Friday, January 23, 2009

Ah...the Smell of Primer

I am happy to inform you all that as of 1:30 PM today I got to start priming!!

Can I get an AMEN from the choir?!

Seriously, I finished all sanding (that can't be done in the shop) and plaster work yesterday. Once finished I started the clean-up process so that the priming and sanding could commence. I figured there was a good chance that I could get started on the priming by that afternoon but the sanding and plaster dust needed to be cleaned up first.

That would be too easy though wouldn't it? Instead...two problems popped up.

The first problem had to do with the windows over the sink area and part of the built-in cabinet. While cleaning, a few spots that were missed came to light. Dang - it would require more sanding and possibley a little stripping.

Since it was already the middle of the afternoon I figured I'd go ahead and clean up and then take care of the missed spots.

Then the second problem popped up and it was a dozy!!!

I was just about done sweeping when all of a sudden the shop vac went 'PLEWY'!!!

There was a cloud of dust, dirt and grime all over!!! In fact, the kitchen was now worse then it was before I started. So it had to be cleaned all over again.

By the time it was done I was too tired to care and called it quits. The spots that had been missed would still be there in the morning.

Thankfully today got off without any problems and by 1:30 I could start priming.

At this point I need to point out something that is of major importance. This point CAN NOT be stressed enough so pay attention.

Tap tap tap...are you paying attention? I'm serious about this one boys and girls.

See this can?

This is a can of primer.

I can hear you now "what's the big to-do about this can of primer?".


The brand isn't all that important. What is important is the 'PVA' designation.

PVA Primer is specifically formulated for plaster walls (new and repaired), drywall, sheet rock, etc. High-build PVA Primer fills and surfaces rough and uneven drywall construction (but still can’t hide a bad mud & tape job).

Again, I can not stress the importance of using this stuff enough.

As they say "a picture is worth a thousand words", so if you don't believe me look at the following picture.

Do you see it?

Can you tell what it is?

This is what happens to a plaster wall that is not primed with the correct primer. The whitish stuff you see is not dirt or dust from the air, it is plaster dust coming through the paint!!

That's right boys & girls...paint is porous.

You know those cheesy commercials "this is your brain, and this is your brain on drugs"? Well, this is your plaster wall without PVA Primer!

So, at some point we have to redo the walls of the master bedroom. Right now we just wipe them down about once a month.

Also - DO NOT use KILZ on your newly restored plaster, plaster skim coat or new dry wall. Do you have any idea what happens when you do use it (at least in our case)? The new paint you applied will peel off like sunburned skin! Imagine our surprise after painting our walls and finding out that it peeled right off! And I don't mean small little strips either but huge ones! I peeled off one section I could wrap around my body!

So, unless you want some problems down the road - DO NOT skimp on the primer!!!

Now that I'm done preaching, let's get back to the rest of the pictures.

In this picture you can see the primer that's up. What I've done is 'cut in' the primer in around the edges and corners.

Go here for a good video showing you how to 'cut in' paint.

Also, take a look at the right side of the upper corner section. Now follow along towards the light fixture. Almost to the fixture you should be able to see a line. That's the extent I primed to in that area. I mainly wanted to see how it would work.

It's hard to believe, but that part of the wall does look smoother - just like the primer brochure claimed it would!

This is the section above the powder room.

As you can see, I did not paint around the light fixtures yet.

Hopefully, you can see in this picture that I did go ahead and prime all of the chimney chase.

Tomorrow I will finish the walls and go ahead and do the ceiling as well. At least I will try to get it done - we have a nephew's birthday party to go to tomorrow as well.

Before we go to our next topic let me bring something else up. The area around the built-in cabinet isn't going to be as finished out as the rest until the cabinet is done. So, it might look a bit funny with no paint up by it for a while. The work that is going to be done on the cabinet can be done in the woodshop and brought into the house for installation.


Remember the crown moulding we've decided on? I have finally been able to hammer out a profile for it.

What you are looking at is a double profile of the crown moulding.

The one on the left shows the moulding along with the soffit support. The other one is without it.

Keep in mind, this is just a schematic and is subject to change.

Total height is about 6" and the little corbels are about 3" tall by about 1.5" wide. If you go to the link above you will get an idea of the size. The little corbels will be spaced about 8" apart.

Not counting the soffit supports, the moulding is made up of 6 pieces. This ought to be interesting to install. At least there isn't going to be the funky angle associated with traditional moulding. Best part...I can guarantee there isn't another house in our town with this type of crown moulding!!

So, tomorrow looks like it's going to be a full day. I just hope I get all the priming done.

Well, I've babbled on for a while now so I guess I'll let you all go.

Till next time...



Jennifer said...

Interesting about primer... I've never primed a wall, but I'm getting up the courage to deal with our bathroom paint, so I'll need to use it then.

Todd - Home Construction Improvement said...

I really like the crown molding detail you came up with! That will look very nice!

Sandy said...

That is a very important tip about the kind of primer to use on plaster walls!

p.s. my word verification thingy was relates!

Kate H. said...

Re: the primer types, that's a good bit of information to have. Cheers!