We all hate popcorn ceilings. So why do builders do them? Because they are easy. They save time. You hang your drywall, apply the texture and you are done. I have helped Don remove many popcorn ceilings over the years. It’s fairly easy although labor intensive and the finished product is a nice, flat ceiling, just as the almighty intended (if he cared about interior ceilings).
Flat ceilings are labor intensive. You hang the drywall, mud, tape, sand, prime and paint. Imagine doing this 18 feet in the air. Our living room, kitchen and dining room all share one large ceiling that vaults to approximately 18 feet. This allows us to have clear stories above our covered porches and brings in plenty of sunlight throughout the day.
Not long after Don was out of the turtle shell for his burst vertebrae, we tackled this ceiling. We had two layers of scaffolding with a drywall lift on top and wheels below. Our routine was to pull the 12 foot sheets of drywall into the loft, lift them onto the drywall lift, I would then hold it steady while Don wheeled us in place. I then cranked the lift up until the drywall was where it needed to be. Don would climb the scaffolding and screw the drywall in place then climb down and wheel us back to the loft for the next sheet. Rinse and repeat several more times. I have hung 12-foot drywall in the past. It is not as easy as 8 foot sheets as it’s more prone to breakage if it bends even a little too much. We were handling this drywall a lot and the more you handle it, the higher the chance of breaking. Somehow we managed this with most pieces intact, maybe because after all of these years of assisting Don, we have a system that works. In this living room, it tested our system to the max. You can’t imagine the feeling of exerting all of this effort to hang a sheet of drywall just to look back over the ceiling and see something on the scale of a postage stamp hanging there. Intimidating to say the least. We got it done, taped it, sanded it and painted it. Painting was fun. Instead of ceiling white, we agonized over a paint color that was a darker beige than our wall color only to have friends ask what color we planned to paint the living room and ceiling……..
The dining room was next with a beadboard barrel ceiling. Yeah, that was fun. We put wet towels on the back of the beadboard in an attempt to make them bend easier. Then you have to bend it in a curve and attach the center to the middle of the ceiling making sure that you are straight and square. Now imagine doing this with 12-foot sheets of drywall because that was the NEXT project when we did a barrel ceiling in our bedroom. Honestly, I thought MY back would break from this work, let alone Don’s already recovering spine.
Is it worth it? You tell me. It’s this kind of detail that adds value to a home. I would do it again in a heartbeat. It’s worth the labor to get the finished results.