Mystery House

Horror #7: The Chernobyl Family Room

Knitting?  On Saturday?  Oh no.  There was a ceiling to paint.

Bright and early, we loaded up a nice, new roller with nice, new paint.  The task ahead seemed simple, if messy, and we were unaware that one of the most dastardly evils of the universe was lying in wait for us.

The popcorn ceiling.

I hate popcorn ceilings.  I mean, loathe them.  They’re ugly and stupid and should never have been invented.  Of course, our house was built in the era of popcorn, and every ceiling is infested with it.

I now hate them even more.  We quickly discovered that this is what happens when you use a roller–a proper, popcorn ceiling roller–on a ceiling that’s never been painted and has nothing on it but its original effen popcorn:

Chernobyl 9

It was either scrape, sand and prime the ceiling of a 26 foot long room–which would take an eternity–or get a sprayer.

We rented a sprayer, and I must say that a more cantankerous, willful piece of machinery has never been hatched.  Spraying a room is one of those things that should only be attempted if the alternative is worse.  Trust me on that one.  The spray shield we bought?

Chernobyl 11

Didn’t help much.  Thank goodness we took the sprayer rental man’s advice and covered absolutely everything in the room.

Chernobyl 1

Chernobyl 10

There was a wee bit of overspray.  You can see the contrast between covered carpet and uncovered carpet.

Chernobyl 7

Don’t worry, the carpet was torn out the next day.  Part of the plan.

There was an eerie, toxic pink haze in the air and the room was so spooky and forbidding that we started calling it Chernobyl.

Strange, alien hieroglypics appeared on the floor.

Chernobyl 8

Footprint in Paint 1

That hideous gray, sprayed-with-pink tile?  It was the next to go.

Chernobyl 12

This all left a few messes to clean up the next day.

Chernobyl 3

Chernobyl 4

So, knitting?  I tried to get caught up on Sunday.

Spirited Sock Progress

And now here I am, running an air cleaner to get the dust from the bashed-up tiles out of my office, back door wide open to the 35 degree weather to clear the paint smell from the room, thinking about finishing my sock and cutting in the first coat of wall paint.  Any real work that happens today will be nothing short of a miracle.  What about the ceiling, you ask?  The ceiling’s beautiful (aside from the fact that the popcorn is still there, that is).  Our harebrained scheme worked.  We did it!

Finished Ceiling


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * Jeanne says:

    I agree with you on popcorn ceilings. My house is full of them, all added when they were every so “in” and “cool”. The house certainly didn’t have them originally. We are now in the process of scraping them off.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  2. * cursingmama says:

    I agree with your feelings on popcorn ceilings; I get why builders use them – I just wish the didn’t. I too have been cursed with a house full of them.
    I am trying to warm the DH up to the idea of removing them – he remains frozen solid in fear.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  3. * Connie says:

    OMG! What a great weekend to tackle all of these projects! We have popcorn too. We have never painted them because I know that they will come down on us. I have found those mysterious flecks of popcorn on walls that I am painting – you know – when you accidentally touch the ceiling with the brush etc. and they are a pain. I would have scraped – but your spraying job looks great! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  4. * bezzie says:

    Eeee…when popcorn ceilings “shed” it always reminds me of asbestos. Mind you I have no clue what asbestos looks like, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they came out in 20 years that popcorn ceilings gave you cancer.
    But I DIG the paint job!

    Posted 10 years, 2 months ago

Comments are not allowed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: