Saturday, June 02, 2012


Sometimes it seems like there is never enough time in life to do the things you really want to do. {Sigh!}

In this case though, there wasn't enough time to finish the thing I really want to be finished with - The Plaster! When it comes to plaster it just seems to go on and on and on. Paint stripping is another one of those tedious chores that seems to take forever, but it doesn't have the same level of mess and annoyance that plaster work does. Plaster work is the messiest job of the project. It also takes the longest and it is the toughest on the body. The worst part is, it sometimes seems like you will never get it smooth. At least I don't refer to myself as 'Lumpy' anymore.

The only time I ever break a sweat is when I'm plastering and today Megan, my intern, and I both worked up a sweat and didn't get nearly as far as I would have liked. I get the feeling she could have gone on longer than me, but that was mainly because I did most of the trowel work on the ceiling. Don't get me wrong, Megan pulled her own weight, but I took it upon myself to do the worst of the worst. This is not so much because I want to take it easy on her, but because I'm a little cautious about turning over some jobs to her. I have issues, I know, but I'm working on them.

The ceiling is brutal work. You are working over your head and it takes a great deal of effort to get the plaster on in a very thin skim coat. I think we worked well together. I would trowel on the plaster and get it mostly smooth, and then Megan would come along behind me and do the final touch up. It is a pleasure to work with her and it really is nice to have the help on such a big job. Plus, instead of muttering obscenities to myself, I get to cuss out loud to Megan. It really works out so well.

While we didn't get as much done as I had hoped, I certainly would not have done better on my own. To be honest, I often set unrealistic goals on some of the work I do here. Everything takes longer than I think it will.

I think we did about 75% of the room. We were able to get the ceiling done (Ugh!) and the two largest walls. Megan did the trowel work on second half of the last wall and when we do the other 2 walls we will split the work 50:50. It is really coming out nice. Almost as good as the bathroom. The bathroom is my proudest moment as a plasterer. Everything is compared to that plaster job, so when I say it is almost as good as the bathroom, that is quite a complement. The goal when doing the skim coat is to have the walls be ready for paint the second you are finished. That is to say, no sanding. So far we are looking real good.

Tomorrow we are going to install the plaster medallion and take a trip to Blue Ox Mill to order some baseboard. Then nothing on Monday and Tuesday, and then finish up the back parlor on Wednesday. Then it is on to the front parlor. After that, the plaster will be done!

The optimist in me which sets unrealistic goals on projects says we will finish the front parlor next weekend. The realist in me has absolutely no idea.


Roxy Turner said...

Greg, Go easy on the "overhead" work. It's really easy to screw up your shoulder. I spent too much time on a particular job stripping (heat & chem), sanding, staining and varnishing two rooms that included beamed ceilings. I developed a nagging pain in my right shoulder (rotator cuff) that kept getting worse. My family doc administered cortisone, that really didn't help and suggested surgery. (Yikes!) I found a great chiropractor who can "feel" which tendons are inflamed. I visit him weekly when I'm working any heavy stripping jobs. (I left my fancy office job to work on old homes - including mine - instead.)

Love your Blog!

Karen Anne said...

How about laying down flat on some scaffolding?

Greg said...

That's funny. We talked about what it would have been like for da Vinci to paint the Sistine Chapel. I read he did a lot of that on his back.


Karen Anne said...

You need a remote controlled motorized thing that would move the scaffolding...

purejuice said...

i'm so thrilled you're back in the saddle!!! and that the divine miss M has come to show you how it's done!!!! and, isn't baltimore the bomb?

Greg said...

Yes, it is good to be working again and yes Baltimore is the bomb. I had a great time.