Category Archives for "Interiors"

November 2, 2014

Hanging Things on Hollow Walls

Most walls have cavities – hollow spots created by the wall studs.  There are lots of things that run through the spaces, like electrical and plumbing lines.  The chances are, everything is protected so that you can nail and drill into most walls and be pretty sure that you won’t hurt a thing.

Even so, whenever you nail or drill into a wall, be careful.  And if you encounter unexpected resistance, STOP. Drywall, plaster and wooden studs are pretty soft compared to steel or copper pipes. Don’t push harder on the drill.  Instead, back off and investigate the resistance.

As you look at various types at hangar hardware (here are some examples from Home Depot), notice the instructions.  They usually spell out the weight and dimension requirements.  For lightweight objects there are a couple of choices.

You can use small finishing nails & brads that you drive in at a 45 degree angle into drywall or plaster. Hook type hangers that are held in place with a nail, or adhesive hangers.

hollow wall anchors 2To hang medium weight objects you need something a little sturdier. Molly anchors, or hollow wall anchors, are combination screws surrounded by casing. As the screw is tightened the casing around it collapses against the interior wall.  Pre-drill a hole and insert nad turn the screw to collapse and tighten.

Toggle bolts are another type of hollow wall anchor. They have spring-loaded wings that expand inside the wall.  Pre-drill a hole, remove the wing toggle from the screw and place the screw through whatever you wanna hang.  Then replace the toggle and insert the assembly into the wall. Tighten the screw to pull the toggle tight against the inside the wall.

Plastic expansion plugs fit snugly into pre-drilled holes in the wall board.  As you twist the screw into the plastic plug, the slatted base at the plug spreads and locks against the perimeter of the hole.

Finally, hanging very large or heavy pictures always requires anchoring the picture hanger into a stud, and you may need two or more hangers for support. You can use a stud finder to find the stud.

Hanging objects on a hollow wall takes a little more time and attention, but doing it right assures that what goes up on the wall will stay on the wall until you take it down.

October 28, 2014

How To Remove Old Popcorn Ceiling Stuff

ridding old ceiling of popcorn stuffToday we’re going to talk about removing stipple, the popcorn old style ceiling. Pretty simple job, little messy, needs some basic tools to do it, we’ll go through the tools in few minutes. We basically have a 10×10 room here, so we’re going to talk about the tools that we need to do it and the process we are going through.

As I mentioned, the tools we need to do this job is very, very simple, you probably got them right in your garage most of them, or could barrow them from a neighbor. One of the first things you want to do is protect the floor in the room you are working in. Sometimes all I do is I will take a drywall tray and this is the drywall knife you are going to use to scrape the ceiling. I’ll just go along and scrape and catch ninety percent of it in this tray and I’ll have a garbage can handy somewhere to dump it.

But in the case of what we are doing today, what we’ve actually done is just bought some inexpensive utility type of plastic sheeting and we’ve covered the whole carpeted area with this sheeting. So we are just going to simply scrape the ceiling right to the floor and then we’ll just fold up the plastic and throw it away. So we’ve talked about the sheeting, the drywall tray, the knife I touched base on, but basically all I do is a six inch drywall knife and we just simply run it along the ceiling to scrape off the popcorn stipple.

The stipple itself is it hasn’t ever been painted before then you are not going to have any trouble at all, if it’s been painted you might want to second guess whether you want to take this job on, because the paint basically seals it up and it’s really hard to scrape off. One of the tricks we do use is we’ll use some type of water sprayer, in this case we’ve got like a pump held sprayer that you could use, we just keep it separate just for water spraying applications. You simply add water, you pump the handle here which pressurizes the canister, it comes with a hose and a wand and you’ll just simply go along and spray the ceiling.

Make Sure to Really Soak the Ceiling

Once you get enough water on there, it doesn’t take much, once you get enough, you can hear it dripping hitting the floor, a little bit you’re good. Go up, give it a scrape, once it’smaybe had a couple of minutes to soak in, if it doesn’t come off really well you can give it another quick shot with the sprayer, but you don’t want to completely saturate it either. You’re just going to have a mess and you could cause other damage, but once we actually get into showing you how to do this, you’ll see exactly the steps involved. I’m just trying to show you what we need.

remove popcorn ceilingsSo we’ve got the sprayer, we have the plastic and everything. When you are done, you’re going to want to be able to sand it, depending on what you are doing, maybe you just want to paint it and leave it flat, so you are going to want to sand any little nicks and gouges out, you might be re-texturing it so, even then, you probably don’t want to sand it a little bit. You can use a hand sander, pole sander, typically drywall tools is really what you need for that. And of course, you generally are going to need some type of stool or ladder to stand on.

Safety First! – Beware of Asbestos

A good idea, a lot of these older stipples can have asbestos in them, so it’s a good idea to be wearing a mask as well and even safety goggles if you really are going to make it little messy. But throw the mask on for sure, you’re definitely going to be messy. Shut off your furnace, your air-conditioner so that it’s not sucking that dust through your all house and make a mess.

We’ve taken down the light shade in this room, just trying to get as many things out of the way as we can, we’ve taped the floor off and I’m just going to reset here and go through the actual process. So we are going to start out by simply spraying about a four foot by four foot area, just to get it started, so I am just applying it, I don’t know if you could hear it on the camera or not, but we’re getting few drips hitting the floor, we’re giving it a soak, be careful around your electrical lighting so you don’t electrocute yourself.

We got that soaked down pretty good and I am going to just grab my ladder and go up there and see how it feels like. It’s had a couple minutes just to soak in and you just want to have your knife on a little bit of an angle, you don’t want it too stiff or you’re going to be gouging into the drywall and making a mess, but you don’t want it too flat or you are not going to get everything off. I don;t know what that is, thirty degree angle, something like that, just kind of get yourself worked in there underneath.

As you can see it doesn’t take a lot of effort, there’s not a lot of dust because we had sprayed it down, I do have the mask on my hat, but I’m not wearing it right now, but it’s just hard to talk through it. So I am going to do a little bit of an area here, just so you can see what you are going to find underneath. As you can see, that’s pretty quick. It really doesn’t take a lot of time, it’s actually doing quite a nice job. Once you have an area like that done, when the room is done-I should say, what you do is, once this had a chance to dry and you’ve done the room, it just needs a little bit of a sand, just to get the excess dust off there, smooth it out again.

I don’t know if you could see all these spots in the lens but they are all spots that were screwed before and they’ve been mud over. We don’t have a joint right here, but at some point I’ll get to one and we’ll show you what it all looks like. That’s all you need to do. When you get up to the edge of the room, obviously, just buffer into the wall. If you find that’s a little tougher, once you get into the spots where there is drywall mud on the joint, you might want to give it another quick little spray and that it will give a little extra moisture to soften it up.

You can see how we went along this wall, got the majority off, try to come off along the wall as well and once you give it a little bit of sanding there, you’re going to be good. It’s really not a whole lot more to that now. I can show you what I would usually do if I am holding the tray, I’ll grab it. So if I was doing this with my tray, I’m just simply moving the tray along with it and catch a lot of it in the tray and then I will have a garbage so I don’t have to go up and down the ladder, I would have it within reach so that I am not having to jump up and down all the time.

I am getting out of my sprayed area here and you can see getting a lot harder to scrape off and back here where it’s soft, it’s just like butter, the water definitely does help and it also settles that dust, you don’t get as much dust floating around, which is better for your lungs but you should have the mask on. Okay. So that’s really basic stuff, especially when it’s not painted. Like I said before, if your stipple happens to be painted over it’s a heck of a job, so you might want to rethink weather you really want to do that. This was simple.

I have seen, there’s the odd gizmo out there for doing this, there’s a frame and bag system that comes with a scraper and basically what it is, the scraper with the frame hanging off that you could put a shopping bag on to catch all your stuff, pop your bag off, throw it away, I don;t know if that’s really necessary when if you own one of this, you can basically do it without spending any extra money for that.

Same thing, we had the big pump sprayer, garden type sprayer to do this. You could just use a little hand spray bottle, your wife does her hair with or something, steal it off the dresser and use it, you don’t have to go out and spend a bunch of money on a big sprayer like that. Really, like I said, the tools you need for this, you probably already own so it’s a matter of just a little bit of mess and clean up when you are done.