Before we moved into the shack, we were still dreadfully unemployed and had high hopes of completing just a couple of little projects. The first “quick” project was removing the texture from the ceilings in the bedrooms.
Textured ceilings was a genius idea from the ’80’s, ensuring all horrendous drywall jobs were perfectly disguised. The type of texture on our ceilings was in the same family as popcorn ceilings but more closely resembled a topographical map found in every elementary school’s library. Each bedroom had every rocky mountain peak represented at least 1000 different times.
Basically, it had to go.
Googling this issue, every blog said you need to REALLY wet the ceilings. I borrowed my dad’s poison-sprayer for weeds, you know, the one in the garage with the gallon jug and a little hose and you pump it. I rinsed it once, deciding to be a little risky, and filled it full of water. I laid down a sheet of plastic, hauled the world’s ricketiest ladder out of the basement, and got to work with nothing but hope and positivity!
You REALLY had to wet the ceiling, which in turn was a gentle shower that lasted for hours and into days. I was drenched. Once the texture was properly moistened, I scraped it off with a putty knife as it fell in gigantic diarrhea splats on my face, arms, shoes, and a little even managed to get on the plastic.
I did this in each bedroom by myself as Nathan started working (PTL AMIRIGHT?! we were down to just 100 smackers – meaning we spent our last 100 dollars on one hundred tubes of smackers chapstick – coca cola flavor).
Rickety ladder and mountain-texture ceilings.
Great Granny’s basement floors were tiled. Not just with any tile, but asbestos* tile! You could tell because almost every single tile had a crack in it and you could see the little asbestos-poison hairs sticking out of the cracks as they eagerly tried to crawl into your lungs and crystalize.
Google said the only good way to get the tile out was to shatter it with a hammer. Thank you google for a very “creative” solution.
My grandpa, Nathan, and I just whacked at the tile until it was a bunch of shards. A wonderful experience, indeed! I wore shorts (tempos, duh), and shorts go perfectly with remodeling** and so my legs ended up with roughly 1 million tiny cuts all over them. I could go into more detail about this, but it would turn into a horror blog, which the world does not need more of in light of today’s poverty rates*** but NOT TODAY.
We filled 5 heavy duty industrial size garbage bags full of the tile and the garbage-getters wouldn’t take them because they were too heavy. This was only the beginning of the garbage-getters being the Morgan-haters and never taking my trash.
After removing the tile there was a thick layer of oil-based black mastic – truly worse than mortar and I’m not being dramatic (WHICH IS SAYING SOMETHING). We tried scraping it off, which did nothing. We ended up trying 6 different kinds of chemicals to melt it away and the 6th one worked! It was basically battery acid and made me feel verrrrrrrrrrry whoozy. I poured $20 gallon after $20 gallon on the floor and pushed it around with a gigantic squeegee and then scrapped at it with a putty knife.
At this point – probably pretty high from all of the chemicals – I was thinking maybe remodeling and homeownership isn’t going to complete my life…..maybe I’ve been lied to by Chip and Jo….maybe I should just build a Celebrity Home****. It was already too late tho, so we moved in.
Photo of us in the basement with the tile.
*Google asbestos if you don’t know what it is. They say it is very dangerous, but only if it is broken or cracked. LOL OUR BASEMENT WAS JUST ONE GIGANTIC BROKEN ASBESTOS
**It’s NEVER the right choice.
***Shameless plug about my other life’s passion/interest – POVERTY!
**** Celebrity Homes are the creation of some white male, in some office building looking to make a dime. They are these gigantic, sprawling developments where they build houses in mass and CHEAP AF. You can build a brand new 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house for like 170,000 bucks. Last year, Nebraska had a windstorm and it was bad, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t that bad and the roof literally just flew off of three of these homes. They’re made with popsicle sticks and meant to decay in like 15 years so then the white-office-man can just build a bunch more developments. People love these though.