contributed by Sheryl S.
Managing Home Projects
Have You Discovered the Habitat ReStore?
We bought an old farmhouse several years ago for $24,000. It was sitting on 20 acres and had not been lived in for at least 10 years (it had been a hunting cabin). The yard was a hay field. Structurally, it was sound. But, we knew it would be a lot of work.
Most rooms needed to be insulated and drywalled. I kept trying different methods of drywalling, such as stucco and texture paint, in hopes of eliminating the necessity of sanding, and breathing all that drywall dust. I also wanted to save time. I'm a person who does well with weekend tasks, but I don't want to invest too much time on any one project.
One person suggested wet sponging on almost dry plaster, which didn't work for me. It ended up looking like a gritty paint job. It was then suggested to me to mix one gallon of paint into five gallons of drywall plaster to stucco a ceiling. I used a brush to stamp it on my kitchen ceiling. That was better, but hard work. At least, I didn't have to sand. My kids complained it was too poky!
I still wasn't quite satisfied. However, when we turned a junk-room porch into a computer office, I finally hit on just the right technique. Now when I finish a room, I tape the seams with drywall tape. I use the gauze-type that is self-adhesive. This is necessary to avoid cracking seams. Then, I trowel on the plaster. I just take drywall compound and a 10-inch trowel and literally wipe the plaster in every direction. I smooth it a bit, but make sure it is going every which way. After it dries, I then cover with a coat or two of paint. (washable satin finish is good) This technique eliminates hours and hours of sanding. A room can be done in a weekend, instead of weeks. The biggest cost is the paint (I use Kmart or Wal-Mart brand) and approximately five buckets of drywall compound, depending on the size of the room.
I just finished the living room. Everyone says it looks fantastic. We have an antique wood stove. With a few splashes of color in our all-white room, it is bright and beautiful. It is such an incredible improvement! A brand new room for less than $75! Our little farmhouse in the country is now worth four times what we paid! And we wouldn't think of selling. (unless we start over! Hmmmm!)
Debt is preventing me from taking a vacation this year or the vacation I'd like to take this year! Tell us: Yes, debt is affecting my vacation plans! or No, we're going exactly where we want to go but we'd love to learn make our trip as inexpensive as possible!
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