraped ceilings for paint, prime + paint, and then move on to living room, kitchen, and all of the other rooms.  But, once all of the bedroom ceilings are done, we’ll basically move the kids’ entire play room over to the their smooth-ceilinged play room so that they can play whilst we work.  Right now, they’re having a blast running through an empty house while we work. 

Screaming and yelling while they’re at it.

I bet the neighbors are SO happy to have us in the neighborhood.  ;)

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Pssst…If you’ve ever removed popcorn ceilings and have any tips you think might be worth sending our way, please comment or email them to us!  Thanks in advance!!

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