Yes, in fact, the appearance of that chandelier did inspire me to sing "Phantom of the Opera" at the top of my lungs not only while Rick hung it but also well into the next week! How did you know?!
But let's rewind. You see, this was not a simple "let's paint the ceiling and hang a chandelier and sing an aria" job. Here's what the ceiling started out looking like:
Personally, I'm not a fan of this particular brand of textured ceiling, even though I know it has Super Crack-Hiding Abilities. (Unlike my female students in their low-rise jeans, whose crack-hiding abilities rank right up there with my ability to, say, recite "The Road Less Taken" in Polish.) So, we googled around for some help without any real success, then asked a couple different workers at Lowe's if there was anything we could do about it. They both said NO and laughed at our sheer ignorance and naivety.
(But did you see that first picture way up there?)
I am here to tell you that these workers were obviously INCORRECT and should not have snickered quite so pompously and should maybe consider quitting their day job and instead taking up Polish.
Left to our own devices, I remembered reading Kelly's tips about getting rid of a popcorn ceiling by spraying it with water, so we went ahead and soaked a corner of our drippy plaster ceiling, figuring that the plaster itself was water-based and would resort to its liquefied state. It did! A happy dance ensued. Said happy dance quickly came to a screeching halt when we realized how not-fun it is to mess around with a ceiling. Is it totally all worth it now, now that our arms no longer ache and our bodies are no longer coated in dust? Heck yes. Are we skipping off to go get started started on another ceiling? Heck no.
With our plaster thoroughly saturated, we began scraping off the plaster drips with metal scrapers. After that, the ceiling looked like this:
Better, but not flat. So the next step involved applying a new layer of joint compound to smooth out the still rough texture. I would recommend getting a scraper the size of your head and using fresh joint compound. You'll finish the ceiling in
(Rick says I should mention that we had to choose between applying a new layer of plaster with joint compound, or sand all of the remaining plaster until it was smooth. We tried skipping the new layer and going straight to sanding, but we likened it to painting the room with a mascara brush: completely slow, painful and inefficient.) So we slapped on a new layer of wet joint compound. If any of the steps were easy, this was it. Even I could do it with a fair amount of success and minimal to no whining. Here's a fantastically thrilling picture of what it looked like as it was drying:
After the new layer of plaster was dry, the delightful job of sanding could commence. I'm not gonna lie: this step is, to date, the worst thing I have participated in during my brief career as a homeowner. Rick (aka The One With the Muscles) ended up doing most of it because he loves my biceps and my cheery disposition, both of which were seriously compromised when I began sanding the ceiling.
After wiping down the entire ceiling and room with a wet cloth, we primed with Kilz stainblocker (the ceiling soaked up a lot of it--we used the entire gallon of primer and only half a gallon of actual paint) and then painted. I chose this lovely contrasting shade of pale blue (Valspar's Sweet Slumber):
What? You mean you don't see any real color or contrast, only grayish white spots left by the sad coverage of our now never-to-be-used-again Olympic paint? This explains why I zoomed off to the nearest hardware store and bought a gallon of Benjamin Moore paint and primer in one, shade Glacier Blue. After all, we didn't spend all that time and energy scraping and sanding the ceiling for it to be more lame and less exciting than the sequels to Aladdin.
He claims to not want a photo shoot. Divas these days. Really, why else would he be wearing those super swell safety goggles? ;)
Next time, I, personally, will wear a rain bonnet when I cut in around the edge of the ceiling, seeing as how this time I ended up looking like one of those kids that sprays school colors in their hair on homecoming, only less cool.
(Try to pretend you're surprised that I have a t-shirt with cats on it.)
I'm really happy with how the ceiling looks with the walls (Valspar's Seashell Gray), and I think the shade of blue is bright enough to be noticeably pretty but not overpowering to the point where you feel like someone colored the entire ceiling with a blue highlighter.
That thing sparkles. Me likey.
And now, for a brief history of our
Hooray for progress. :)
We still have to install new trim/baseboards and refinish the floor before we can move into our bedroom, but we congratulated ourselves on the completion of the ceiling by snuggling up with some hot chocolate (is summer over already?) and watching...The Phantom of the Opera. Rick thought that maybe it would put an end to my insistence on pretending to be an operatic soprano.
It did not.
It merely encouraged it.
So: other tips for conquering textured ceilings? Practical venues for reciting Frost in languages other than English? Vocal exercises to flawlessly reach high Bs? Let's hear your thoughts. :)
This post was brought to you by a dork who loves musical theater, bling, and masked men in boats.