Getting Preppy

Finally having the ugly popcorn off the boys ceiling feels great, but that was the easy part.  The texture came off rather smoothly and easily, but that doesn’t mean the ceiling is primer or paint worthy.  Because we’ve had a few ‘what to do after scraping’ questions, I’m back to share my steps.  Our sheet rock is held in place with nails (the quick way to hang it) and every nail hole needed filling.


A few areas had scrapes from my spatula and some minor popcorn residue was still on the ceiling.  Before I could break out the primer, I first filled every nail hole (twice), filled in any scratches, then sanded the whole ceiling smooth.  I started with a drywall pole sander (like this one) but quickly got frusterated with it.

Lacking serious upper arm strength, I couldn’t keep the sander head flat on the ceiling with enough pressure to do much.  Instead, it kept flipping over, causing more damage.  So I ditched it, filled in the scratches from it, and used a sanding sponge to get ‘er done.  Oh, and I taped off the door to contain the dusty mess.  Also, wear glasses and a mask because the dust is everywhere.


Use a fine grit paper and sand until smooth to the touch.  Carefully, sanding through the tape can be a serious pain in the butt.  Drywall mud should sand easily off, as will the popcorn residue.

Sanding drywall, it’s a dirty job (said as Mike Rowe).

It was annoying to use a small sanding block, moving a chair all around the room, but it’s done.  Even primed and painted.  Looking gloriously smooth.


Unfortunately for me, the ceiling wasn’t the only wall needing attention, sanding, and spackling.  I’m 99% sure the two outside walls had wall paper.  Wall paper was all over this house: the kitchen, previously in the family room and guest room (found pieces behind outlet covers), and some painted over in our master bedroom (which will make it super easy to remove, I’m sure).  Either this paper really stuck on or someone was especially careless when removing, leaving big triangular gouges behind.  That’s bound to happen.  Then the chunks were filled, but apparently not sanded before painting over.  Behind Everett’s crib was the worst spot.


So I’m currently tending to the walls before we can prime and paint.  First I used a metal putty knife to scrape off the uneven areas, filled, sanded, even primed the problem areas.  But the moisture of the primer made the surrounding paint bubble.  I scraped again, making the area larger, sanding smooth, and filling again with mud.  Annoyingly, the wet mud made more paint bubble.  You guessed it, more scraping, sanding, and filling.  Now I’ve got this to work with:


Hopefully (key word here!) I’ve gotten the flaky paint off and I can carry on with my plans.  Which should include new door trim, crown, and base boards before a few coats of Anjou Pear paint.


It’s exciting to take another virtually untouched since we’ve moved in room and make it ‘us’.  Kind of getting sick of feeling like I’m living in someone else’s house, you know what I mean?  So tell me, what’s the strangest thing a previous home owner has done to your house?  Something that has you wondering, “why in the world did that happen?!”

12 thoughts on “Getting Preppy

    1. Hey Shavonda!

      Ha, I don’t know about that, but thanks!! I can only stand to look at nearly untouched rooms for so long. Then something has. to. happen. And Ben’s working outside, so I’m doing it without him. 🙂


  1. Yay for progress! Even the tedious kind.
    When we bought our house there were lots of questionable paint choices. And paneling. Everywhere. The worst was the basement bedroom that had red walls with “Tupac” and other things spray painted on the walls in black. Ug. 3 coats of Kilz later….

  2. Our homes previous owners painted over the vinyl covered wall boards (we live in a manufactured home) without using primer. They removed glass from some of the cabinets and replaced it with chicken wire-and they did an awful sort of white-wash paint effect in the kitchen cabinets, but didn’t bother to remove the hardware or actually do the job correctly! We’ve lived here 7 years and between work and school we just don’t have the time/energy/funds to make the house feel like “ours” yet 😦 And part of me wonders if theres any point to even fixing the house up. manufactured houses don’t hold their value like site builts.

    1. Hey Becah!

      That is not fun to deal with. I’m baffled that they didn’t take the hardware off to do their painting. Seriously, it take a few seconds! I don’t understand why our outlet covers weren’t taken off when the wall paper was removed. So, so strange and lazy. Good luck with your fix ups. Even small things can make a big difference.


  3. Our previous owners painted everything with kelly green gloss. Kitchen cabinets. And hinges. And knobs. Doors. And hinges. And doorknobs. Heat/AC vents. And surrounding flooring. Shutters. And surrounding vinyl siding. Baseboards. And surrounding walls. Ugh!!!

    1. Hi Maryanne!

      Ahh, that’s a super unique color choice. For everything. What was their thought process on that?!? Oh, well, my favorite color is kelly green, so let’s go nuts! 😉


  4. The oddest thing on our house, is the super textured, black, wood paneling in our kitchen. The kitchen has a little breakfast nook added on to it and I think all the paneling went in when that was built because there are places in our kitchen (behind the fridge and behind the washer and dryer) where there are chunks of the paneling missing. I keep debating between just tearing it down or painting it. I think there is drywall (or probably just plywood since that’s what most of the walls are) behind it, but I’m not sure.

  5. We just bought a house where the previous homeowners had painted the trim in the bathroom to match the tub, which is almond. The master also has tan trim in it. All of the other trim in the house is white, so the tan trim just looks extra dirty. It’s going pretty soon!

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