Chalky White and Whining


Tools of the trade. When done, I plan to burn them. Obviously, this will be only semi-successful.

Have you ever started a project, got far enough into that there was no turning back, and thought, “What the hell was I thinking?”

Have you ever wanted to turn back time? Change your mind? Reverse your direction? Have you ever considered, “For the sake of all that’s good in the world, next time just leave well enough alone.”

Here I sit, sad and hopeless and crying as my tears leave flesh-toned tracks down my drywall-dusted cheeks. Pardon the pun, but in the job of refinishing this house’s ceiling, I am in way over my head.

Sure, I’ve had some successes along my do-it-yourself journey. I learned that the drywall primer I chose is excellent. Know how I know that?? Here’s how. I know it because after I put on two coats (just in the dining room area) it began to peel off here and there.

Listen to me complain:

I went directly to the fount of all knowledge: YouTube. The nice ceiling people there told me that the primer peels when there’s still a layer of plaster over the drywall. You see, I had removed just the textured stipple from the ceiling, not the powdery crap underneath. So the paint wasn’t sticking in some places.


The plaster’s still on, but the stipple’s coming off.

How did I discover that the primer is a good product?  Where the sealer didn’t peel, it adhered wonderfully. Not a good news story, as it turned out because I had to scrape off both coats, right down to the flippin’ drywall. Why do a nasty chore once when you can savour the experience twice, I always say. (I never say that.)

I’ve also learned of the Ying and Yang of shopvacs, the good and the bad, the useful and the infuriating. Oh yes, my friends, I’ve seen shopvacs from both sides now. From win and lose and still somehow—I’m so darn frustrated!

It seemed to me that a shopvac could easily remove all this crumbly debris falling on and around me like heavy, goopy snow. And remove the fallen plaster it did for the first two times. The third time I vacuumed with it, I thought, “Man, it’s getting hard to breathe and see in here!”


Our home, our sanctuary.

Still, instead of glancing around and assessing the situation, I soldiered on and sprayed and scraped some more. Then I used the shopvac for the fourth time, and all was revealed when I looked up and witnessed the vacuum puffing out huge, white dust clouds into the house. Lovely. Just lovely.


There’re clumps of wet-now-dried plaster in my hair, on the floors, on my glasses, and on my clothes. It’s chalky and messy, and I hate it like I’ve never hated anything before. But will I stop? Will I hire this done?

Any monkey can scrape stipple and plaster off a ceiling so I’m not going to pay someone to do this job. This monkey’s about half way through, so she’ll just keep on going.


4 Comments on “Chalky White and Whining”

  1. Still can’t stop laughing at this witticism: “Oh yes, my friends, I’ve seen shopvacs from both sides now. From win and lose and still somehow—I’m so darn frustrated!”

    Seriously, I know it’s your grandmother’s house, but have you ever thought about moving?

    Liked by 1 person

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