Thursday, 6 October 2011

Actually doing it myself

I am being constructive, and fully occupied, with this shower room project. I have taken all the horrid wallpaper off - some was hanging off already, but it's all gone properly now, revealing walls and a ceiling. As you might expect, there are four walls and a ceiling, but one of the walls is fully tiled, and the ceiling has a horizontal part and a slanty part under the sloping roof. So there are three wall surfaces and two ceiling surfaces.

Shower room far wall ready for painting
The surface of the horizontal part of the ceiling is wood, and not chipboard or MDF but proper wood with a grain, and so is a box section that contains some of the pipes to the shower. The sloping ceiling surface is plasterboard, some of it painted and some bare where the paint peeled off with the paper. The three walls are old and pitted plaster, or possibly breeze block, with remnants of old and pitted paint or possibly plaster clinging to it.

After the minimum of research on the Interwebs, I wandered off to the Dulux trade centre in town (near the vegetable shop), and discussed the options with them. Although there is a 'primer/sealer' product, the nice man reckoned it was unlikely that I'd need anything as drastic as this, and ordinary primer would probably do. We talked about bathroom paint, I picked up a couple of colour swatches and came away feeling almost competent. Then I attacked all the surfaces with a wire brush, and covered myself and the whole room in flecks of old paint and plaster and dust.

Walls and ceiling ready for painting
I filled some of the worst cavities and cracks, and sanded it all down a bit more while ingesting more dust in the process. Are you bored yet? I was, so of course I returned to the Interwebnet and played with an online app from Dulux that lets you pretend to paint a virtual room with any of their paint colours. To start with I thought I'd like an icy blue-green colour, or a purply blue to blend with the touches of blue in the room, but I couldn't find anything quite right. So now I'm thinking more of a statement in a contrasting colour: Mexican Mosaic 2, Auburn Falls 2 or Flame Frenzy 4. Tester pots are on their way. And you can take a photo of something using their colour template and upload the photo to the website and it will tell you the closest colour in their range. Modern technology, it's amazing.

Next day was sanding and then cleaning up, then a coat of primer, which promptly revealed how inadequate my wall preparation had been. One wall presented bubbles under the newly applied primer, which has meant a morning of scraping and working out whether to ignore it or do something about it, and a decision to look into the possibilities of paint stripper before going any further. This job looks set to run and run.


Jim said...

This is probably too late, but I think your ceiling is plywood rather than "actual wood"; being a laminated construct. Probably wouldn't (woodn't?) affect how you'd treat it. If the installers were sensible it would be "marine ply" which is waterproof version, and what you should use in a bathroom like environment.

Jim :-)

Lola said...

We haven't yet found anything installed in a 'sensible' way in the whole of the house. The wood part of the ceiling is the least degraded surface in the whole room, however, and the wallpaper wasn't even hanging off it, so let's hope for the best.