Painting Ceilings on Ground Level

A few days ago, John used a 12″ roller for the mudroom ceiling. He switched to a 9″ roller when he painted the soffit.

He bought flat white ceiling paint.

Rolling ceilings is strenuous…

John finished rolling the Bonus Room ceiling this morning. Afterwards, he used a large tile sponge to wipe off any paint that touched the walls. If you’re going to paint, make sure to do this step before cutting in the walls.

He rolled the stairwell leading to the basement using the 12″ roller and then switched to the 9″ roller for the smaller area at the bottom.

And, yes, his arms burned rolling the ceilings!

Have a rag handy to wipe each end of the roller to prevent railroad tracks.

I took this photo right after John finished rolling the Bonus Room ceiling when it was still wet. It dries flat.

Have several work lights to see your work.

John used a 12″ and 9″ roller along with a cut-in paintbrush to do the ceilings.

Purdy brushes are the best to use; they’re expensive but worth every penny. They make painting jobs easier. We have bought tons of Purdy brushes through the years and won’t use any other brand.

To speed up the drying process, place box fans horizontally on top of 6′ ladders. While drying, shift to another room.




Update on Mudroom + Video

John finished priming the walls and ceiling in the mudroom a couple of weeks ago but before rolling the walls with the finish coat, he’s doing a little bit of touch up work (little things that only we would notice).

We’re getting excited to see the walls rolled with the color we chose. I’ll tell you about it on Monday!

To see a video of the primed mudroom I posted on Instagram, take a look at the feed on the right side of the blog or click here.

Also, since John finished installing the drywall on the remaining wall where the new door was installed, it also needed to be primed.

Applying primer…

Now that I’m back on Instagram I’ll be posting more videos of all the room makeover projects that we have lined up. And I have some other things planned for the autumn including a new blog design.


San Juan

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

In 1776, the population was 2.5 million. Today it is well over 350 million!

In 1976, I wore red, white and blue and waved an American Flag in my hand in a school play celebrating the bicentennial year.

Yesterday, I worked a trip to San Juan. It’s a long day. I’m on the go from 3:30am, when I turn the key (now a “push start”) in my car and pull out of my driveway, until I pull back in my driveway at 630pm.

In the airline world, we call it a high-time “turn.” The flight hours accrued in one day is equivalent to working a route across the Atlantic (one way). The difference is that I’m home at night.

I had a total of one hour in San Juan before turning the plane right back around to New Jersey.

When we landed in San Juan, someone said, “Do we have to clear customs?” If I had been holding something I probably would have dropped it. I agree with Bill O’Reilly, it’s a red zone concerning milennials and their lack of knowledge in the history department. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. I said “Have a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend” to them in my final announcement just as I would in any U.S. state or U.S. territory. The captain was bi-lingual and said the same announcement in Spanish.

In a nutshell: Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory with commonwealth status whose residents are U.S. citizens by birth since 1917. They have served in the US military since 1917.

I stepped off the plane for a few minutes to look for Puerto Rican flan; it’s a delicious dessert. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any in the concourse.


Puerto Rican men still wear fedora hats. Here’s a touristy version sold at one of the airport shops.


Here’s one of those souvenirs that might be used? Or does it collect dust? Or does it end up buried at the back of a cabinet?


Through the years I have spent a lot of time in Puerto Rico. I like Old Town San Juan’s history and Ponce is a nice place to visit. Dorado Beach is great for windsurfing and beach strolls.

Happy Fourth of July to US territories too!

Be Safe and Responsible!




Going Up!


After installing the drywall in the dining area, John continued in the living room.

He’ll need to get a second person to help him with the 20ft vaulted ceiling so he installed 12ft Sheetrock panels as far up on the walls as he could–stopping just before the ceiling. In this photo he’s installing the drywall to the new master bedroom wing. I stood upstairs in the master bedroom bathroom while John lifted the panel up from the ladder. I temporarily held the top of the panel in place, while he drilled the initial screws to anchor it.


To the left of John–where you can see a couple of boxes–there will be a balcony overlooking the living room, front door and fireplace. In front of John is the walk-in shower and water closet.


From the balcony, we can look out the two large windows at the front of the house. The living room space with the vaulted ceiling and fireplace reminds me of a ski lodge.


The dining area and kitchen entrance…


In this photo, you can see to the left and right of the ladder, John nailed two pieces of 3/4″ 2ft long plywood to use as ledgers for the Sheetrock panels. Without these ledgers, John would have to physically hold each 12ft panel while screwing it in, which would be very difficult.

Joe, who worked at the house doing the siding with John (and the bay window roof) came over and gave John this great tip about using ledgers. Without his tip, we would not have been able to do this single handedly (or double handedly with my little bit of help).

Additionally, the scaffolding in the living room, loaned to us by our mason, was a big help because John placed tools and screws on the platform.


For the second panel, I did the same thing–I stood on a 4ft ladder in the water closet and grabbed the top of the panel as John lifted it up the ladder.


I was really, really happy to have the master bathroom closed up because it’s now safe for our pug to go up there–he’s never ventured up there as it’s blocked off at the bottom of the staircase. The staircase will be replaced; they’re the steps to the original attic and too shallow.


John used a T-square to plumb down the center of the studs; it makes a drywall job more professional–everything is nice and neat.


The screws look orderly. John said it’s critical to have a screw schedule–8″ on perimeter and 12″ in the field. He makes a mark at 12″, 24″ and 36.” This makes the screws equidistant resulting in a professional look.


The drywall for the vaulted ceiling will be very soon…


John went up as high as he could with the Sheetrock panels and put back the temporary balcony to the left.

It’s amazing seeing walls! Having walls makes it all suddenly come together. When drywall goes up, it’s an instant wow factor, because for so long, the work that was being done was the mechanicals. It drags on and you start to think, “Will this ever be a real house with living space?” When the drywall phase begins, it truly is the stage in the renovation process where major progress is seen. To us, it looks like it’s finished even though taping, mud and sanding is next.