Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Painting with Livestock



I would like to take this opportunity to call down a rain of toads on the person who first thought that stippled ceilings were a good idea.

The family room project continues. Thankfully, the painting is completely done at this point. The last item to receive a fresh coat was our ceiling, which is, tastefully, stippled. Textured, that is. Imagine trying to paint this:



In order to paint a stippled ceiling, one must purchase a paint roller which is made from one entire dead sheep. They have to be dead, I suppose, or you'd never get the handle inserted.



When you pour your paint into the roller pan and dip this ovine contraption into it, the sound you hear is that of a roller sucking up what amounts to a gallon of paint. You may have to refill the pan several times before the roller is actually saturated. At this point, the roller full of paint, which weighs approximately 37 pounds, has to be hoisted over your head and applied to the ceiling. You quickly learn that, if you roll this veeeery slowly, you can effectively cover a ceiling area about 8" by 18", while at the same time spattering tiny droplets of paint in a 20-foot radius, effectively polka-dotting you, your carpet, your furniture, your freshly-painted walls, and the dog. Then you must refill the roller pan and reload the roller because there's not enough paint left to cover any more. In this manner you can paint an entire 10X20 ceiling using only 30 gallons of paint in about 2 days.

You do get to work on those flabby arms, though.


Once the ceiling has been covered, then it's a simple matter of taking a brush and going around the outside edges and any light fixtures that may be in the ceiling. That is, it's "a simple matter" in much the same way that threading a needle while wearing oven mitts is "a little tricky". This is because the texture of the ceiling must now be overcome with a brush. One must get enough paint onto the brush to get into all the little nooks and crannies and, at the same time, be sparing enough with the paint to prevent it from rolling down to one's elbow.

A couple of repairs, new carpet, a new mantel and insert for the fireplace, and we'll be ready to inhabit our family room again. Watch this space for further developments.

14 comments:

Kate said...

Oh, I feel for you. Been there, done that and I DETEST it. I'm not sure detest is powerful enough for how I feel about painting textured ceilings, though.

GreenCanary said...

My solution to the stippled ceiling: Do not paint it, and NEVER look up.

lacochran said...

Mmmmmm, nooks and crannies.

Gilahi said...

kate - And yet, we choose to do it ourselves, effectively taking money out of the pockets of the pros who do this for a living. It just doesn't seem right, does it?

canary - What a great idea! I will never look up again unless I'm outside.

lacochran - Maybe I should've just covered the ceiling in strawberry jam.

Herb of DC said...

Wait! Who told you you couldn't use live sheep? Someone at Lowes? And you believed him?

Gilahi said...

Yeah, they told me that the live sheep were only for the pros who really knew what they were doing.

Bilbo said...

I've always found that painting with sheep isn't so hard. What's hard is getting them to stand still for the turpentine wash when you're done. They REALLY don't like that.

Gilahi said...

bilbo - I would think that once you got past having a roller handle, um, "inserted", a turpentine wash would be a cakewalk.

Bilbo said...

I see your point...

Gilahi said...

Perhaps it's one of those "hit your head to forget that you just stubbed your toe" things.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

So, was your ceiling full of nooks and crannies like an English muffin or was it more like a crumpet? If the former, what a bugger!

My parents have the same horror on their ceilings. My father's recent solution has been a modified belt sander. Takes the stuff right off and leaves the ceiling as smooth as a baby's bottom. Of course, I'm sure he's probably in a situation akin to John McCain wherein he can't raise his arms above his shoulders. (That was a tacky comparison, wasn't it?)

Gilahi said...

j.m. - I'm not sure I'd know a crumpet if there was one in my mouth, so I don't really know the answer to your question. It's the effect you get when you put a flat trowel in wet plaster and then pull it straight away. Little, pointy hills.

I have a very difficult time even imagining the amount of dust that must be generated by sanding an entire ceiling. I think I'd rather paint it than clean up after that.

Narm said...

If you think the sheep has to be dead to get something that size inserted into it you never grew up on a farm...

Gilahi said...

Well, as I mentioned to Herb (have you two met? Herb, Narm. Narm, Herb), the folks at Lowe's told me that live sheep were strictly for the folks that knew what they were doing. I looked at a few of them, but none of 'em liked me. I could tell.

 
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